Chemical Engineering @ Pembroke, Cambridge in 2015

Interview format

3x interviews (20mins)

Interview content

Maths: graphs; Chemistry: A level & personal statement; Physics: new concepts

Best preparation

Mock interview & revising A level

Final thoughts

Not really!

Remember this advice isn't official. There is no guarantee it will reflect your experience because university applications can change between years. Check the official Cambridge and Oxford websites for more accurate information on this year's application format and the required tests.

Also, someone else's experience may not reflect your own. Most interviews are more like conversations than tests and like, any conversation, they are quite interactive.

Interview Format

My interview was in early December. I didn't have to take any written examinations, but instead had 3 interviews. Each took maybe 20 minutes (ish? Don't really remember now.) Two of the interviews had one person, whereas the other had another person who sat behind me and whose presence I was basically told to ignore.

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

The three interviews focused on three topics, one for each. These were chemistry, maths and physics.

The maths interview involved drawing a graph based of a function, and then doing some differentiation and talking through an alternative method.

Chemistry involved a few A level style questions before moving to talk about a molecule I had mentioned in my personal statement. The interview ended with some approximations using the ideal gas law.

The physics interview introduced some new concepts, and we discussed simple harmonic motion. This involved drawing a few graphs.

How did you prepare?

I had been in one mock interview before, which gave me a rough idea of the style of the interview regarding how A level style questions could be asked and it was recommended that I thought out loud and talked through what I was doing with the interviewer; even if I wasn't sure or got the wrong answer! Other than that revising and making sure I was comfortable with the A level syllabus so far was useful.

Looking back, what advice would you give to your past self?

Not really