The history aptitude test (HAT)

Article _history -aptitude -test -(HAT)

Thinking about studying history at University?

When you are applying to uni, it’s not just your student statement, application choices and potential grades that some universities rely on when considering you. Some ask for specific admissions tests as an additional requirement.

What is the history aptitude test (HAT) used for?

The history aptitude test is used by the University of Oxford to separate equally qualified candidates who have applied for their undergraduate degree courses in History and related combined degrees.

Scores on the HAT will be used, in combination with achieved grades, predicted grades and personal statements, to decide which college students to invite for interview.

What courses require the history admissions test?

The HAT is required as part of the admissions process for the following courses at the University of Oxford:

  • History
  • History (Ancient and Modern)
  • History and Economics
  • History and English
  • History and Modern Languages
  • History and Politics

What is the format of the history admissions test?

The HAT is a two hour written test in two parts. Each part requires you to read the given extract and answer a series of questions relating to it.

  • The first extract will be a piece from a work of history, and you will be asked to analyse the ideas within it, apply these ideas in the historical context of the piece and comment on the extract objectively as an example of historical writing.
  • The second extract is presented as a primary source piece, without context, and you will be asked a series of questions to test your interpretation skills.

The HAT is not a history test as such, in that it will not test your knowledge of any particular period in history. It should be equally challenging for all students, regardless of the history syllabus that they have previously studied in school.

How and when do you take the history admissions test?

The HAT takes place alongside the other Oxford Admissions Tests on November 6th 2013. Entries for the test open on 1st September and close on 15th October. You will be asked to sit the HAT by your chosen college, or by the University of Oxford if you have made an open application. When asked, you should get your school or college to apply for you. If you are not studying at a college or at school you can take the HAT at an open centre. Staff at the centre will process your application for you and arrange your test.

What does the history admissions test cost?

It costs nothing to sit the HAT at your own school or college, but you may have to pay if you choose an open centre. This is a small charge to cover their admin costs.

How to prepare for the history admissions test

The website for the University of Oxford Faculty of History has a great deal of information to help you prepare for the HAT, including a detailed breakdown of the kind of questions you will be asked.

You can also download past papers from the site to practice. You are strongly advised to prepare thoroughly for the HAT as competition is intense for history places at Oxford.