The CSAT and Practice[+] are designed by the Climb Foundation to help candidates. We are advocates for more opportunity to shine and less opportunity to fail, and we strive to level the playing field.

The Computer Laboratory

Practice Platform

We created the Practice aiming to inspire how to think and how to tackle non-trivial computing and maths questions. Practice offers a unique learning platform based on CSAT questions, where questions are accompanied by very carefully crafted progressive Hints, full Solutions, a list of Related Topics to the solution provided, and Warm-up questions (where we thought are sensible).

The questions follow the CSAT structure. It's ok to feel that questions are exotic and difficult. While the CSAT is not meant to be easy, this material is meant to help you improve and to show that it can be exciting with enough patience and determination.

Note: This platform is not meant to serve as the only preparation for the CSAT. Make sure to read the main CSAT webpage in order to understand the structure and purpose of the CSAT, and also check out the other suggested preparation material. The Practice page for a given question assumes you covered the relevant syllabus in school; if you haven't then you may want to wait until you do, to avoid getting the wrong impression about difficulty (we do provide pointers to relevant topics though if you really want to attempt learning it yourself). However, remember that you have choice in the actual CSAT test! You may still not cover some topics in school by the time of your interview, and that's fine (skip them). You are, however, welcome to attempt to learn it using the Related Topics content.

Practising, or the Practice howto

We recommend the following approach, in this order:

  1. CSAT Question. By default, everything except the main CSAT question is hidden (you can reveal content by clicking the [+] links). First attempt it on your own, for at least 10-15 minutes (Section A) or 30-45 minutes (Section B), without revealing any other sections or referring to books/internet. The most important part of any learning process is your own struggle. It enables consolidation and sharpens skills. Referring too early to hints or solutions goes against that .
  2. If you're willing to push past the above time limits, then we encourage it!
  3. Progressive hints. The 2nd most important part. Designed to go from vague to explicit, they follow the milestones of the thinking process. They teach you how to think by gently pointing in the right direction, instead of revealing (intermediary) results. This allows you to make ample progress on your own, which is very important. You may discover that the slightest hint gets you a long way! That's great, it also offers the satisfaction that you solved the question mostly by yourself!

    It's very important to spend a good amount of time thinking before revealing the next hint! Do your best to understand and translate it into something meaningful towards making progress. Each hint carries new information towards the solution, so ask yourself what that is and see what you can do with it. If you feel you're really not getting anywhere, reveal the next hint. Continue like this till the end, making sure, once again, that you spend more than sufficient time on each hint.
  4. Related Topics. If you feel some of the hints contain keywords you don't recognize then it could mean you haven't covered those concepts in school. If you feel sufficiently certain about it, then reveal the Related Topics section. This may possibly spoil the fun of the thinking process as the key to the solution may lie in the name of a related topic.
  5. Warm-up questions. By revealing and attempting the warm-up questions you may discover that a useful concept for the CSAT question is hinted at more clearly in the warm-up questions, allowing you to make more progress with the CSAT question. Despite the name, the warm-up questions are mostly there to consolidate the raw concepts from the Related Topics.
  6. Solution. If all fails, then that's what the full solution is there for. It's ok to feel you wouldn't have thought of that solution. You're learning, and that's the most important aspect! On to the next question!
Some questions will admit multiple different solutions. We show only one but do not discourage seeking others. Note that the Related Topics listed pertain to the solution shown - they may not apply to alternative solutions. Feel free to send us your alternative solutions.

Paper 1

Section A: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q7, Q8
Section B: Q9, Q10, Q11, Q12, Q13, Q14, Q15, Q16, Q17, Q18, Q19, Q20
Exam-style questions paper: PDF

Paper 2

Section A: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q7, Q8
Section B: Q9, Q10, Q11, Q12, Q13, Q14, Q15, Q16, Q17, Q18, Q19, Q20
Exam-style questions paper: PDF

Paper 3

Section A: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q7, Q8
Section B: Q9, Q10, Q11, Q12, Q13, Q14, Q15, Q16, Q17, Q18, Q19, Q20
Exam-style questions paper: PDF

Paper 4

Section A: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q7, Q8
Section B: Q9, Q10, Q11, Q12, Q13, Q14, Q15, Q16, Q17, Q18, Q19, Q20
Exam-style questions paper: PDF

More practice papers will be added in due course.

Contact

If you have queries or suggestions about the CSAT Practice Platform then you can write to us at oi.oof-[email protected]. Please do not write to this address regarding general admissions or course queries.

Other preparation and practice material

Obviously, the sample and past CSAT papers are great preparation, but you may feel you'd like more preparation. The CSAT questions are very diverse and require reasoning rather than exercising knowledge, and are more exotic than school exams or other university entrance exams. Hence directly similar material may not be readily available online. Some of the asier questions from the pre-2019 CSAT papers may resemble some year-11/12 UK A-level exams (past papers here, here and here), though the CSAT ones have a greater variety of difficulty and topics. The first questions in the Oxford MAT (past papers here) are also suitable.

For the more difficult CSAT questions (typically section B), practising on questions from further competitions or exams is welcome. Helpful resources include past papers available at UKMT (e.g. start with the IMOK and Senior Kangaroo and work your way towards the MOG or BMO), the MAT, the "warm down" questions at the end of each assignment of the STEP Correspondence Course, and the STEP.

Note that STEP questions have a different style and are longer, but they do build solid and excellent mathematical skills.