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优易国际教育-谢涛老师

XIE TAO

Independent Teacher

TMUA Test: A Comprehensive Guide

Table of Contents
TMUA Exam - A Comprehensive Guide
Table of Contents

TMUA (Test of Mathematics for University Admission) is a test for applicants applying for mathematics, computer science and economics related courses at Cambridge, Imperial College, LSE, Warwick, Durham, and other UK universities.

I. Latest changes in TMUA test

1. About the UAT-UK

The organiser of the TMUA test will be changed to UAT-UK (University Admissions Tests – UK) in 2024, who is a not-for-profit organisation that owns and delivers two computer-based undergraduate admissions tests: the Engineering and Science Admissions Test (ESAT) and the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA).

UAT-UK, established in 2023 as a joint venture between Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge, aims to improve the experience of students applying for highly competitive undergraduate courses while helping universities fairly assess the skills of the highest achieving applicants.

2. Online computer-based test

The TMUA test once was an online computer-based test, but it changed back to a paper-based test last year and will change to an online computer-based test again in 2024.

3. About the Pearson VUE

UAT-UK tests are delivered by Pearson VUE through their global network of more than 5,500 locations in more than 180 countries. Pearson VUE is the certification and licensure arm of Pearson, one of the world’s leading learning companies, providing assessment services to many institutions in the academic and admissions space.

II. Key dates for 2024/25 cycle

August 1st, 2024

Registration for test sitting 1 begins

September 16th, 2024

Registration deadline for test sitting 1

October 16th and 17th, 2024

TMUA test sitting 1 takes place

October 24th, 2024

Registration for test sitting 2 begins
(Not applicable to Cambridge applicants)

December 9th, 2024

Registration deadline for test sitting 2

January 8th and 9th, 2025

TMUA test sitting 2 takes place

6 weeks after the test day

Results release*

*You will receive your results via your UAT-UK account – a reminder Email will be sent to let you know your results are available. You will also receive an explanation of results document so that you can learn more about how to interpret your scores.

III. Who has to sit the TMUA test?

1. Cambridge University

Courses require you to sit the TMUA test:

Courses

UCAS Code

Computer Science

G400

Economics

L100

2. Imperial College

Courses (Departments) require you to sit the TMUA test:

  • the Department of Computing, including joint Mathematics and Computer Science
  • BSc Economics, Finance and Data Science offered in Imperial College Business School

3. Other universities

As of May 11, 2024, other universities requiring TMUA test include:

  • LSE
  • University of Warwick
  • Durham University

In addition to the universities mentioned above, several universities have previously required students applying for related courses to take the TMUA test. Please refer to the official website of UAT-UK and relevant universities for more information.

IV. How to register the TMUA test?

You may refer to the official UAT-UK website to see detailed procedures for registration. You should follow the guidelines to creat a UAT-UK account with Pearson VUE, book a test delivered by a Pearson VUE test centre and remember to finish the payment.

V. Test format

The TMUA test consists of two parts:

  • Paper 1
  • Paper 2

Each part lasts 75 minutes and contains 20 multiple-choice questions. Each paper is separately timed. If a candidate finishes paper 1 early, the time will not be carried over to paper 2, so candidates should carefully manage their time accordingly.

Delivery method

Online computer-based exam

Duration

75 minutes each paper, 150 minutes in total

Question type

20 multiple choice questions in each paper, 40 questions in total

Formulae booklet

Not allowed

Calculator

Not allowed

VI. How is it scored?

Each correct answer will score 1 mark. No marks are deducted for incorrect answers.

Each part has 20 multiple-choice questions, with a raw score of 20 points, but the results for each part are reported on a scale that runs from 1 (low) to 9 (high).

Click on the image below to view the TMUA Test Score Conversions since the first test in 2016:

VII. Contents assessed in the TMUA test

1. Changes to the TMUA specification

The new specification of TMUA Paper 2 in 2024 is exactly the same as the previous year.

Meanwhile, the specification of Paper 1 in 2024 changed a lot, but it is exactly the same as the specification of ESAT Mathematics 1 and Mathematics 2. And our UEIE’s latest blog, “How to prepare for TMUA 2024,” will analyze the changes and impact of the specification in detail.

You may download the TMUA specification from the official link: TMUA Specification

2. What will be assessed in the TMUA test?

Paper 1: Applications of Mathematical Knowledge

Part 1 mainly covers AS mathematics:

  • Algebra and functions
  • Sequences and series
  • Coordinate geometry in the (x, y)-plane
  • Trigonometry
  • Exponentials and logarithms
  • Differentiation
  • Integration
  • Graphs of functions

Part 2 mainly covers GCSE mathematics:

  • Units
  • Number
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Statistics
  • Probability

Paper 2: Mathematical Reasoning

Besides the knowledge outlined in Paper 1, Paper 2 will also test the student’s abilities in argumentation logic, methods of proof, recognizing errors in proofs and more.

VIII. TMUA difficulty analysis

1. Are TMUA questions easy?

Yes, people always say that TMUA is easy. But how simple is it? Let’s see the statistics below:

TMUA Test A Comprehensive Guide-1

As shown in the statistics, the majority of the seven years and 280 real TMUA questions are easy and moderately difficult questions, and a certain proportion of extremely simple questions. Difficult questions accounted for about 30%, while extremely difficult questions accounted for about 10%. Moreover, extremely difficult questions have increased significantly in the tests in the past two years.

2. Is it easy to get a high score on TMUA test?

No! You will find it not easy if we go through the official TMUA score distribution statistics.

TMUA Test A Comprehensive Guide-2
2023 TMUA score distribution (Source: Official Score Report)

Only about 2% of candidates scored 8 or above, and about 15% scored 7 or above. It’s no wonder that LSE will immediately admit candidates with a TMUA of 8, while candidates with a score of 7.5 need to go through consideration carefully.

3. Why is it hard to get a high score in TMUA test?

Limited test time.

We must consider its limited time when discussing the difficulty of the TMUA test. TMUA requires a high level of computational proficiency and response capability from candidates.

Students applying for economics courses are not trained enough in mathematics.

Many students applying for economics and computer science courses do not pay enough attention to mathematics and have not participated or been trained in mathematics competitions. Therefore, the mathematical proficiency of this group of students is still far from the high score level of TMUA test.

Students cannot achieve a high score without getting the extremely difficult questions right.

In the early years, the TMUA test questions were relatively simple, students can get 8 or above by keeping wrong answers within 4-5 questions, while in 2023, students can also get 8 if they have 6 incorrect answers.

TMUA Test A Comprehensive Guide-3
TMUA Test Score Conversions

How many points can I score in TMUA test with an A* in Mathematics?

Most students applying for Cambridge, Imperial College or LSE have an A* in Mathematics or a high score in high school maths courses at the same level. In fact, this can be equivalent only to a TMUA score of 6, which is the score that most students applying for G5 universities can get without training.

IX. How to prepare for the test? Is there any recommended resources?

1. Preparation strategies for TMUA test

There are mainly two categories of the preparation strategies:

  • Systematic review + question practice
  • Question practice + targeted training

Since TMUA only has 8 past papers and 320 questions so far, it is not enough to only practice the past papers. It is recommended to prepare for TMUA test through systematic review and question practice. And the specific time to start to prepare depends on whether the student has experience in STEP preparation and mathematical competitions, and their educational curriculum.

This article does not elaborate further due to space limitations. For more detailed preparation strategies, please refer to our blog “How to prepare for TMUA.”

How to prepare for TMUA

2. TMUA preparation set

In addition to the TMUA past papers provided on the official website, UEIE has newly released the TMUA preparation set, which includes more than 1,100 practices, solving the problem of needing more questions to practice.

Teaching materials

Lecture videos

Question practice workbooks

Please visit our TMUA prep page for the latest TMUA test prep courses and resources.

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