We upload past test papers and reports on test outcomes as they become available to help prospective students prepare for the PAT. Note that the PAT has evolved over time and that past papers dated before May 2006 are based on an earlier syllabus and are not relevant to the current test. While the more recent papers will more closely resemble what you are likely to see in terms of format, looking at all past papers will still provide a good steer as to the likely content of future papers.

Changes to the PAT

  • The 2021 test will take the same format as the past papers from 2018, 2019 and 2020 however the older papers will still be of use when preparing
  • Calculators have been permitted since 2018
  • In 2017, the physics and maths sections were mixed up with one another rather than being two distinct sections
  • Multiple choice questions were eliminated in 2015 and then reintroduced in 2017
  • From 2015 onwards, long physics problems worth 20 marks were eliminated in favour of shorter questions worth <10 marks

Sample solutions

We do not generally provide solutions to the past papers; when marking the PAT, all suitable methods for solving the questions are allowed and we would not want you to feel only one specific way of solving the problem will gain you marks. We have however published sample solutions to the 2009 and 2010 papers and our Access Officer, Dr Kathryn Boast, has created unofficial sample solutions for the 2019 paper; these can all be found below.

To get the greatest benefit from the past papers, don’t look at the solutions too soon and note that the solution presented is by no means the only or the best way to solve the problem – it is just one possible route.