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PAT Tutor Oxford Physics

PAT services

We provide a comprehensive service for applicants taking the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT).

What is the PAT?

The Physics Aptitude Test (PAT) is a paper-based test administered by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing designed to be taken by applicants who have taken Maths and Physics at GCSE level and are currently taking both subjects at A-level. It is a prerequisite for admission to all University of Oxford Engineering, Materials Science, Physics, and Physics and Philosophy undergraduate degree courses. A full list of courses requiring the completion of an admissions test can be found here. The PAT is typically administered on specific dates in early November, a few weeks before the course application deadline in mid-October and must be registered for by the application deadline. The registration process must be done through an authorised test centre; typically, this will be a candidate’s school or college, though can also be done through open test centres, a list of which is available here.

What does the PAT consist of?

The PAT is a 2-hour long paper, consisting of between 20 and 30 maths and physics questions. These questions are composed of content from the syllabus provided by the Oxford University Department of Physics, including that covered by Maths and Physics A-level, and Maths and Physics GCSE. The PAT is primarily focused upon testing an applicant’s problem-solving skills and ability to apply knowledge to unfamiliar material: candidates should be prepared and expect to face material that will push and challenge them significantly.

What score should I be aiming for?

The average score for the PAT is typically between 50 and 60% though some PATs are more difficult with the 2021 paper having a mean mark of 43.1%. For the 2021 PAT, all 260 applicants with PAT scores higher or equal to 63% were automatically shortlisted for interview. Invitations to interview were also extended to applicants who did not meet this threshold where contextual data and application forms provided compelling evidence to do so, making up nearly half of the 2021 cohort invited to interview. It is exceedingly rare for applicants achieving the top 100 PAT scores to not receive an offer, following interview. Thresholds for automatic shortlisting vary year to year; detailed information can be found in the published Physics admissions reports.

How do I prepare for the test?

In preparation for the test, applicants should familiarise themselves with the syllabus provided by the Department of Physics and identify any content they have not yet covered and any other content they feel less comfortable with that they would benefit from preparing through private tuition. It is recommended that applicants attempt challenging questions beyond the specification of A level, including British Physics Olympiad questions, and practice applying their knowledge to questions in formats they have not yet encountered, essentially honing an adaptable, problem-solving skillset. The expertise offered by our tutors facilitates an exploration of Maths and Physics beyond the remit of exam board syllabuses, highly beneficial for such a test that draws upon material not covered by the school curriculum. Past PAT papers are another practical resource to make use of in order to feel comfortable with the time constraints and learn how to divide time according to the marks available per question. The Department of Physics does not typically provide prescriptive solutions to these papers to encourage multiplicity of solution as sample answers do not necessarily detail the best or only method for each problem. They do, however, provide a series of recommended lectures, detailing the types of questions and methods of problem solving that they look for in PAT scripts that is useful to supplement past paper practice.

PAT Tutors and Tuition

Mayfair Consultants offers private tuition for candidates preparing to take the PAT exam, and those seeking to learn more about their aptitude to read Physics and Physics related courses. Tailored tuition sessions focus on all elements that the test encompasses, including the integral skills of problem-solving under time pressure, and creative application of knowledge to unfamiliar material. PAT tuition will be provided alongside general university entrance advice. Courses are delivered 1-1 for the PAT, with past paper practice and expert advice from past Physics degree graduates from Oxbridge colleges. We also offer private tuition for younger students developing interest in Physics and Physics adjacent fields. Many of our tutors hold PhDs and other postgraduate qualifications in Physics and in teaching, indicative both of their passion for and expertise in the subject.

If you would like to arrange private lessons or have any questions about our PAT tuition services in London, Oxford, and Cambridge, please call us on Tel: +44 (0) 207 665 6606, or you can send us an email via our contact form.

Useful links

Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing list of Oxford admissions tests

Oxford University page on admissions tests

Oxford University page on the undergraduate Physics course

Oxford University page on the PAT

Department of Physics YouTube Page on preparing for the PAT

Department of Physics page on the PAT

Department of Physics past PAT papers and sample solutions

Department of Physics PAT syllabus

Department of Physics admissions reports

British Physics Olympiad past papers

The following courses require the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT):

University  Course 
University of Oxford (O33) F300 Physics (3 year course)F303 Physics (4 year course)VF53 Physics and PhilosophyFJ22 Materials Science

FLN0 Materials, Economics and Management (MEM)

Engineering Science

 

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