Entrance Examinations & Merit Awards 2022 Entry

Entrance Examinations & Merit Awards; student in library

Worth up to £2,000 a year plus an unconditional offer

Applicants for our Entrance Exams sit two exam papers which last an hour and a half each.  Depending on the marks you achieve in both papers, you could receive up to £2,000 a year and a guaranteed place to study at Aberystwyth University. 

Please Note:
All exams will be online.  Applicants may choose to sit the exams EITHER at Aberystwyth University (or at an Aberystwyth University centre overseas) on Saturday, 5 March 2022, OR at their school/college on Tuesday, 8 March 2022. Due to the nature of the selection processes, Veterinary Science and Nursing applicants are not eligible to sit the Entrance Exams.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the Entrance Exams?

  1. Entrance Exams are optional exams for students applying for an undergraduate degree scheme at Aberystwyth.
  2. All exams will be online.  You will need access to a computer/laptop with internet connection and a web browser (preferably Chrome, Firefox or Edge) and Microsoft Word.
  3. Exams may EITHER be taken at Aberystwyth University on Saturday, 5 March, OR at your school/college on Tuesday, 8 March.  You must ensure you obtain the permission of your Exams Officer before submitting your application.
  4. You will sit TWO exams from the choice of subjects we offer (the choice of exam papers must be approved by the Department you have applied to study at).
  5. Each exam lasts for an hour and a half and both exams are taken on the same day.
  6. The exams are set and marked by our academic departments so they don’t follow any particular syllabus but they should be a similar standard to A level exams.
  7. Successful candidates will receive up to £2,000 a year plus a guaranteed place to study at Aberystwyth University (please note that the unconditional offer does not apply to our Nursing courses).


2. What are the benefits of sitting the exams?

  1. Successful candidates will receive one of 4 levels of award:

  • Faculty Scholarship – £2,000 a year plus an unconditional offer
    We have 20 faculty scholarships available, which are worth £2,000 a year as well as guaranteed accommodation in a University property for the duration of the course. Our academic faculties allocate these awards based on excellent performance in the Entrance Examinations.
  • University Scholarship – £1,000 a year plus an unconditional offer
    We have 50 university Scholarships to award to the candidates scoring the highest aggregate marks of both examination papers. Successful candidates receive £1,000 for each year of their course. University Scholarship holders also receive guaranteed accommodation in a university property throughout the length of their course.
  • Merit Award – £1,000 in the first year plus an unconditional offer
    We offer approximately 250 Merit Awards each year to students who do well in the Entrance Examinations but narrowly miss out on attaining a Scholarship. Merit Award holders receive £1,000 during the first year of their course. 
  • Unconditional Offer
    Strong performance in the Entrance Examinations can result in the University confirming your place without further conditions, resulting in an unconditional UCAS offer. Candidates who do not receive a financial award may be given an unconditional offer on the basis of their strong performance in the exams.

2. A guaranteed University place can take the pressure off other exam results.

3. Being awarded a Scholarship is a great addition to your CV.


3. Which exam papers should I choose?

Please ensure you choose subjects which are relevant for the degree scheme you wish to pursue. If you don’t sit exams in appropriate subjects, this may affect your eligibility for an award and/or reduced offer.

It's a good idea to look at some of the past papers to get a feel for the type and level of questions likely to be asked, but please note that the format of exam papers may change from year to year.

4. How do I apply?

You can apply quickly and easily via the Online Application Form which will be live by the end of November 2021.  The closing date for applications is 11 February 2022.  Late applications will not be considered.

You MUST obtain your Exams Officer's permission before submitting your application form to ensure they are able to make the necessary arrangements.  We will need their email address as part of the application process in order to obtain confirmation and to send exam instructions in due course. 

Applications outside of the UK will be considered on an individual basis.  If international applicants do not attend an eligible school (eg an International School), there may be an option of sitting the exams at a British Council Office.  Any such arrangements would be at the expense of the applicant, who would need to make all necessary arrangements directly with the British Council.

5. How will the online exams work?

You can see full instructions of what to expect from the exam process here.

Entrance Exam guidance for applicants

Please also familiarise yourself with the Policy on Good and Unfair Academic Practice for the Entrance Exams.

6. What if I have special exam requirements?

If sitting the exams at the University, candidates who have specific examination requirements for their normal school examinations (e.g. extra time) must submit with their application an email from their school confirming their requirements. Without this supporting evidence we will be unable to allow special considerations.  Eligible candidates may be entitled to 25% extra time, and arrangements as per normal school examinations, please see our Policy on making reasonable adjustments for applicants sitting the Entrance Examinations.

7. What can I take into the exams?

Candidates are not permitted to take mobile phones, smart watches or any similar digital devices into the Entrance Exams.  Unless specified otherwise below, no texts, dictionaries, atlases or other documents or equipment may be used:

  • Accounting & Finance- non-programmable calculators may be used. 
  • Portfolio – candidates must arrange to submit their portfolio by the date of the written exams.
  • Business and Management – non-programmable calculators may be used. 
  • Chemistry – a periodic table is provided and a calculator may be used. 
  • Economics – non-programmable calculators may be used. 
  • Mathematics - candidates are permitted to use calculators (provided they are silent, self-powered, without communication facilities, and incapable of holding text or other material that could be used to gain an unfair advantage), candidates should provide their own calculators. Candidates may take into the examination any 'Information Booklets' approved by their examining board for use in examinations (Statistical Tables will be provided for the Further Maths paper). 
  • Physics – all relevant information will be contained within the paper, but candidates may take into the examination room any ‘Information Booklets’ permitted by their Examining Boards for use in those examinations if they wish. Candidates are permitted to use calculators (provided they are silent, self-powered, without communication facilities, and incapable of holding text or other material that could be used to gain an unfair advantage).
  • Photograhy Portfolio – candidates must arrange to submit their portfolio by the date of the written exams.

8. Exam Timetable

For candidates wishing to come to Aberystwyth University to sit the exams, they will be held on Saturday, 5 March 2022.  For candidates sitting the exams at school/college, they will be held on Tuesday, 8 March 2022.

Candidates should sit one paper in the morning and the other in the afternoon of the same day (start times can be adjusted). The exams last for one and a half hours each.  

Here is the Entrance Exams Timetable. Please note that the timetable shown is for guidance - you do not need to select one paper from the morning session and one from the afternoon session - if both of your subjects are timetabled for the same time, you will take one exam during the morning session and the other during the afternoon session.

9. Is there a mark scheme?

We do not have a mark scheme for individual papers.  The following is intended as a general guide only. Not all of the criteria are necessarily relevant to all subject areas.

  • 80-100%: Shows originality, insight, critical ability. Excellent content, very few errors, showing good knowledge of the principles and concepts of the subject. Candidates own opinions should be evident. Excellent presentation (i.e. logical sequence, sensible division of material, clear style). Excellent analytical and interpretive skills
  • 70-79%: Evidence of understanding and insight. Very good content, few errors. Good presentation and clear expression. Good analytical and interpretive skills.
  • 60-69%: Promise of future development. Good content, relatively few errors, relevant points covered. Some evidence of understanding and insight. Satisfactory presentation. Able to analyse and interpret information.
  • 50-59%: Sound knowledge of the facts and principles, most points covered, but some errors and omissions. Reasonable presentation. Able to evaluate information.
  • 40-49%: Some lack of content, clarity lost in places, little evidence of consistent understanding. Frequent errors or omissions, presentation poor.

10. Information for Schools and Colleges

Entrance Exam guidance for schools and colleges

Our Entrance Exams are now held online.  Applicants can either come to Aberystwyth to take the exams on Saturday, 5 March, or sit them at their school/college (with permission) on Tuesday, 8 March.

Applicants will need access to the following:

  • A computer or laptop
  • Microsoft Word
  • A web browser (eg Chrome, Firefox, Edge)
  • The closing date for applications is 11 February and after that date Aberystwyth University accounts will be created for applicants and details emailed to them.  This will enable themto login to the exam site in advance, to familiarize themselves with the system.

Candidates are required to sit one paper in the morning and the other in the afternoon of the same day (schools may determine start times to suit their own timetables). The exams last for one and a half hours each.  

There is no charge associated with sitting the Entrance Exams, but the University is unable to contribute to any invigilation or room booking costs which may be incurred. 

11. Results and Payment

We will contact applicants within 4-6 weeks of the exams taking place, to let them know their results and what awards, if any, they have received.

If successful, you will receive payments in two equal instalments direct into your bank account – the first at the start of December and the second at the start of March. Merit Award payments are made during the first year only.  You will need to enter your bank details onto your student record (under 'Personal - Scholarship Payments') in order for us to be able to make the payments.

12. Benefactors

The provision of our Entrance Scholarships has been made possible by generous donations from a number of benefactors over the years. Some awards have restrictions placed on who can receive them, but it is not necessary to apply for a specific Scholarship – if your exam results are sufficiently high we will award a suitable Scholarship to you. However, you should let us know if you are the son of a Nonconformist Minister and therefore eligible for consideration for the David Morgan Thomas of Caterham Memorial Scholarship. We have published a list of our Benefactors and the terms and conditions associated with individual awards online.