Philosophy Test

This admissions test is taken for some Oxford courses.
Last updated: 5 months, 3 weeks ago


All students applying for Philosophy and Theology at Oxford are required to sit the Philosophy Test. It also forms part of the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT).

How to Prepare

Here are some general resources related to the Philosophy Test. Use this page as a hub to branch off and use other resources!


What is the Philosophy Test? 🔗 🌟 Gives information about what it is designed to test, the different elements of the test, and what the tutors are looking for

How do I prepare? 🔗 Links to past papers along with advice written by an Oxford tutor that “outlines the different types of questions you will come across in the test and discusses ways to approach them”.

How do I register? 🔗 Important dates and logistics.

Philosophy test leaflet 🔗 🌟 All the key information on a handy document.

FAQs 🔗 Any further questions should be answered here!

Tips and Tricks

Here are some more ideas that might be useful. But remember that they’re just personal opinions, so don’t take them too seriously :)

- As a challenge, try taking a past paper in less than the normal amount of time. You might (or might not) find this ‘altitude training’ useful.
- On the other end of the spectrum, you could try spending as long as you like on a paper, working at it until you’re confident in all of your answers. That way, you could separate errors where there might be conceptual gaps from errors that were made because of time pressure.
- Try answering the questions in a different order. Some people find it helpful to answer questions by category, or even taking the whole paper backwards! (But it is probably a good idea to try this on a past paper before trying anything radical in the actual exam.)
- If you find yourself struggling to understand why certain questions have the answers they have, try talking to friends or teachers about them.
- To do well in any exam, you need discipline and focus. These things are made much easier when you look after yourself: try to get good sleep, consistently; eat healthy food; and talk to people if you’re finding yourself with runaway stress. You will have probably heard these things emphasised before, but that’s because they really are important!

Good luck!