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Mathematics Tests

We receive many more applications than we have places for our maths degrees at Durham, and to help us select the candidates most likely to succeed on our course you’re strongly encouraged to sit one of the tests below. Achievement of a high enough score may also entitle you to a reduced offer.

Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA) 

TMUA is designed to give you the opportunity to demonstrate you have the essential mathematical thinking and reasoning skills needed for a demanding undergraduate Mathematics or Mathematics-related course.

TMUA is 2 hours 30 minutes long. It has two papers which are taken consecutively.

Paper 1: Applications of Mathematical Knowledge 

  • Focuses on assessing your ability to apply your knowledge of mathematics in new situations.
  • 20 multiple-choice questions
  • 75 minutes 

Paper 2: Mathematical Reasoning 

  • Focuses on assessing your ability to deal with mathematical reasoning, and simple ideas from elementary logic. 
  • 20 multiple-choice questions 
  • 75 minutes

Test of Mathematics for University Admission

If you achieve a score of 6.5 or above in TMUA you are automatically eligible to be considered for an offer one grade below our standard offer (A*AA instead of A*A*A – including Maths and Further Maths).

If your score is below 6.5 down to a certain threshold (which we determine each year but can be 4.5) then we still view this as positive evidence of your mathematical ability and you still have a good chance of receiving our standard offer. 

You will need to give your permission for your TMUA results to be released to us once the results are published in November. 

University of Oxford Maths Admissions Test (MAT)  

MAT is a paper-based test lasting 2 hours and 30 minutes set by the University of Oxford.  It aims to test the depth of your mathematical understanding.  If you are taking MAT then we will consider the score you achieve in this test in place of the TMUA. 

If you sit MAT instead of TMUA then we will contact you to ask for your MAT number.  We need this number to access your results and without it cannot make a decision on your application.

Find out more information about MAT, including costs and how to register

A score in MAT of 60% or higher would normally make you eligible to be considered for a reduced offer.

Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP) 

STEP Mathematics is a well-established mathematics examination designed to test you on questions that are similar in style to undergraduate mathematics. 

We make alternative offers based on STEP so if you are sitting STEP then you should mention this on your UCAS application form, either listing it in the qualifications section, mentioning it in your personal statement or asking your referee to bring it up in your reference.   

Achieving a grade 2 in any STEP paper will also make you eligible to be considered for a reduced offer.

Other ways to evidence your ability 

We also consider favourably evidence of mathematical ability such as the Advanced Extension Award, Mathematics Challenges and Olympiades.