Wednesday 18th October 2023

MAT Paper


Uni & Uni Admissions


Every single University Cambridge STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper) and Oxford MAT (Mathematics Admission Test) admissions past exam papers can be found below.


STEP is used by universities including Cambridge, Warwick and UCL. MAT is used by universities including Oxford, Imperial, Warwick, Durham and Bath.

There are two STEP papers (paper 2 and 3) and applicants for Maths are usually required to take both papers. STEP is administered by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing. In contrast, there is only one MAT paper. 

The STEP is considered harder because the MAT doesn't require as advanced mathematical knowledge.  The STEP III paper is not only the hardest of the STEP papers, but probably the most difficult entrance exam of any university course, ever.  The STEP papers are sat towards the end of the A Level examination period (in June).  The MAT paper is sat at the beginning of the A Level examination period (in November).



The STEP is a paper-based exam lasting 3 hours. The STEP consists of 2 papers and 12 questions in each paper. All questions are marked out of 20 and the final grade for the paper is based on the six best answers only. 

The STEP is taken towards the end of the A Levels eximinations in June and results come out in the in August.  Calculators are not allowed

The STEP paper has five possible grades:

  • S = outstanding
  • 1 = Very Good
  • 2 = Good
  • 3 = Satisfactory
  • U = Unclassified

The grades required as part of an offer vary by College – see individual College websites for typical STEP requirements. All the questions that are attempted by a student will be marked. Candidates are rewarded for making good progress towards a solution, even if the final answer is incorrect. Correct answers always receive full marks, whatever the method used. Step is taken towards the end of your final year in June and results come out on A Level results day.  



The MAT is a paper-based exam lasting 2 hour 30 minutes and consists of 7 questions out of 100 marks, of which one should answer 5 depending on the subject one is applying to university for. 

The MAT is taken at the beginning of the final year in November and results come out in the following January.  Calculators are not allowed

The way that candidates access the questions is changing for October 2023. Candidates will see the questions on a computer screen. Candidates will write their responses in a paper answer booklet, which will be scanned by their test centre.

Question 1 is multiple choice and contains 10 parts each worth 4 marks. Marks are only given for the correct answers.

Questions 2-7 are longer questions, each worth 15 marks, and working must be shown. Partial marks are available for quesitons 2-7 only).

There is no pass mark of breakdown for the MAT exam.  Universities use the information from the test along with all other detail from a student’s UCAS application. 


   Click the folders below for more detail on each test


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