What are the Modern Languages Tests?

If you are applying to Oxford for Modern Languages, Classics & Modern Languages, English & Modern Languages, European & Middle Eastern Languages (EMEL), History & Modern Languages, Modern Languages & Linguistics, Philosophy & Modern Languages, Psychology & Linguistics, and Philosophy & Linguistics, you will need to sit the MLAT. The MLAT consists of several parts for different language and linguistics courses. Candidates will need to take a maximum of two papers. Each paper lasts 30 minutes, except for the Philosophy paper which is 60 minutes if you are applying for Philosophy & Modern Languages.

Find mini-mock papers and more on the MLAT in our online resources

MLAT Mock Tests & Answer Packs

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We have two practice papers available for French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish to help you identify the areas of grammatical and vocabulary weakness that you struggle with and to improve upon them prior to the real test.

Our practice papers replicate the style, format and timing of the real examinations, giving you the chance to practise your approach to the tests as well as the skills required. Each paper has been written by one of our expert consultants who read that language at Oxford.


What Does The MLAT Involve?

The Modern Languages Admissions Tests (when applying for a language already experienced to A2 level or equivalent) are always designed to test knowledge of basic structures of the foreign language; they are not primarily a test of vocabulary.

The Language Aptitude Test (when applying for certain languages from scratch) is designed to assess your ability to analyse how languages work, in a way which doesn’t depend on your knowledge of any particular language, in order to gauge your aptitude for learning a new language rapidly.

The Linguistics Test (when applying for a joint course with Linguistics or a single language where the first-year course includes the compulsory study of Linguistics) is designed to assess how you approach various kinds of unfamiliar linguistic data and set about analysing them. While there are “right” and “wrong” answers, how you go about finding the solution is as important to Oxford as producing one which is completely correct. For questions carrying more marks, where more space is provided for your answer, try to make as many relevant points as you can think of.

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