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 2014, the test is set for the morning of Wednesday 5th 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 2014 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

There was a small change to the format of our aptitude test paper for the 2009-10 admissions round: the combined test papers were printed so that students could write their answers directly on to the question paper, not in a separate answer booklet. We shall continue with this practice in future years.

Our revised sample paper is available in pdf format, together with a set of model solutions.

In 2009, a considerable number of candidates did not allow enough time to attempt all questions on the paper and in particular many did not attempt the long physics question, which is worth 20 marks. Candidates are strongly urged to plan their time and attempt all the questions on the paper.

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