Some universities use a specific admissions test that they like you to sit as part of your application. If you are thinking of applying to Oxford to do classics, the CAT may be on your agenda.
The classics admissions test is used by the University of Oxford as part of the selection process for a range of undergraduate courses run by the Faculty of Classics. The CAT is just a part of the selection process, which also includes two pieces of written work from your current course, academic references, your personal statement and your interview.
You will be asked to take the CAT if you are applying to the University of Oxford for any of the following courses, regardless of whether you are applying to a specific college or submitting an open application:
There are three CAT papers, each taking one hour. The test or tests you take will depend on which classical language you are currently studying and which course you have applied for. If you are not currently studying a classical language, you will be asked to sit the classical languages aptitude test. You may be asked to sit more than one CAT paper.
The CAT is scheduled to co-ordinate with the University of Oxford’s annual application process. For 2013, the closing date for entries is October 15th, with the test taking place at 9am on November 6th.
You will need to wait until you have submitted your application for Oxford before asking your school or college to enter you for the CAT test. This is because you will not know which papers to sit until your application has been processed. If you are not at school or college, you will need to ask an appointed test centre to enter you for the appropriate tests.
There is no fee for sitting the CAT at a school or college, but you may have to pay an administration fee if you sit the test at an independent test centre. This is to cover the cost of room hire, invigilation etc.
With such high quality competition for Classics places at Oxford, you are strongly advised to prepare for the CAT test by revising your chosen language thoroughly and working with the past and specimen papers that are available. Check out some examples of CAT papers.