Maths test for Computer Science courses

If you are applying to one the courses listed below but you are not studying A-level Mathematics or equivalent, we may ask you to take a maths test.

This information is for students applying to start university in September 2021. (Information for students applying for 2022 entry will be available in autumn 2021.)

Relevant courses

The information on this page applies to the following computer science courses: 

  • BSc Computer Science (G400)
  • MEng Computer Science (G403)
  • MEng Computer Science with Innovation (G404).

For details on the maths test for those applying to BSc Mathematics and Computer Science (GG14) or MEng Mathematics and Computer Science (GG1K), please refer to the maths test for Mathematics courses.

Why we test

Computer science courses at the University of Bristol are challenging and students without A-level Mathematics or equivalent have struggled in the past. The first year covers a broad range of concepts that are fundamental to many other units across the course. To ensure that applicants are prepared to succeed, we set an entry exam that assesses applicants’ ability to handle the mathematical challenges in the first year of the course.  

The maths test forms part of your pre-offer assessment and we will not be able to offer you a place if you do not take the test.

Booking your maths test

If we require you to take the maths test, our Admissions Team will contact you. We will send you an email explaining how to register online for your test.  

Taking your test

Your test will take place online and you can take it within a 48-hour period. After you have registered for the test, you will be sent your test link three days before the test is due to take place.

The test will only be available during a 48-hour period. During this time, you will need to set aside 90 minutes to take the test.  

Preparing for the computer science maths test 

This diagnostic test consists of questions covering UK AS and A2 Mathematics topics, including Core 1, 2 and 3, and Mechanics 1 and 2 units. The test has three sections:

  1. Maths (25 questions)
  2. Quantitative comparison (14 questions)
  3. Graphs (6 questions).

Your test results

The department will pass your results to the Admissions Team, who are responsible for making decisions on offers. You will be informed of the decision on your application as soon as possible via UCAS.

Your test result will be taken into consideration by the Admissions Team. We do not publish a specific pass mark, but you should aim to perform at a level equivalent to our contextual offer grades. For reference, an A grade at A-level is usually around 80%. Achieving a high mark in the test does not guarantee you will be offered a place. 

If you are successful in securing an offer from us and you accept our offer, we strongly encourage you to read around and get a head-start on relevant maths content and other material that may be important for your course. See the unit catalogue for details. Topics that are important across a number of courses include:

  • Pure Core 1-4
  • Further Pure 1-4
  • Mechanics 1-4.

Accessibility advice

If you are usually entitled to extra time in assessments, you must contact the Admissions Team in advance to request additional time. Please see the relevant applicant information document for your test for further information and contact details.

For advice on studying with a disability, contact our Disability Services team on +44 (0)117 331 0444 or

If you have questions or need to change your test date

If you are unsure whether you will be required to sit the maths test, need to change a booked test or if you have any questions about the process, please contact us: +44 (0)117 394 1649 or


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