We prepare you for interview
The Oxbridge interview is the central component of the application process. It is the main way admissions tutors distinguish between candidates.
This is your opportunity to highlight your scientific ability and interest in your chosen science.
We know the approach and style of the Oxbridge interview. Our team of Oxford and Cambridge graduates have first-hand experience.
We have guided lots of successful students through the process. We have received feedback from them afterwards. We know what they have been asked and use these questions as appropriate for your chosen course, college and university.
Please feel free to contact us to find out how we can help you. We offer a free initial 15-minute consultation.
Most Oxford and Cambridge interviews are now conducted virtually. Our mock interviews are carried our online to mirror the same process.
The approach is similar in all cases, but can vary slightly according to subject choice, college, and university. Typically, you will have one or two interviews and most are about 30-minutes long.
Our mock interviews have a duration of 45 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of verbal feedback, alongside a full-written analysis of your performance with comprehensive advice on how you can improve.
There is the option of then having a second mock. This gives you the opportunity to make the improvements we have suggested and gain further experience.
Please send us all relevant background information first. This should include whether you are applying to Oxford or Cambridge, your chosen college, and subject. We will also ask for your predicted grades and a copy of your UCAS personal statement.
We cover all types of question
For most students, the Oxbridge interview is the first interview they have faced. Here we present the ideal strategy for making sure you are ready to deliver your best performance on the day. They key is to take advantage of everything that is in your control.
1) Revise all A-level material you have covered so far at school
This is perhaps the most important step. The admissions tutors will presume that you know everything from the syllabus you have already studied. Most interview questions are based on A-level content. Unfamiliar questions are much easier if you already understand everything from school.
You should revise everything as if preparing for an exam, minus so much attention to the requirements of the A-level mark scheme.
2) Expose yourself to more challenging questions in competition papers
We go through Olympiad papers with our students. We help you understand how to tackle the most difficult questions. These presume only A-level knowledge. They are excellent for developing your understanding and improving your thinking skills.
3) Make sure you have studied all books and reference materials mentioned in your personal statement
It is crucial that you are ready to explain the new ideas you have discussed in your statement. A good way to do this is to make notes on the most important parts of the books you have read. We can discuss these with you. We can improve your understanding and ability to express all new concepts accurately at interview.
4) Identify and prepare for predictable questions
As well as appreciating the obvious questions, such as why you have applied for your chosen subject and college, we advise carefully going through your personal statement and noting down every question you can imagine being asked. It is then a good idea to draft answers to these in writing, so you have wording in mind as well as content.
Clearly, you should not repeat these verbatim at interview. Instead, you should have them ready in mind so you can include all relevant points and and express yourself accurately. Drafting answers provides you with the opportunity to perfect your answers. We can help you do this.
We simulate the Oxbridge interview
Our experience means we know the approach taken by admissions tutors. We know the Cambridge Natural Sciences questions asked in previous interviews, as well as those asked for different science subjects at Oxford. We are also familiar with the variations in approach taken by the different colleges.
Questions asked by tutors can be placed into five categories.
1) Questions about you
These include questions such as why you are applying to the specific college and University, and why you would like to study your chosen subject. We can perfect these for you.
2) Questions on A-level material
A-level questions are used to make sure you have a good understanding of what you have already learned. They can relate to all sciences relevant to your chosen course.
For the Natural Sciences at Cambridge, you should expect questions on any science you have studied at A level, as well as some questions on maths. For Oxford, the questions are likely to be more restricted to the science you have chosen.
Admissions tutors are impressed by concise, well-explained answers showing a complete comprehension of what you have learned at school.
3) Questions which start with and extend beyond A level material
This is the most common type of question, and arguably the most important to answer well. The admissions tutor will begin with a familiar A-level concept, before asking you to suggest answers to related ideas you have not met before.
They are testing your ability to think through a problem. You need to clearly explain your thinking process. They are more interested in intelligent suggestions than being able to find the correct answer.
4) Question relating to completely new ideas
This is where admissions tutors briefly introduce a new concept, before asking relevant questions. These test your ability to understand new material quickly. Once again, they are more interested to observe your thinking process than whether you reach the correct answer.
5) Questions on topics mentioned in your personal statement
These are used to test what you have learned about the extra-curricular academic topics included in your statement. They are looking for clear and accurate explanations. You may be asked to suggest answers to further questions which extend beyond what you have learned.