The History Admissions Test (HAT)

History and its Joint Schools will be using the HAT for entrance in 2023, but the test will be run by a new provider. Details for candidates and test centres will be provided as soon as possible.

What is the History Admissions Test (HAT)?


The Colleges of Oxford University use a History Admissions Test (HAT) in the selection of candidates for all degree courses involving History.

This test, which aims to examine the skills and potential required for the study of History at university, gives us an objective basis for comparing candidates from different backgrounds, including mature applicants and those from different countries. It is designed to be challenging, in order to differentiate effectively between the most able applicants for university courses, including those who may have achieved or can be expected to achieve the highest possible grades in their examinations.

The History Admissions Test consists of one question based on an extract from a primary source, to be answered in one hour.

Candidates are asked to offer thoughtful interpretations of the source without knowing anything about its context. The HAT is a test of skills, not substantive historical knowledge. It is designed so that candidates should find it equally challenging, regardless of what period(s) they have studied or what school examinations they are taking.

HAT Overview and Skills Workshop


Past HAT Papers

As of 2018, the HAT changed from three questions to one. In all past papers before 2018, only question three will be shown. This is the equivalent of the post-2018 test.

Joint Schools

A number of our Joint Schools require you to register and take tests as well as the HAT, these are listed below: