Maths test for Engineering courses

If you are applying to one the courses listed below but you are not studying A-level Mathematics or equivalent, we may ask you to take a maths test.

This information is for students applying to start university in September 2021. (Information for students applying for 2022 entry will be available in autumn 2021.)

Relevant courses

The information on this page applies to the following engineering courses: 

  • Aerospace Engineering: BEng (H405), MEng (H410), MEng with Study Abroad in a Modern Language (H401)
  • Civil Engineering: BEng (H205), MEng (H200), MEng with Study Abroad in a Modern Language (H201)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering: BEng (H600), MEng (H606), MEng with Study Abroad in a Modern Language (H605)
  • Engineering Design: MEng with Study in Industry (H150)
  • Engineering Mathematics: BEng (G162), MEng (G161), MEng with Study Abroad (G160)
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineering: BEng (H361), MEng (H360)
  • Mechanical Engineering: BEng (H305), MEng (H300), MEng with Study Abroad in a Modern Language (H301).

Why we test

Engineering courses at the University of Bristol are challenging and students without A-level Mathematics or equivalent have struggled in the past. To ensure that applicants are prepared to succeed we:

  1. set an entry exam that assesses applicants’ ability to handle the mathematical challenges in the first year of the course; 
  2. offer support throughout the first year to address any issues. 

The maths test forms part of your pre-offer assessment and we will not be able to offer you a place if you do not take the test.

Booking your maths test

If we require you to take the maths test, our Admissions Team will contact you. We will send you an email explaining how to register online for your test.  

Taking your test

Your test will take place online and you can take it within a 48-hour period. After you have registered for the test, you will be sent your test link three days before the test is due to take place.

The test will only be available during a 48-hour period. During this time, you will need to set aside 90 minutes to take the test.  

Preparing for the engineering maths test 

The maths test will last approximately 90 minutes. It will cover questions based on UK AS and A2 (A-level) topics that are fundamental to the first year of our Engineering courses.

The test is held in exam conditions online. You will be provided with a formulae sheet and you can use a calculator, but you cannot use notes. 

Our Engineering maths test applicant information (PDF, 175kB) contains a list of learning resources to help you revise for the exam. We also publish an Engineering maths test specimen paper (PDF, 120kB) which is similar to what you can expect in the exam.

You will be given a formulae sheet in the exam which is similar to the formulae booklet given in the AQA exam. Familiarise yourself with this sheet, but note that it contains more information than required.

You can find specifications and past papers for UK A-level examinations on exam board websites, including AQAEdexcel and OCR.

We will provide a link to a mock test in January 2021.

We recommend that you read the applicant information well in advance of your test and prepare by taking the specimen paper in exam conditions.

Your test results

The department will pass your results to the Admissions Team, who are responsible for making decisions on offers. You will be informed of the decision on your application as soon as possible via UCAS.

Accessibility advice

If you are usually entitled to extra time in assessments, you must contact the Admissions Team in advance to request additional time. Please see the relevant applicant information document for your test for further information and contact details.

For advice on studying with a disability, contact our Disability Services team on +44 (0)117 331 0444 or

If you have questions or need to change your test date

If you are unsure whether you will be required to sit the maths test, need to change a booked test or if you have any questions about the process, please contact us: +44 (0)117 394 1649 or

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