Here is some advice for the Oxford Maths Admissions Test (MAT). Honestly, the official information about the MAT is amazing. There are loads of great preparation materials there. I can only supplement it by mentioning some of my thoughts.

Do past papers

Doing all the past papers is perhaps the best way to prepare. You should do some of them under timed conditions. However, doing some questions is always better than doing none at all, so don’t force yourself to do every paper under timed conditions if you don’t have the time for it. You should also check out the official MAT livestream. If you really want to do more exercise, do the STEP foundation modules. They are really fun and teach skills and ideas mostly relevant to MAT.

(By the way correction tape is not allowed in the MAT. Be used to using pens and crossing out wrong answers!)

Use the previous subparts

All the subparts of the question should be logically connected. If you get stuck, try to use the results you got from the previous subparts.

Even if you are sure something would work yet it doesn’t use the previous subparts, you should still try to think of an alternative solution that uses them. It would usually be more elegant and less time-consuming.

Be thorough

Every keyword/condition that appears in the question should be mentioned/copied at least once in your answer. You should also clearly state the results you’ve proved in the previous parts, and why they are applicable to your situation.

Doing so helps you realise whether you have used all of the information given, and lets the marker know that you are rigorously answering the question.

Some questions (Usually Q5) have a lot of cases to consider. You need to be very careful about them as there are often exceptional cases.

Use intuition

While there are exceptions, most questions can usually be answered without many steps. If you find yourself painfully expanding terms, you are probably not noticing something you should’ve. This is especially important in graph questions. Usually, you need to spot some rigid transformation.

Think like the marker

Take a look at the mathematics homework your friends submit. What work do you like to mark?

Make your work as friendly to the marker as possible!