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Centre for Access Assessment & Research

The Access Assessment Test (AAT) refers to the three Nelson Mandela University access tests that you may have to write in order for a decision to be made about whether or not to admit you into your chosen programme at the university.

This depends on the programme that you have applied for. Everyone writes an English Reading Comprehension test and an Arithmetic test. If you have applied for a Mathematics-orientated programme and you studied Mathematics and not Mathematics Literacy at school, you will also be required to write an Elementary Algebra test. All three tests are multiple choice.


There are no time limits for the tests, so you can work at your own pace.
The tests are designed to measure your current knowledge and skills. It is therefore not necessary to learn for them. The best way to prepare yourself is to have a good night's rest before your test session, eat breakfast and make sure that you arrive on time for testing.
No you cannot. The Access Assessment Test is made up of proficiency tests that measure your current abilities in the areas of English, Numeracy and Mathematics. Different programmes require different test scores on each of the tests for admission into that programme.
You will receive an sms inviting you to write the AAT. It is therefore very important to ensure that the Nelson Mandela University's Admissions Department has your correct cellphone number. You may also be notified via an official letter from the Admissions Department.
No. You may only write the AAT if you have received an sms or letter from the Admissions Department referring you to write the test.

You may be referred to write the AAT if: Your APS falls within the testing band indicated AND you have met the minimum subject requirements*.

*Please Note: Please consult your Admissions Officer for further information on the specific minimum subject requirements for your programme.

No. It is best to write the AAT as soon as possible after receiving the SMS or letter referring you for the test. Special testing dates have been set where groups of applicants referred for testing are all tested on the same day.
You can phone the CAAR offices on 041 504 2918. When you call, have your student number or reference number from your SMS or letter, and a pen and piece of paper handy to write down all the details. Alternatively, you can also book online.
If you have submitted all the required information, your test results and the decision on your admission into your requested programme should be available three weeks after the testing. If you were tested at one of our remote sites, your application may take longer.
Your test results will be posted to you in a report. You will receive notification of your admissions decision via SMS and/or via an official letter from the Admissions Department.
No. The only exception would be if you did not write the Elementary Algebra Test, and would like to change your application to a maths-orientated programme. If this happens, CAAR will call you to make a special arrangement for you to write the Elementary Algebra Test
You can write the AAT in Port Elizabeth or George on the Nelson Mandela University campus. You may also be tested in Cape Town, East London, Umtata, Durban, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg or Polokwane, if one of these venues suit you best. These venues are referred to as our "Remote Sites".
It depends on where you are tested. Testing done at the Nelson Mandela University campuses in Port Elizabeth and George is FREE. However, testing done at any of the other sites (our remote sites) is conducted by a private psychologist who will charge a fee.
You need to bring your ID Book/Passport, a pen, pencil and eraser, your SMS or letter referring you to write the test, and your student number or reference number.