Physics Aptitude Test (PAT)

Everyone who applies to study Physics or Physics and Philosophy at Oxford must sit the Physics Aptitude Test. There are no exceptions.

In 2015, the test is set for the morning of Wednesday 4th November.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION about the Physics Aptitude Test

The Department of Physics is working in partnership with the Admissions Testing Service to administer the above admissions test.

The most important change is in the candidate registration process for the test. Candidates need to be entered for the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT) by 15 October 2015 via the Admissions Testing Service’s secure Entries Extranet. Please visit for details of how and when to register candidates.’

Candidates are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the format of the test and the syllabus.

Sample Paper

Our sample paper is available in pdf format, together with a set of model solutions. Please note that the format has evolved, and that candidates should look over a range of past papers.

For instance, in 2009, the combined mathematics and physics test papers were printed so that candidates could write their answers directly on the question paper, rather than in a separate answer booklet. We will continue with this practice in future years.

In 2015, multiple choice questions have been eliminated. Long physics problems worth 20 marks have also been eliminated in favour of shorter questions worth less than 10 marks each. Candidates are still urged to plan their time and attempt all the questions on the paper.

Calculators, formula sheets, tables and data books are not permitted.