Tough new tests for Oxbridge entrants

Pupils trying to get into Oxford and Cambridge will face a battery of entrance tests amid persistent fears that A-levels are failing to identify the brightest candidates.

For the first time, students applying to study English and philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at Oxford will sit an entrance exam. It recently introduced aptitude tests in physics, history, mathematics and computer science.

At Cambridge, the number of prospective students taking the “thinking skills” test in a range of subjects including economics, engineering and natural sciences has risen to more than 3,000.

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