Preparing for the PAT 2020

27 Jun 2020 - 9:00am
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU

The 2020 'Preparing for the PAT' course will run with in-person days in Oxford on Saturday 27th June and Saturday 10th October. Registration will open in Spring 2020.


This course is for year 12 students from state-funded schools, academies and colleges with little or no history of successful applications to the University of Oxford who are interested in applying to study Physics, Physics and Philosophy, Engineering or Materials Science. It is intended for students who are thinking of sitting the Oxford Physics Admissions Test in 2020.

Why take this course?

Students applying for places to study Physics, Physics and Philosophy, Engineering or Materials Science will be required to sit the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT) as part of the admissions process. This course is designed to prepare students for the PAT by developing their mathematical thinking and problem solving skills.

What's in the course?

The course consists of two face to face study days at the University of Oxford and three summer assignments. There will also be some online support available.

Two face-to-face study days

The two face to face study days will take place on Saturday 27th June and Saturday 10th October. The sessions will focus on developing problem solving skills which will help with tackling some of the questions within the PAT. Each day will feature workshops where students will be supported by existing students at The University of Oxford.

Three summer assignments

These will consist of sets of questions to help develop thinking skills and problem solving techniques. The assignments will be marked by a student’s mentor and feedback provided via an online platform.

Online support

This is designed to consolidate the problem solving skills the students have developed. Students will be able to post questions to tutors and replies will be posted on an online platform.

Course fees

The cost of the course is £60.
Students will be expected to make their own travel arrangements to get to the venue.
If you will have trouble meeting the cost of the course, please indicate this in the appropriate place on your application form. We can provide some support for transport costs if this would otherwise prevent students from attending the course.

Priority will be given to applicants where:

  • You would be the first generation of your family to attend university.
  • You have been eligible for one or more of free school meals, pupil premium, Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and/or 16-19 bursary during secondary school
  • You live in an area with a low rate of progression to higher education. If your home or school is POLAR4 quintile 1, 2 or 3 then you meet this criterion. You can check your postcode here .
  • You live in an area with a high level of socio-economic deprivation.
  • You attend a school with little or no history of successful applications to The University of Oxford to study Physics, Engineering or Materials Science.

Feedback from 2018 participants

I felt the event really helped me understand how to solve problems methodically.

I really enjoyed it, my student mentor was really friendly and supportive.

I’ll be honest, it was just really good. The workshops were all useful and the student ambassadors were great.

To book a place

Booking for this course will open in Spring 2020.

This programme of support has been made possible by the generous support of Dr Tony Hill, Oxford University Alumnus.

For more information contact: