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HAT test

I'm thinking of applying to Oxford uni for history and politics and of course that means sitting the HAT test..
Just wondering if anyone who has sat the test before etc could give me some advice? (e.g revision tips for it, how to get good marks) - Anything really! :smile:
Original post by Courtney2905
I'm thinking of applying to Oxford uni for history and politics and of course that means sitting the HAT test..
Just wondering if anyone who has sat the test before etc could give me some advice? (e.g revision tips for it, how to get good marks) - Anything really! :smile:


Hey, best pal :wink:!

The HAT is an aptitude test and basically, you just cannot really prepare. Check out some past papers to get a feel for the content of the HAT. But generally, you can't really prepare - it sort of tests natural ability.

Jay :heart:
(edited 8 years ago)
Original post by ivybridge
Hey, best pal :wink:!

The HAT is an aptitude test and basically, you just cannot really prepare. Check out some past papers to get a feel for the content of the HAT. But generally, you can't really prepare - it sort of tests natural ability.

Jay :heart:


I know what you're saying, but I think that's really bad advice. Nobody was born to ace an HAT test. But it does test fundamental skills that are generally beyond anything required at school.

But you can get a feel for what those are by looking through the past papers and marking schemes. It sounds like you're saying there is no way to prepare and improve the skills needed to pass the test, and my point is that isn't true. Arguably that isn't true for anything.
Original post by MouseyBrown
I know what you're saying, but I think that's really bad advice. Nobody was born to ace an HAT test. But it does test fundamental skills that are generally beyond anything required at school.

But you can get a feel for what those are by looking through the past papers and marking schemes. It sounds like you're saying there is no way to prepare and improve the skills needed to pass the test, and my point is that isn't true. Arguably that isn't true for anything.


I'm just telling her what Oxford told me lol...
You can prepare for the HAT, its like any test - revise, practice and you will increase your chances of performing better.
I know some Oxford individuals state this isn't the case but I could not disagree more but its not very good advice generally.

* ATS have years worth of practice papers on their website and actively encourage revision.
* It is incredibly misguided in general to state that anything in academia is unable to be prepared for.
Original post by Courtney2905
I'm thinking of applying to Oxford uni for history and politics and of course that means sitting the HAT test..
Just wondering if anyone who has sat the test before etc could give me some advice? (e.g revision tips for it, how to get good marks) - Anything really! :smile:


Hey there! I'm going into my second year of History at Oxford and have some advice about the HAT. In my opinion you can totally prepare for the HAT. Like any exam there's a pattern to the types of questions asked so if you do enough of the past papers you'll quickly get a hang of what's required.

Try reading some history articles online and sum up their argument in a line or two. This is essentially what the first section of the HAT aims to test.

Revise an AS module before the day of the HAT. Having enough facts and concepts is essential if you wish to successfully answer the second section of the HAT (the essay). Flexibility and accuracy are prized above all else within this section. In fact, this exactly what you'll be doing in your first year.

Source analysis. Doing past papers is perhaps the best way of preparing for this section. If you can be accurate and imaginative about what you're writing then you'll do just fine. Applicants tend to perform weakest on this section so it's well worth practicing.
Original post by ivybridge
Hey, best pal :wink:!

The HAT is an aptitude test and basically, you just cannot really prepare. Check out some past papers to get a feel for the content of the HAT. But generally, you can't really prepare - it sort of tests natural ability.

Jay :heart:


In essence the HAT tests natural flexibility and historical imagination which is difficult to teach (and thus they say you can't really prepare for it). However, it's an exam like any other and enough practice will set you in good stead.
Worth mentioning as well I spoke at length with a tutor about this. She talked about how they are just looking for something more sophisticated than the obvious answer to the question.

For example, on one of the past papers a question was something like 'talk about winners and losers in history'.

Too many people simply wrote about the axis and allies and the 2nd world war. The best answers discussed the definitions of winners and losers, how Germany may even have been a winner ultimately etc.

Basically something more nuanced than AS level (and A2?).
Chat GPT, when I entered the source and give it criteria, came back with the following mark scheme:


The source is a testament from Morann son of Moen to Feradach Find Fechtnach, providing historical insights into early Irish society and its governance.
It mentions the lineage of Feradach, connecting him to the Picts, which hints at the complex interplay of different ethnic groups in ancient Ireland.
The source alludes to a time when the nobility of Ireland was under threat, offering a glimpse into the political turmoil and power dynamics of the era.
The testament offers comprehensive advice and guidance to Feradach on how to rule effectively.
It emphasizes the importance of truth, justice, and fairness in leadership.
The source understands the significance of legal precedents and the role of a ruler in upholding the law and ensuring order in society.
It recognizes the importance of maintaining peace and prosperity within the realm, along with securing borders and ensuring economic well-being.
The source acknowledges the role of a ruler in protecting the rights and privileges of the people, from grazing lands to the freedom to enjoy gatherings.
The content of the testament is rich in wisdom and guidance for a ruler. It delves into various aspects of governance and leadership.
The advice is practical and rooted in the realities of the time, from horse racing to the privilege of the ale-house.
The source presents a clear analysis of how a ruler's actions can impact various aspects of society, from the economy to social harmony.
It highlights the delicate balance between a ruler's obligations to the people and the aristocracy, emphasizing that a ruler must not let riches blind them to the suffering of the weak.
The source underscores the significance of evaluating every element in society based on its merits, be it the earth's productivity, the value of metals, or the worth of different individuals within the community.
It places great importance on upholding honor and respect in society, including elders, parents, craftsmen, and clients.
The source suggests that Feradach should be vigilant in enforcing bonds and protecting the people, showing an understanding of the potential challenges a ruler may face.

Observes that Morann's testament provides valuable insights into the principles of governance and leadership in early Irish society. Notes that it emphasizes the importance of truth, justice, and fairness in ruling and the need for rulers to be vigilant in protecting their people's rights and privileges. The document also recognizes the complex interplay of various elements in society, from economic factors to social dynamics, and the ruler's role in maintaining harmony and order. It reflects the historical context of the time, where nobility was under threat, and the need for strong, just leadership was paramount.

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