Oxford PAT 2022: Eligibility, Admission Process, Exam Pattern, Syllabus! – Filo Blog
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Oxford PAT 2022: Eligibility, Admission Process, Exam Pattern, Syllabus!

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Are you exploring the options to pursue further studies in the United Kingdom? What better option than to study in the UK’s one of the oldest and prestigious universities, the University of Oxford. You can write tests, including PAT 2022 or Physics Aptitude Test, to get into it. This test can help you get admitted to various courses like Engineering, Material Sciences and more offered by the University.

Oxford PAT 2022
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What is PAT?

Physics Aptitude Test is a 2-hour-long subject-specific admissions test organised and set by academics at the University of Oxford for undergraduate admission. If you are looking to enrol yourself in courses like Engineering, Material Science, Physics and Physics and Philosophy, then you need to write this test as the University has made it part of the admission process.

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Why do you need to take PAT?

Every year, the University receives hundreds of applications with well written personal statements, references alongside high grades. The university says it is difficult for them to choose between all those candidates, who applied from across the world. To make the selection process easier and narrow down the competition, the test is conducted. These test scores will help the candidate get through the tough competition they have to go through to take a step closer to their dream of enrolling in a course at Oxford.

PAT 2022 Eligibility

As per the University, the test has been designed for candidates who have studied the first year of A-level or equivalent Maths and Physics and covers similar material to that of the General Certificate of Secondary Education or GCSE and A-level syllabus.

PAT 2022 Admission Process

The aptitude test is organised by the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing (CAAT). Eligible candidates have to complete their UCAS application and get in touch with the nearest authorised test centre for PAT 2022. There is a possibility that your school or college is an authorised test centre. If not, then you can apply through an open test centre.

Candidates must provide the following information to their test centre while applying for PAT 2022:

  • Your name, gender, date of birth and UCAS number used on your UCAS application
  • Name of the University, course and course code
  • Details of any access arrangements you require, along with the evidence to support your request. 

Candidates can start the registration process for PAT 2022 from September 1. You are advised to have your candidate entry number as proof of entry by 6 pm UK time on 15 October.

Test centres are required to send candidates’ requests for modified question papers by 30 September.

PAT 2022 Exam Pattern

  • A candidate will have to face a total of 24 questions with a maximum mark of 100 during this 2-hour long test. 
  • The test will have a single section of mixed questions (in no specific order). These questions will include topics from Physics and Mathematics.
  • There will be 2-mark multiple choice questions (MCQs) to 10-mark linked calculations to long answer type questions.
  • There will be no negative marking for incorrect answers.

PAT 2022 Exam Date

The tests are conducted a few weeks after the application deadline on October 15. The upcoming PAT 2022 will be held on 02 November 2022.

A candidate can take PAT 2022 for free as the organising authority does not charge anything for the exam. However, if you are taking the test as an external candidate or your test centre has few candidates, then there might be an admin fee which is decided by the test centre.

PAT 2022 Syllabus

PAT 2022 Syllabus for Mathematics

Elementary mathematics:

Knowledge of elementary mathematics, in particular topics in arithmetic, geometry including coordinate geometry, and probability, will be assumed. Questions may require the manipulation of mathematical expressions in a physical context.


  • Knowledge of the properties of polynomials, including the solution of quadratics either using a formula or by factorising.
  • Graph sketching including the use of differentiation to find stationary points.
  • Transformations of variables.
  • Solutions to inequalities.
  • Elementary trigonometry including relationships between sine, cosine and tangent (sum and difference formulae will be stated if required).
  • Properties of logarithms and exponentials and how to combine logarithms, e.g. log(a) + log(b) = log(ab)
  • Knowledge of the formulae for the sum of arithmetic and geometric progressions to n (or infinite) terms.
  • Use of the binomial expansion for expressions such as (a+bx)n, using only positive integer values of n.


  • Differentiation and integration of polynomials including fractional and negative powers.
  • Differentiation to find the slope of a curve, and the location of maxima and minima.
  • Integration is the reverse of differentiation and as finding the area under a curve.
  • Simplifying integrals by symmetry arguments including use of the properties of even and odd functions (where an even function has f(x)= f(-x), an odd function has f(-x)= – f(x)).

PAT 2022 Syllabus for Physics


  • Distance, velocity, speed, acceleration, and the relationships between them, e.g. velocity as the rate of change of distance with time, acceleration as rate of change of velocity with time. Understand the difference between vector quantities (e.g. velocity) and scalar quantities (e.g. speed). Knowledge and use of equations such as speed = distance / time, acceleration = change in velocity / time or the SUVAT equations.
  • Interpretation of graphs, e.g. force-distance, distance-time, velocity-time graphs and what the gradient of a curve or area underneath a curve represents.
  • Response of a system to multiple forces; Newton’s laws of motion; know the difference between weight (= mg) and mass; vector addition of forces.
  • Circular motion including equations for centripetal force (F=mω2r or F=mv2/r) and acceleration (a=v2/r or a=ω2r).
  • The meaning of the terms friction, air resistance and terminal velocity and how they can be calculated.
  • Levers (including taking moments about a point on an object), pulleys (including calculating the tension in a rope or the overall motion in a system of ropes and pulleys) and other simple machines combining levers, springs and pulleys.
  • Springs, including knowledge of Hooke’s law (Force = – kx) and stored potential energy ( = 1/2 kx2 ).
  • Kinetic energy (= 1/2 mv2) and gravitational potential energy (= mgh in a constant gravitational field) and their inter-conversion; what other forms of energy exist (e.g. thermal, sound).
  • Conservation of energy and momentum (=mass x velocity); power ( = energy transfer/time) and work ( = force x distance moved in direction of force).

Waves and Optics:

  • An understanding of the terms longitudinal and transverse waves; and that waves transfer energy without net movement of matter.
  • Be able to define the amplitude, frequency, period, wavelength and speed of a wave. Knowledge and use of formulae for the wave speed = wavelength x frequency and frequency = 1 / period (with units of hertz, Hz).
  • Basic properties of the electromagnetic spectrum, e.g. identify and correctly order parts of the spectrum by wavelength or frequency (radio waves, microwaves, IR, visible light, UV, X rays and gamma rays) and the nature and properties of electromagnetic waves (transverse, travel at the speed of light in a vacuum).
  • Description of reflection at plane mirrors, where the angle of incidence (the angle between the incident ray and the normal) = angle of reflection (angle between the reflected ray and the normal).
  • Refraction, including the definition of refractive index (n) as the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in a material and Snell’s law n1sinθ1=n2sinθ2. Elementary properties of prisms and optical fibres include total internal reflection, where total internal reflection occurs at an angle θc when sinθc=n2/n1
  • Qualitative understanding of how interference, diffraction and standing waves can occur.

Electricity and magnetism:

  • Understanding of the terms current ( = charge / time), voltage (potential difference = energy / charge), charge, resistance ( = voltage / current) and links to energy and power (power = voltage x current, power = energy / time). Knowledge of transformers, including how the number of turns on the primary and secondary coils affect the voltage and current.
  • Understanding circuit diagrams including batteries, wires, resistors, filament lamps, diodes, capacitors, light dependent resistors and thermistors. Knowledge of current, voltage and resistance rules for series and parallel circuits.
  • Knowledge of the force between two point charges (Force= kQ1Q2/r2 (where k is a constant)) and on a point charge in a constant electric field (Force = charge x electric field).
  • Understanding that current is a flow of electrons; the photoelectric effect, where photoelectrons are emitted if they are given sufficient energy to overcome the work function of the material, and how to find the energy of accelerated electron beams ( energy = charge x potential difference).

Natural world:

  • Atomic structure; that atoms consist of protons, neutrons and electrons, definition of the atomic number, Bohr model of the atom.
  • Basic knowledge of bodies in our Solar System, including planets, moons, comets and asteroids. (Name and relative positions of the planets should be known, but detailed knowledge of their physical parameters is not required).
  • Know what is meant by the phrases ‘phases of the moon’ and ‘eclipses’ and how the position of the observer on the Earth affects their view of these events.
  • Knowledge of circular orbits under gravity including orbital speed, radius, period, centripetal acceleration, and gravitational centripetal force. This may include equating the force between two masses due to gravity (F=GM1M2/r2) to the centripetal force of a smaller body orbiting a larger body (F=mω2r or F=mv2/r) and use of centripetal acceleration (a=v2/r or a=ω2r).
  • Understanding of the terms satellites; geostationary and polar orbits.


  • Problems may be set which require problem solving based on information provided rather than knowledge about a topic.
  • If there are parts of the syllabus which you think won’t be covered at school by the time of the PAT, we expect you to work on them by yourself. Your teachers might be able to advise you.

Calculators and tables:

Non-graphical calculators may be used, but no tables or lists of formulae are allowed. Candidates may be expected to perform standard arithmetical operations by hand, including simple powers and roots and the manipulation of fractions. Numeric answers should be calculated to 2 significant figures unless indicated otherwise.

PAT 2022 Result

The PAT results are not declared, as candidates do not need to send their PAT 2022 to the college as the results will be shared with admission tutors directly which will help them in shortlisting the candidates.

There is no qualifying score, but it is advised to be in the top 1/3rd of the applicants to clear the test and get into the interview round. You can aim to score 65+ marks in PAT 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will calculator be allowed in PAT 2022?

Yes, a specified calculator can be used during the exam.

How is the PAT 2022 question paper divided for Physics and Mathematics queries?

PAT 2022 question paper will not comprise an equal number of questions for Physics and Mathematics. There will be 24 questions from various topics of both subjects.

What is the passing mark for PAT 2022?

There is no passing mark for the test. However, a threshold limit is set below after the test for candidates to be eligible for the interview.

Are there any textbooks that are recommended for PAT 2022?

Books focusing on GCSE and A-level would be appropriate. While the University suggests attempting past Physics Olympiad papers to prepare for the exam.

Wrapping Up!

​​PAT might seem to be a difficult test to crack, and of course, it will be as you are thinking of enrolling yourself in Oxford. But it isn’t impossible to get into the University. We have tried to share important information about PAT 2022. Now, all you need to do is follow the syllabus, prepare well and write the test with a calm mind. All the best!

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