Unless you are applying for Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, you will be required to sit the Classics Admissions Test (CAT). The CAT is divided into three papers, all in the same booklet: the Latin Translation Test, the Greek Translation Test and the Classics Language Aptitude Test (CLAT). Applicants are required to take one, two, or three of these papers, depending upon the course applied for. Each paper is 1 hour.
The papers which make up the CAT are designed to assess linguistic ability. If you are studying Latin or Greek or both to A-level or equivalent (and are therefore applying for Course I) you should take the paper(s) in the language(s) you are studying. Candidates are reminded that this is a closed-book test. That is, the candidates will not be permitted to take dictionaries, grammar books or notes into the test. If you are not used to translating without these aids, then we suggest that you practise doing so, and try to learn vocabulary, before sitting the test. The results of the test will, however, be contextualised by the admitting tutors, and not simply taken as a raw datum. If you are studying neither Latin nor Greek to A-level or equivalent (and are applying for Course II) you must take the Classics Language Aptitude Test paper. If you are applying for Classics and Oriental Studies, intending to study Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, or Persian, you must take the Classics Language Aptitude Test paper in addition to any other paper required (if applicable).
Applicants for Classics and English must also take the English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT), and applicants for Classics and Modern Languages must also take the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT) in the relevant language.
All candidates will need to register for the CAT, which will be administered by the Admissions Testing Service. The deadline for registration is 15th October 18:00 BST. The tests will be sat in schools, colleges and designated test centres. These tests will take place on 31st October. Examples of written tests can be found below.
You can find some specimen tests with answers Specimen Tests
If you are invited for interview, you will come to Oxford for a few days in early December and stay in your first-choice college. Because we try to find places for as many good candidates as possible, you may well find that you are called for interview by several colleges while in Oxford in December. In the interviews tutors will be trying to bring out your merits, not to trip you up. They are, above all, looking for potential and an enquiring mind.
If you are successful at this stage, you will receive an offer of a place. This will be conditional on your achieving specified grades in your school-leaving exams, unless you have already left school. The standard offer is, for candidates taking A level, AAA; for Advanced Highers AA/AAB; for the IB 38-40, including core points; or an equivalent level in other qualifications. An A may be asked for in a specific subject or subjects.
We welcome applicants from outside the United Kingdom. There are students from all over the world studying Classics at Oxford. We encourage students from abroad to study the entire course if at all possible, but those doing a second BA may sometimes be allowed to do a shorter version of an undergraduate course. Information about applying from outside the UK is available on the main University of Oxford website. We are used to dealing with applications from a wide range of educational systems and make offers which are appropriate in each case. For further advice on these and other qualifications, please consult the Schools Liaison Officer or the Undergraduate Admissions Office, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD, or seek advice from a classical tutor at one of the colleges.