2024 Admissions test updates that you should know about

When it comes to admissions test changes, this year is going to be eventful, to say the least. All across the board, transformations have been implemented or are incoming, and other modifications hang in the balance. 

If you are applying for university admission in 2025, you are likely to be affected by these updates and you should acquire an understanding of what to expect. Gain clarity so that you can be prepared and achieve your highest possible scores! After all, admissions tests should be taken as seriously as A levels or IB because they can determine whether you get your offer!

This article breaks down everything you need to know about admissions test changes for 2024-2025. 

If you’re overwhelmed by all the modifications and would like to be guided through the university admissions process, then reach out to our incredible undergraduate admissions or postgraduate admissions team who have a 95% success rate in getting students into their first and second-choice universities! We also have expert admissions test tutors if you’d simply like to hunker down and get your best score possible. 

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The end of CAAT

Since September 2023, Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing, and its website, have closed. The CAAT has ceased all of its tests. 

The Cambridge Personal Styles Questionnaire (CPSQ) will be owned and administered by Cambridge CEM. Please visit the Cambridge CEM website for more information.

As for CAAT’s admissions tests, some are being entirely discontinued and others are being adopted by new platforms. Let’s run through each of CAAT’s tests! 

Want bespoke support with your university application and/or admissions test? Reach out to our dedicated experts.

What tests does CAAT administer and what is happening to them?

Before changes were implemented in September 2023, CAAT administered the STEP, TSA, TMUA, NSAA, ENGAA and BMAT.

It also ran a bunch of tests used by the University of Oxford, such as the CAT, ELAT, HAT, MAT, MLAT, OLAT, PAT and the Philosophy Test.

So, what is happening to all of these tests? Let’s whiz through them. 

The STEP in 2024

The STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper) is a test designed to test applicants’ Mathematical skills at university level.

The STEP will still run as usual, however, it is being adopted by OCR. It is currently used by:

  • Cambridge.
  • Warwick.
  • Imperial College London.

Other universities sometimes also ask candidates to take the STEP.

The STEP paper was updated last year, so there may be changes to it again this year. Currently, the specification is being prepared for summer, 2024. You can follow updates via OCR’s website.

For information about the STEP, as well as tips on how to revise and smash the test, read our article on how to prepare for the STEP. Also, don’t forget about the tailored support our expert STEP tutors can offer you!

The TSA in 2024

The TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment) is designed to test applicants’ problem-solving, numerical reasoning, and critical thinking skills, which are integral to university-level study.

The TSA is currently used by UCL and Oxford.

As the CAAT will no longer run the TSA, it will either be discontinued or adopted by a new platform. For 2025 admission, new arrangements for the TSA will be announced by the start of the new admissions cycle in Spring. So, keep your eyes peeled.

For information about the TSA, as well as tips on how to revise and smash the test, read our article on how to prepare for the TSA. Also, don’t forget about the tailored support our expert TSA tutors can offer you!

The TMUA in 2024

The TMUA (Test of Mathematics for University Admission) is a Maths-based admissions test used to help universities assess your ability to understand A level Maths.

The TMUA will run as usual, however, it is being adopted by Pearson VUE. Keep your eyes peeled for any updates to the test format that could be announced.

Currently, the following universities use the TMUA:

  • The University of Cambridge.
  • Imperial College London.
  • The University of Bath.
  • Durham University.
  • London School of Economics (LSE).
  • The University of Sheffield.
  • Lancaster University.
  • The University of Warwick.
  • The University of Southampton.

For information about the TMUA, as well as tips on how to revise and smash the test, read our article on how to prepare for the TMUA. Also, don’t forget about the tailored support our expert TMUA tutors can offer you!

The NSAA and IPAT in 2024

NSAA (Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment) and IPAT (Imperial Physics Admissions Test) have been discontinued.

The NSAA was previously used by Cambridge for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Natural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine.

The IPAT was previously used by Imperial for the BSc Physics.

The NSAA and IPAT have been replaced with the ESAT (Engineering and Science Admissions Test). Read on for further information on the ESAT. 

The ESAT is designed to assess your knowledge and skills accurately. Focus on showcasing your understanding and proficiency in the subject matter. 

You can best do this by preparing diligently with our experts. We can help you to meet your potential and feel confident in the face of a brand new admissions test. Don’t live in the unknown.

The ENGAA, IMAT and ​​IC Aero/EEE MAT in 2024

The ENGAA (Engineering Admissions Assessment), IMAT (Imperial Mechanical Engineering Admissions Test) and IC Aero/EEE  (Imperial College Aeronautics/Electronic Electrical Engineering) have been discontinued.

The ENGAA was previously used by Cambridge for Engineering.

The IMAT was previously used by Imperial for Mechanical Engineering, whilst Imperial used the IC Aero/EEE for Aeronautics and Electronic Engineering.

All three of these tests have been replaced with the ESAT (Engineering and Science Admissions Test). Read on for further information on the ESAT. 

The Profs’ STEM, admissions test, and application tutors have many years of experience preparing students for Science, Engineering and Maths admissions tests at Cambridge and/or Imperial. Over these years, they have built a bank of knowledge reading what examiners will be looking for. So, reach out to maximise your chances.

The BMAT in 2024

The BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) has been discontinued as of 2024.

The purpose of the BMAT was to assess students’ suitability for medical degree courses, including Medicine, BioMedical Sciences, and Dentistry. It was previously used by: 

  • Oxford.
  • Cambridge.
  • Imperial College London.
  • University College London (UCL).
  • Lancaster.
  • Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
  • Leeds University. 

These universities no longer require the BMAT. It has now been confirmed that no UK medical school will be using an alternative admissions test, hence the standard UCAT will be required by all universities. 

This article delves further into the UCAT further down, so stay tuned. We also have excellent UCAT tutors on hand to help you, as well as an article on how to prepare for the UCAT.

Oxford’s admissions tests in 2024

The CAT (Classics Admissions Test), ELAT (English Literature Admissions Test), HAT (History Aptitude Test), MAT (Mathematics Admissions Test), MLAT (Modern Languages Admissions Test), PAT (Physics Aptitude Test) and the Philosophy Test are admissions tests used by Oxford. 

These tests were administered by CAAT until 2023 when they were adopted by TCS (Tata Consultancy Services).

However, Oxford has released an important notice that, following technical errors across a number of their admissions tests in 2023, they will be ending their relationship with TCS.

The ELAT has been removed.

For the rest of the tests, no changes have been announced yet. However, Oxford is working on alternative options for 2024 and beyond. Hence, the tests will either be discontinued or adopted by a new platform. For 2025 admission, new arrangements for Oxford’s admissions tests will be announced by the start of the new admissions cycle in Spring. So, keep an eye on Oxford’s admissions test pages.

If you’re dreaming about securing a place at Oxford, our expert Oxbridge admissions team can help. We have a 55% success rate when it comes to getting our students offers from Oxbridge; that’s 3x the national average! We also have experienced admissions test tutors who can guide you through the process.

The OLAT in 2024

If OLAT (Oriental Languages Aptitude Test) was cancelled in 2023. Initially, the OLAT The OLAT was required by Oxford University for courses that included the study of Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, Arabic or Jewish Studies.

The OLAT has not been replaced with a new admissions test. So, if your chosen course used to ask for the OLAT, you will now be relieved of the test. However, you will most likely have to submit written work and/or complete the MLAT (Modern Languages Admissions Test). However, as already mentioned, the MLAT might be changing as neither CAAT nor TCS will be administering it any longer (to be announced this Spring).

The MLAT holds a lot of similarities with the OLAT. You can access our article on how to prepare for the MLAT here; we also have expert MLAT tutors who can help you put your best foot forward!

New tests to watch out for in 2024

The new ESAT test

As mentioned, the ESAT (Engineering and Science Admissions Test) has replaced the IMAT, IPAT, IC Aero/EEE, NSAA and ENGAA. 

The ESAT will be used by Cambridge for degree programmes in Engineering, Natural Sciences, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, and Veterinary Medicine. 

It will also be used by Imperial for Physics and most Engineering degrees. 

Unsure about what to expect? We’ve got you covered. You can check out our article on what the ESAT is and how to prepare for it here

Serious about getting into Cambridge or Imperial? You can’t afford to attain a subpar score. Reach out to our expert admissions test tutors. We have ensured that we have a team of qualified and experienced tutors who can navigate you through the ESAT to achieve the best results possible.

You can also access bespoke application support for getting into Cambridge and Imperial.

The GMAT Focus Edition

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) has been discontinued. 

Since February 2024, the GMAT Focus Edition has been the only version of the GMAT available for candidates, replacing the previous versions of the exam. 

The exam is designed to evaluate the analytical, quantitative, verbal, and reasoning skills of individuals seeking admission to graduate business programmes hence it is only relevant for postgraduate admissions. One of the most popular courses to require the GMAT is the MBA programme. 

Loads of universities ask for the GMAT Focus. These include Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, LSE, LBS, Harvard, Berkeley, MIT and NYU.

For further information on what to expect from the GMAT Focus, as well as how to prepare for it, check out our article on the subject.

We also have expert GMAT Focus tutors who can guide you to success! 

The UCAT in 2024

The UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) is an admissions test used by many UK universities to assess students’ suitability for medical degree courses, including Medicine and Dentistry.

The UCAT is not a new test, however, it is new to a lot of universities that originally used the BMAT, including Cambridge, UCL, Imperial College London, and Leeds. 

It has now been confirmed that no UK medical school will be using an alternative admissions test, hence the standard UCAT will be required by all universities. So, even if your chosen university is yet to announce what it’s replacing the BMAT with, it’s safe to assume it will be the UCAT. However, there is a small number of universities that require no admissions test so it’s always worth checking.

Plenty of universities ask for the UCAT. These include Cambridge, UCL, Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh, the University of St Andrews and the University of Warwick. You can view the full up-to-date list here.

You can access further information on the UCAT along with advice on how to prepare for it here. You can also reach out to our experienced and dedicated UCAT tutors who know how to maximise your scores.

Changes to the SAT

The SAT and the ACT are a form of standardised testing. 

The SAT is used as a school admissions test by many colleges and universities in the US to make admissions decisions. The SAT is a multiple-choice test which includes two main sections: Reading and Writing, and Maths.

You should note that the SAT has become fully digital (since 2023 for international students and since 2024 for US students). SAT plans to introduce a set of tools through the digital version of the testing app, including a timer, a reference sheet, and a flagging tool to mark the pending questions for review. Also, the digital version is two hours instead of three.

The SAT adapts its format each year, so you should always search for the most up-to-date information available!

If you’d like more information about the SAT and how to prepare, check out our previous article! We also have expert SAT tutors who can help you attain top scores. Plus if you’re interested in going to a university in the United States, we have an incredible US university team with plenty of experience getting students into top American universities, like Harvard and Princeton etc.

UCAS updates

UCAS is the online application form that you must fill out to apply to 5 UK universities, including Oxbridge and Russell Group universities.

The process for applying through UCAS in 2024 is the same as in previous years, the only differences are some of the dates, application questions, references and fees. 

The changes to the UCAS application form for 2024 are minor, however, they are not to be discounted.

Read our previous article about all the changes to UCAS (2024). Also, if you want to work with some of the best university admissions coaches in the UK, just reach out

Please note that all UK admissions tests, as well as the UCAS application, are conducted in the English language. So, ensure that this element does not let you down. The Profs have expert English language tutors who can assist you in getting up to scratch. 

Please also note that all test dates and application deadlines should be checked directly with your test centre as these are subject to change and can vary depending on the individual’s circumstances!

The end of the personal statement is incoming

As you might have heard, UCAS is planning to discontinue personal statements. However, this will not affect students applying to university in 2024 for 2025 entry. UCAS released the following official statement: ‘Informed by feedback from stakeholders across the education sector, we plan to introduce these changes in 2025 for 2026 entry.’

From January 2025 onwards (October 2024, for Oxbridge applicants), there will be changes to the UCAS application process and students will no longer be required to write a personal statement. Instead, all applicants will answer a series of shorter, more tailored questions provided by UCAS.

Whilst it might not affect students applying to university in 2024, it’s an important incoming change to be aware of as you might need to apply to your desired university again to get your offer, delay your application for an unexpected reason, or retake certain exams.  Alternatively, if you were toying with the idea of a gap year, this is an important factor to consider.

Would you like support with your university application, writing your personal statement and/or preparing for the new UCAS questions? Chat with our admissions experts whose number one talent is securing students with offers to their dream universities! We know tried and tested paths to success. You can even book an application review with us where we can let you know your chances and walk you through your most viable options for being admitted to your top choice.

Get guidance from an admissions test expert

Hopefully, this article helped to clarify what to expect from admissions tests and university applications in 2024-2025. 

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all the changes, worried about attaining good scores or stressed about getting offers from your top choices, just give us a shout. Why should you go through this alone or be disappointed by your results? Your future is of utmost importance!

Invest in tomorrow by seeking our award-winning, expert guidance and support! Our team of experienced admissions test tutors and university admissions coaches are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. 

That’s why over 95% of our students get into their first and second-choice universities!

Contact us today to access support that is tailored to your needs and dreams.