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The English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT) is a pre-interview admissions test for applicants to English undergraduate courses at the University of Oxford and English at the University of Cambridge. Assessment arrangements for mature applicants to the University of Cambridge vary – please check the University of Cambridge website for details. It is one of the elements admissions tutors use to decide whether to invite a candidate for interview.
The ELAT is a paper-based test. The 90-minute test is designed to enable applicants to show their ability in the key skill of close reading. Candidates write one essay comparing two or three passages set for comment, focusing on elements such as:
Candidates are given six poems or passages from drama and/or prose (fiction or non-fiction), and are asked to carry out this single task:
Select two or three of the passages (a) to (f) and compare and contrast them in any ways that seem interesting to you, paying particular attention to distinctive features of structure, language and style. In your introduction, indicate briefly what you intend to explore or illustrate through close reading of your chosen passages.
There will be some sort of link between the six passages, which will be explained in the introduction. Answer sheets will be provided to candidates.