Keystone Tutors Blog
What is STEP Maths? STEP stands for Sixth Term Examination Paper and is a collection of three exams (STEP 1, 2 and 3) which traditionally are used in conditional offers by Cambridge to determine if you get accepted for Maths or Maths-related degrees. Other universities, like Warwick and Imperial, use STEP in some of their Maths offers. You sit these papers in the Summer alongside your other exams like A-Levels, IB and Pre-U.
Cambridge’s History Admissions Assessment, or HAA, is still a relatively new exam. It launched only in 2016, when the abolition of AS-levels deprived the university of a favoured metric which its colleges had used, up to that point, to help determine admissions decisions in history in place of a written exam in the style of Oxford’s well-established HAT.
What is the Philosophy Test? The Philosophy Test is unique to Oxford and sat solely by applicants for the joint course of Philosophy and Theology; those applying for Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) or Philosophy, Psychology and Linguistics (PPL) instead sit the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA). A 60-minute written paper, it is designed to test prospective students’ skills of analysis, inference, and argumentation.
This guide is for anyone applying to sit Oriental Languages courses at the University of Oxford. In the sections below you can find out if you need to sit the test and how you go about doing that. There is also advice on how best to prepare for the OLAT and how important the test will be to your application to study at Oxford.
This guide is for anyone applying to a university programme where applicants must first complete the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA). In the sections below you can find out if you need to sit the test and how you go about doing that. There is also some advice on how best to prepare for the test and how important the test will be to your application to study mathematics at university.
The English Literature Admissions Test needn’t be terrifying. In fact, it is simply testing a couple of skills that you’ve been cultivating since at least your GCSEs, and probably well before that: the skill of reading slowly, closely, and creatively, and the skill of writing with clarity, purpose, and insight. The ELAT is designed so that you can do well in it regardless of your prior knowledge. This isn’t an exam where you’ll show off how much you know.
Students often feel a little uneasy about the Oxford HAT at first, because its format has changed over time, and because it is very different from A-level exams. To make the test a less daunting prospect, I have created an introductory guide for candidates as to what it entails and how best to prepare.
This guide is for anyone applying to sit Physics or a number of STEM courses at the University of Oxford. In the sections below you can find out if you need to sit the test and how you go about doing that. There is also some advice on how best to prepare for the test and how important the test will be to your application to study at Oxford.
Any candidate applying to study Modern Languages at Oxford or Cambridge will have to sit a written paper as part of the admissions process: The Modern Languages Aptitude Test (MLAT) at Oxford and the Modern and Medieval Languages Admissions Assessment (MMLAA) at Cambridge. There are big differences between the two tests, from the structure and what they are testing to when they are sat. This blog covers the Oxford MLAT. You can read our blog on the Cambridge MMLAA here.
This guide is for anyone applying to sit Classics or any combination involving Classics at the University of Oxford. In the sections below you can find out if you need to sit the test and how you go about doing that. There is also some advice on how best to prepare for the test and how important the test will be to your application to study at Oxford.
Keystone's Head of Consultancy, Harriet Brook, was joined by Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson, and Jenny McGowan, our Director in Asia, to discuss the Oxbridge application process.
The National Admissions Test for Law, or LNAT, can seem like a formidable hurdle for many students applying to read law at university; this is particularly the case when one considers the historically low average scores (usually around 50%) and the fact that many students do not know what to expect.
Is it getting harder to win a place at the best universities in the UK? In 2020 ... Oxford received more than 23,000 undergraduate applications for 3,300 places. Cambridge received more than 20,000 undergraduate applications for around 4,500 places.
Oxford has 39 colleges, Cambridge 31. You can leave it to chance and make an open application, but most people expect to direct their application to one of them. In some ways, it seems an unnecessary distraction. After all, no one presents Formula One drivers on the starting grid with a wine list expecting them to choose which champagne they want to be sprayed with on the podium.
UK universities are incredibly popular with students from Hong Kong, and Keystone Tutors has extensive experience in helping these students to gain admission to their desired university. This invaluable guide covers key facts and tips about the application process, how to choose the right university and course, and the costs and fees involved.
Last week The Spectator produced a fascinating table listing the various figures showing which schools achieved the most Oxbridge offers last year. Over the years, both Oxford and Cambridge have roughly doubled the proportion of pupils from state schools: it now stands at 60 per cent, up from 50 per cent in 2000. This is reflective of which schools get the best A-level results.
Keystone's Head of Consultancy, Harriet Blomefield, was joined by US university specialists, ESM Prep, to compare the US and UK university application processes. ESM College Coach, Rachel Edgell, joined the dicussion to identify key differences between the timelines and requirements, discussing the best way to balance both processes with limited stress and maximum effect.
Keystone Tutor Tom read History at Christ Church College, Oxford, graduating in 2015. In the interview below Tom covers his inside experience of the application process, the best ways to prepare, and some insights into his work as a tutor helping students gain entry to some of the UK’s top academic institutions.
Securing a place to study, or ‘read’ English at Cambridge University is a challenging task. Extremely able candidates from around the world compete for a limited number of places, and it is essential to prepare for this competitive process effectively. In the article below, Keystone Tutors provide an overview of the best approach to take, some top tips, and even an inside view on the application process from a tutor who read English at Cambridge.
In the article below, Lincoln College Oxford alumni and Keystone Tutor Rory outlines the best approach to take when applying to study English at Oxford, with plenty of hard-won insights from his own successful application process thrown in! .
Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) is one of the most popular, and best-known, courses that you can read at Oxford. It has been offered since 1921, and it’s rooted in the view that it’s helpful to approach problems in society from the perspectives of several complementary disciplines and frameworks.
What is HSPS at Cambridge? Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) at Cambridge is a three-year BA Hons degree in politics, international relations, social anthropology and sociology. Although students can focus on one of these areas from the start, HSPS is also the broadest and most flexible political and/or social science degree at Oxbridge.
What is the TSA? The Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) is a form of assessment used to measure aptitude in critical thinking and problem solving. The TSA can be a requirement for gaining entry to top universities (including Oxford, Cambridge and UCL), as well as a handful of independent schools, who produce their own modified version of the exam (sometimes called a Critical Thinking test) for 16+. Download our Guide to the Thinking Skills Assessment.
Interviewing for a Place to Study at Cambridge University Cambridge University, founded over 800 years ago, supposedly by scholars fleeing from irate townsfolk in Oxford, is one of the world's greatest universities and a historic seat of learning. Graced by the stunning architecture of its colleges, and filled with keen minds from around the world, Cambridge is an amazing place to study your chosen subject.
Interviews are often considered to be the most intimidating and mysterious elements of the Oxford admissions process. This guide is designed to demystify the Oxford interview process so that you can approach your interview as confidently as possible.
Places to study at medical schools in the UK are highly sought after, by both domestic and international students, and require a great degree of commitment from prospective applicants. Understanding just what medical school involves can really help you decide whether it’s right for you and, once you’re sure it is, give you the very best chance of securing a place at the school of your choice.
Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson and senior tutor Jon Gale discuss UK Engineering Degrees.
What is the MAT? The Maths Admissions Test (MAT) is the admissions test used by Oxford for degrees in Mathematics. If you’re applying for a Maths or Computer Science degree at Oxford or a Maths degree at Imperial College London, you must sit the MAT just after beginning year 13 in late October/early November.
Any candidate applying to study Modern Languages at Oxford or Cambridge will have to sit a written paper as part of the admissions process: The Modern Languages Aptitude Test (MLAT) at Oxford and the Modern and Medieval Languages Admissions Assessment (MMLAA) at Cambridge. There are big differences between the two tests, from the structure and what they are testing to when they are sat. This blog covers the Cambridge MMLAA. You can read our blog on the Oxford MLAT here.