The Engineering and Science Admissions Test (ESAT) is being introduced in 2024 for engineering and science applicants at the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London.

2024-25 Exam Dates
15-16th Oct, 8-9th Jan
Prerequisite Content
1st year A Level
Coming soon: Download our comprehensive ESAT Handbook
For students, parents, and teachers

About the ESAT

The Engineering and Science Admissions Test (ESAT), introduced for the 2024-25 admissions cycle, assesses students who applying to the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London for engineering and science courses. The ESAT allows applicants to demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge in unfamiliar contexts. ESAT questions demand an element of problem solving that is not required in A Level exams, so students should prepare and practice diligently for the best chance of success.

The ESAT provides a common measure with which to benchmark highly achieving students who are applying for the most competitive courses. There is no pass or fail mark for the test, so students must simply aim to do the best they can. Scores, reported on a scale of 1.0-9.0, are used by when shortlisting Cambridge applicants for interview, or as part of the holistic assessment process at Imperial.

Format and Content
Key Information
  • The ESAT consists of five sections: Mathematics 1, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics 2.
  • Candidates must take Mathematics 1 and choose two of the other sections. It is compulsory for Cambridge Engineering and Imperial Physics applicants to take Mathematics 2 and Physics.
  • It is a computer-based, multiple-choice exam. Each section lasts for 40 minutes and consists of 27 questions, each worth 1 mark.
  • The ESAT is being administered by UAT-UK and Pearson VUE. Please visit their website for information about registration.

The following universities use the ESAT as a compulsory part of their admissions process:

The Vantage ESAT Programme

The ESAT is a crucial aspect of the university admissions process for aspiring engineers and scientists, likely surpassing any of their previous exams in difficulty and time pressure. With rigorous preparation and practice, students can reliably improve their score. Working with our specialist ESAT tutors, students receive a thorough, systematic introduction to the knowledge and skills needed for success.

The Vantage ESAT programme consists of five key elements:

ESAT Primer Course

The ESAT Primer Course is a course of lessons designed to give students a thorough, structured introduction to the question types that frequently arise in the ESAT. The course is geared towards students applying for engineering and physical sciences: it comprises two lessons for Mathematics 1, six lessons for Mathematics 2, and four lessons each for Physics and Chemistry. The course is customisable to accommodate different combinations of sections. The lessons are provided in both pre-recorded video format (lasting approximately 90 minutes each) and as a booklet. A worksheet of original questions accompanies each lesson, enabling students to master the techniques learned. The worksheet solutions delve into the problem-solving thought processes behind the answers. Please book a consultation to find out more about the ESAT Primer Course.

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Past Paper Solutions

The ESAT Programme includes solutions for all relevant ESAT preparation materials. The Natural Science Admissions Assessment (NSAA) was used by Cambridge from 2016-2023, and is highly representative of ESAT questions. We provide past paper solutions in both video and booklet format for all NSAA past papers. Instead of merely giving the answer to a question, the solutions break down the entire thought process, providing alternative approaches if appropriate, which can be applied to similar questions encountered in the future. The Engineering Admissions Assessment (ENGAA) was also used by Cambridge from 2016-2023. There is significant overlap between NSAA and ENGAA, so we provide additional solutions to all unique ENGAA questions. Students taking Mathematics 2 will also have access to our TMUA past paper solutions.

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Live Workshops

All Vantage students are invited to attend our interactive online problem solving workshops over the summer. Hosted each week by Mathematics Olympiad enthusiast, problem solving aficionado and expert tutor Carlo Scarian, these classes provide a fun change of pace from the more technical focus of our Primer Courses and the rigidity of past paper problems, instead focusing on general problem solving principles and cultivating the mindset of a mathematician. Students are given access to some problems to think about before each session to gain the most benefit. Please note that the problem solving workshops are most relevant for students taking Mathematics 2 and Physics on the ESAT.

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Mentoring Sessions

All Vantage students have the benefit of regular mentoring sessions over the course of their ESAT preparation, ideally attended along with their parents/guardians. All meetings are held with our founding director and are completely tailored to the student’s specific goals. The aim of these sessions is to review students’ progress, address doubts or concerns, provide motivation, and create actionable plans to resolve any difficulties. Personalised mentoring enables students to ensure they are staying on track for success and provides vital support over what is often a long period of preparation.

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Individual Tuition

Many Vantage students opt for ESAT tuition as part of their admissions test preparation. It is the most personalised support we offer and ensures that all doubts can be addressed, whether they pertain to specific questions or broader topics and concepts. It also provides an opportunity for students to work with an expert ESAT tutor to explore questions further, pursue their own interests, and – most importantly – ask questions. We are able to provide expert, subject-specific tuition in mathematics, physics and chemistry.

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We have created the first comprehensive course for ESAT preparation, enrolling students from 8th June. We also offer individual tuition with our expert ESAT tutors.

ESAT Programme '24

Course Summary

Our ESAT Programme provides a structured approach to ESAT preparation. The programme is geared towards aspiring engineering and physical science students, and the course is customisable for different section combinations.

  • Complete access to the relevant sections of the ESAT Primer Course (see above).
  • Complete access to our past paper solution videos and booklets for NSAA, ENGAA, and TMUA as appropriate.
  • Three 20-minute mentoring sessions with founding director, Rowan Wright
  • Complete access to our series of live mathematics problem solving workshops.
  • Ad hoc tuition available.
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Individual Tuition


Our specialist ESAT tutors help students to hone their ability to use and apply their knowledge to challenging problems. Most students benefit from some individual support when preparing for admissions tests.

  • One tuition credit costs £150 and is redeemed for 1 hour of individual tuition.
  • Tuition can be used for troubleshooting any concerns with past papers, to fortify weaker topics.
  • Tuition is provided by highly qualified members of the Vantage team, including admissions test examiners, Oxbridge supervisors, and qualified teachers. We never outsource tuition to undergraduate students.
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Book a free consultation with our founding director, Rowan Wright, and:

Discuss your university course choices

Determine the most advantageous admissions test combination for your chosen courses

Formulate a personalised preparation strategy and receive actionable advice

Discuss Vantage course options

Hear from our students

"Rowan from Vantage is the real deal, a rare blend of being a sufficiently brilliant mathematician to have a complete, deep and intuitive grasp on the difficult problems set in admissions tests, but also a great teacher who is able to explain the thought process in a way students can understand. I cannot recommend him highly enough."

Achieved 1 in STEP II and S in STEP III