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What skills are HAT examiners looking for?

The HAT's structure tells us a lot about Oxford's criteria for who they think will make excellent students. 10 marks are awarded for an exercise in boiling down the essence of a long paragraph to one succinct sentence; 20 marks are on offer for taking a historical argument and making it your own by rewriting it; 30 for deployment of relevant and useful knowledge in support of a well-considered argument. Finally, 40 marks, nearly half the sum value, rests on close and imaginative analysis of a source document. Remembering that History and Economics applicants substitute in a separate, more mathematical, section for the third question and we can see where the emphasis lies. The emphasis in sections 1 and 3, the only two that all candidates are expected to complete, is on the ability to cope with texts: condensing their arguments, reinforcing their messages in persuasive and powerful prose and finally and most importantly, uncovering insights into writers and societies from not only the content but the form and style of the document they have left behind. Given Oxford's pride in keeping its undergraduate course far more source-based than other universities, it is no surprise that two thirds of the paper are dedicated to judging candidates on their ability to decipher and make arguments out of unfamiliar texts.

George H. A Level History tutor, 13 Plus  History tutor, GCSE History...

5 months ago

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Aimee K.

Degree: Ancient & Modern History (Bachelors) - Oxford, Magdalen College University

Subjects offered:.HAT., Maths+ 8 more

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History
Extended Project Qualification
English and World Literature
English Literature
Classical Civilisation
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“Hey there! I am an Ancient & Modern History student at Magdalen College, Oxford University and I absolutely love history and studies to do with culture and literature.  I am a big believer in providing students with the best groundin...”

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Degree: History (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered:.HAT., History+ 4 more

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History
Government and Politics
Extended Project Qualification
Biology
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“About me: Hi! My name is Shailee and I am a 1st Year at Durham University studying History. I am an outgoing, approachable and friendly person with a desire to help others achieve their full potential. I have had nearly 5 years of tut...”

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Degree: History (Bachelors) - Oxford, Hertford College University

Subjects offered:.HAT., Religious Studies+ 5 more

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Religious Studies
History
German
Classical Civilisation
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“I am very passionate about my subjects and getting the best out of every student.”

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George H.

Degree: BA History (Bachelors) - Oxford, Lincoln College University

Subjects offered:.HAT., Latin+ 4 more

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Latin
History
Economics
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“About me: Hello, my name is George and I'm an undergraduate reading History at Oxford. My aim is to be as approachable and patient as possible, explaining concepts with as much clarity as needed and encouraging you to have confidence ...”

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