Ancient History and Classical Archaeology Admissions Test

From this year, the Faculty of Classics will be introducing a new admissions test for all candidates applying for Classical Archaeology and Ancient History: AHCAAT (Ancient History and Classical Archaeology Admissions Test). The test will run in its pilot phase for the first two years.  This means that while it will be used for additional information on a candidate's application, no one applying in the 2024 or 2025 admissions round will not be shortlisted for interview or not selected for a place at Oxford based on the results of the test.

What is the AHCAAT?

The new AHCAAT will aim to test two skills crucial for CAAH students: the ability to engage with and criticise academic argument and the ability to describe and analyse material evidence from the ancient world.

It will have two questions. In the first, you will be given a short passage from an academic publication of the kind you will be likely to be asked to read in your first two terms in Oxford, and will be asked to evaluate the coherence of the argument, whether the author supplies sufficient evidence for their claims and in what ways their argument can be criticised. In the second, you will be asked to look at an image of an artefact from the ancient world (statue, relief, vase etc.), for which some contextual information will be supplied, and asked to describe it in detail and reflect on the ways in which it can be used for writing history.

Answers need to be in a short essay format. Both questions are weighted equally (50 marks for each). You will have 90 minutes for the entire test, and we suggest spending about 15 minutes reading and looking and about 30 minutes writing on each question.


Sample Tests

Practice AHCAAT with these sample tests.

AHCAAT Sample 1

AHCAAT Sample 2

An online practice test run by Pearson Vue can be found here on the Admissions website


 

NEW ARRANGEMENTS FOR OXFORD’S ADMISSIONS TESTS FROM THIS YEAR (2024)

As you may know, tests form one part of Oxford's admissions process and are used alongside a range of information to help us assess candidates’ academic potential and suitability for many of our courses. We have been very grateful for your patience while we have been putting in place our arrangements for our admissions tests for 2024 and are delighted to let you know that Oxford has appointed global assessment leader Pearson VUE to manage the delivery of these tests.

All tests will be online and delivered via Pearson VUE’s established network of test centres. It remains the case that in 2024 there will be no charge for candidates to register for Oxford's own tests.

This year’s tests will take place on the following dates:

  • Ancient History and Classical Archaeology Admissions Test (AHCAAT) – NEW – 22 October
  • Classics Admissions Test (CAT) – 22 October
  • History Admissions Test (HAT) – 21 October
  • Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT) – 22 October

In 2024 there will be no English Literature Test for candidates for: English Language and Literature, English and History, English and Modern Languages or Classics and English. Candidates for joint schools will still need to take the relevant test for their other subject, if applicable.

Candidates for all of the above Oxford tests will be able to register themselves free of charge with Pearson VUE between 15 August and 4 October. When registering, your students will be able to request the access arrangements which are normally available to them for public examinations taken in their school or college.

Detailed candidate guidance on test preparation will be available shortly via ox.ac.uk/tests and there will be a sample test provided. Although it will not be possible for individual candidates’ sample tests to be marked, worked answers and mark schemes will be supplied, where possible. This sample test will allow students to explore the test platform and, in most cases, is likely to be based on the 2023 test paper. In the meantime, for current Oxford tests, candidates may find the existing practice materials on the individual test pages useful.

Further details of these arrangements and all information will also be publicly available via our undergraduate admissions website.