The Geography Admissions Test (GAT)

Please visit the Geography Admissions Test (GAT) webpage on the University website for full information.

What is the Geography Admissions Test (GAT)?

If you are applying for undergraduate study in Geography you will be required to sit the Geography Admissions Test (GAT).

The GAT is designed so that candidates should find it equally challenging, regardless of what they have studied or what school examinations they are taking.

What is the format of the GAT?

The GAT will be taken online, with candidates inputting their answers into an online platform. The test is 1 hour and 45 minutes long, comprised of three parts: A, B and C.

Part A tests critical thinking and should take 30 minutes. It has two sub-sections. Each sub-section requires candidates to read a passage and then answer some multiple-choice questions.

Part B tests problem solving and should take 30 minutes. It has two sub-sections each requiring candidates to look at some information and answer some multiple-choice questions.

Part C requires candidates to read a passage of text and answer an essay question. It should take 45 minutes.

Why do we have a Geography Admissions Test?

Most applicants to Oxford University have great personal statements, excellent references, and are also predicted top grades. It can therefore be difficult for us to choose between so many well-qualified candidates, especially as applicants come from all over the world and take different qualifications.

Tests give us an extra piece of information for every student who has applied for a given course, wherever they are from. Considered together with the other elements of the application, this helps us to identify the very best candidates. However, there is no specific mark that will guarantee your application will be shortlisted. The tests vary each year, and your test score will be considered alongside the scores of other students who apply for your course.

The GAT helps us to understand applicants' abilities relevant to Geography, which is important as not all of the applicants to the course will have studied Geography at school. It is not necessary to have studied Geography as a subject at GCSE or A-Level to do well in the test, and no specific knowledge or facts are required of applicants.

The test is used to provide consistent information, independent of candidates' educational background or other social factors. Test scores are used alongside all other information on academic performance at the time of shortlisting for interview. Good performance in the test can enhance a candidate's likelihood of being selected for interview.

For full information and practice materials, please visit the GAT webpage on the University website.