Elat Sample Essay Oxford

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Oxbridge Entry Basics — 1. The ELAT

What is the ELAT?

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.

ELAT is a paper-based test lasting 90 minutes wherein prospective students are assessed on their ability to shape and articulate an informed response to unfamiliar or unseen literary material. Candidates write one essay comparing two or three passages, focusing on elements such as:

  • Language
  • Imagery
  • Allusion
  • Syntax
  • Structure

You can find a little more about it on the ELAT website

More importantly you can find a sample paper here

As a student how can I prepare for the ELAT?

Firstly we’d recommend sitting the sample paper above in real exam conditions to give you an idea of what the test might entail and to likely bring to light any problem areas. Ask your English teacher or a tutor to recommend a couple of pieces of pose or poetry that you’ve not seen with a common theme and use parameters of the practice paper to sit a similar writing task that we would recommend you then have marked.

Working with one of our expert Oxbridge Entrance Tutors would certainly help cast a detailed light on the ins and outs of the ELAT

Work to improve your close reading. Here are a couple of links we’ve found that have rather useful definitions of what close reading entails and how you might embed it into your approach to a text:

The Harvard Writing Centre

The Mantex Close Reading Guide

Dr. Mclennen’s Guide to Close Reading

As a parent how can I help my son/daughter prepare for the ELAT?

We believe really that it’s a case of offering as much support as possible on several levels. Be on hand to offer to get a hold of additional texts and guides, cast your mind out to interesting poems and prose recommendations and try to engage in and curate interesting discussion around them.

Knowing when to give space and when to be directly on hand holistically and intellectually can prove a tricky dilemma.

At BYT we’re on the other end of the phone as always to provide as much help as you need.

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