Preparing for ELAT the Best Way 

Oxford University uses the English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT) to evaluate applicants’ close reading comprehension and their capacity to formulate and present a well-informed response to new literary material. Success in the ELAT requires a variety of abilities, including the ability to analyze previously encountered information and to compose a coherent written response in about ninety minutes.

The test is used by admissions tutors to determine whether to schedule an interview with a candidate. The purpose of the ELAT past papers is to assess applicants’ ability to react tactfully to novel literary content. Six poems or excerpts from plays, prose, or non-fiction are provided to candidates, and they are required to produce one essay contrasting two or three of the texts.

The knowledgeable ELAT teachers at Ox Bridge Mind can assist with that. Our tutors can help you do well on the ELAT and get into your desired degree at Oxford because they have first-hand knowledge of the exam material, tried-and-true approaches to answering the questions, and an awareness of how it fits into the larger admissions process.

Definition of ELAT?

The English Literature Admissions Test, or ELAT, is an essay-based admissions exam that evaluates applicants for Oxford’s English degree programs. Six text passages in a variety of formats are given to applicants during the 90-minute exam. After that, they base their response on two of these texts.

Which classes need to take the ELAT?

Oxford University requires the ELAT for courses involving the study of English. Among these courses are:

  • Literature and Language in English
  • English and Classics
  • Languages Modern and English
  • English and History

Be aware that for the majority of these courses, there are other entrance exams in addition to the ELAT. The CAT is also needed for Classics and English, the MLAT is needed for English and Modern Languages, and the HAT is needed for History and English. Check out our useful guide to see which admissions exams are necessary for your course, along with links to additional resources that will help you prepare for each test. You must register for these individually.

In what way is the ELAT scored?

Out of sixty, the ELAT paper is graded. Two examiners evaluate each paper, and each one assigns a score out of thirty. You then receive an overall score of 60 based on the combination of these two points.

In contrast to other English language tests at the school level, you won’t be graded for demonstrating extensive reading or having prior understanding of the works or their settings. Rather, a variety of criteria will be used to evaluate you, such as your capacity for:

  • React intelligently to novel writing of many genres
  • Show off your ability to read closely, focusing on how language, structure, and style affect the text.
  • Create a focused, well-organized essay by contrasting and comparing two paragraphs.
  • Write with accuracy and fluency.

There are four bands in the ELAT findings. The first band, which includes applicants who are very likely to be contacted for an interview, and the fourth band, which includes candidates who are less likely to be invited, indicate your chances of successfully receiving an interview offer.

Every year, the amount of marks required to pass each band varies very little based on the exam paper and student cohort. 

10 Tips for Maxing the ELAT

Remain calm!  This is a comprehensive guide to assist you in passing the test:

  1. If you don’t identify any of the texts, don’t panic. The passages have been carefully chosen such that no learner who has studied them before will have an advantage over any other.  This implies that the sections will most likely all be utterly confusing, but keep in mind that we are all in the same situation!
  2. What in the world is happening? The passages’ meaning is very important.  It’s likely that you’ll overlook many important aspects in your analysis if you don’t notice that the speaker passes away a few lines before the finish.  Don’t skim read; instead, attentively read each sentence through until you understand what is occurring.  Every word counts in English, so if you read too rapidly, you can miss the one that’s crucial to understanding the rest.
  3. What cadence is it? This is usually really helpful to me when approaching an unseen text.  It makes a chapter more relatable in the end. Is the author depressed or furious, even though the passage may be about war?  This has a significant impact.
  4. What linguistic style is being employed? After organizing the fundamental level of material, it’s time to examine the decisions the author made while crafting the section.    
  5. Exist any literary devices? It is essential to go over the text and highlight any similes, metaphors, alliteration, oxymorons, etc.  Saying “the writer uses a simile here” is fine, but anyone can accomplish it by learning a list of rhetorical techniques by heart.  
  6. Ahh, that elusive term that appears in the phrase “form, language and structure” starting with the GCSE standards. Remember it right here!  What kind of poetry, if any, is it?  Does the text you wrote follow it?  Does the author go beyond the parameters of the genre they are writing in?
  7. Pick your sections wisely. Choose the sections that you think would interest readers the most and that you have the most to say.  It’s not worth it to attempt to impress by selecting the most perplexing passage!  Ensure that there is enough similarity between your paragraphs to enable you to draw engaging conclusions and contrasts.  You will have the option of writing two or three passages throughout the test.  
  8. Make a plan—a lot of plans. For this, planning is vitally essential!  The question on the ELAT test states that you should “compare and contrast [the passages] in any ways that seem interesting to you,” which is a nice feature.  This implies that you may add a little bit of your individuality to your essay. What appeals to you about these sections?  You may begin to prepare a response that addresses both readings and both similarities and differences once you have identified the main theme that unites or differentiates the sections.   
  9. The details matter. Although it may sound absurd to advise A-level pupils to do so, remember to provide context for your arguments!  Take each point as far as you can; rather than enumerating the numerous literary devices the author uses, provide a detailed analysis of the significance of a single simile in the context of the chapter.  
  10. Verify the information. If you have time, thoroughly proofread your response to check for spelling errors and determine whether there is still room for you to add any additional information.  Although this portion of the exam is disliked by many, it is equally crucial to the ELAT experience as any other.  This is your chance to make some scribbled words more readable if, like myself, your handwriting becomes illegible when you’re under pressure.