History Aptitude Test
You will be required to take the HAT if you are applying to study one of the following subjects at Oxford:
- History (Ancient and Modern)
- History and Economics
- History and English
- History and Modern Languages
- History and Politics
The test requires a written response to a passage from a primary source. You do not need to know anything about the author of the source or its context. You will be given some information about the primary source on the first page, followed by the passage and then a specific question pertaining to the passage. The test is 60 minutes long. You are encouraged to spend a third of that time reading the passage and planning your answer, with the rest of the time devoted to writing your answer.
The HAT is looking to test skills rather than knowledge. Candidates need to show an ability to read critically, communicate their thoughts precisely, provide evidence to support and argument, and to say something original and relevant to the question.
History and Economics and History and Modern Languages candidates will be required to sit more than one test (e.g. the MLAT for History and Modern Languages Applicants). You will need to be registered for both tests separately.
A maximum of 5 marks can be achieved per section. To achieve highly in each category, you will need to display mostly high-level indicators, as listed below:
- Historical insight and perceptiveness
- imaginative engagement with a text
- good critical reading of the text
- recognising that the text has historical value
- recognising the author’s subjectivity
- Comprehension, content and analysis
- analytically driven argument
- good reflections on the text and a clear demonstration that the core components of the text have been understood
- Use of evidence
- excellent close references of the text to formulate a strong argument.
- The close references must be well-chosen and used efficiently
- engagement with an excellent range of themes
- using material from multiple aspects of the text
- Structure, organisation and relevance
- the argument must have excellent structure and flow, with a good focus on the question throughout and careful prioritisation of well-chosen themes
- Presentation and use of English
- language must be sophisticated, grammatically correct, and neatly presented with excellent sentence structure
Registration for the HAT:
You will need to register yourself for the HAT through an authorised test centre. This could be your school/college or an open test centre. You can find your nearest test centre via Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing at https://www.admissionstesting.org/find-a-centre/ . It is worth inquiring into whether your school/college is already registered as a test centre. If it is not, members of staff could arrange to register it any time before the 30th September. Some advice for how to do so is here: https://www.admissionstesting.org/administering-our-tests/. You must be registered by the 15th October. You will take the HAT in this test centre in November, and a shortlist for interviews will be announced later in November. Results for the HAT are not automatically published but can be requested as part of the feedback process.
When you register, you will be asked to provide:
- Your name, date of birth, and gender
- Your UCAS number
- The name of the university, course, and course code you are applying to
- Details of any access arrangements
- No specific mark guarantees that your application will be shortlisted, since your results are compared to those of other candidates applying the same year.
- For practice materials, please click on the official Oxford HAT website link provided below. Here you will find multiple excellent resources to prepare for the HAT, including a workshop video, a webinar, past papers, and mark schemes.
How Mayfair Consultants can assist you:
Official Oxford HAT website: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/applying-to-oxford/guide/admissions-tests/hat
Additional HAT information and resources: https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/history-aptitude-test-hat
Guidance on how to prepare for the HAT:
Oxford Admissions Tests information: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/applying-to-oxford/guide/admissions-tests
History and Economics: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/history-and-economics?wssl=1
History and Modern Languages: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/history-and-modern-languages
History (Ancient and Modern): https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/history-ancient-and-modern?wssl=1
History and English: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/history-and-english
History and Politics: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/history-and-politics