Education Written Assessment; 2x interviews
Interview 1: subject questions, discussed excerpt, discussed written work; Interview 2: subject questions, discussed prior task
Researching current affairs
Try to have fun!
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.
Test taken: Education Written Assessment
Number of interviews: 2
Skype interview: no
Time between interviews: 2 hours
Length of first interview: 30 minutes; Length of second interview: 30 minutes
I had chosen the policy and international development track and my first interview largely revolved around current affairs and a geography theme. The theme was based off of my A level Geography syllabus. It started off with basic definitions, then questions on my understanding which led to opinions on current events based off the theory just discussed.
There was an additional mini assessment where a short excerpt was given and I had to discuss what was stated. I was also questioned on the written work I had handed in. This was a Pre U History essay but the questions were still in relation to education and less on history. The interview seemed more like a formal conversation. They wanted to know more about me as a person and my experiences which led me to pick the course.
My second interview was more technical, based on the policy and development track. A task was given for me to complete outside. Once I was called in, the interview questions revolved around the task. They helped me out by bringing the discussion into familiar subject matter and things close to me. They really just wanted to hear me speak on matters I was passionate about in relation to the track.
The interviewers made a conscious effort to ensure we felt comfortable. Even though the second interview was more technical, in both instances they allowed me to have an open discussion. I was able to question them and disagree as long as I could support my opinion. They were very friendly!
To prepare for my test I read articles on recent debates. I read some books but I don't think they really helped me. I think the A level syllabus is enough as long as you think critically and do a little bit more research. What helped was finding a few things I was really passionate about and knowing them quite well. If you are a humanities student, it's also a really good idea to stay on top of current affairs.
It's probably not a good idea to memorise answers and regurgitate them during the interview, the interviewers would probably be able to tell.
Honestly the best advise I could give would be to try to have fun during the interview! By doing so they will see the passion you have for the subject whether you are right or wrong and that is what they are looking for I believe. They would also like to see that you are
Lastly, do not be afraid to question the questions, clarify any doubts or even disagree with them. They would appreciate it more rather than answering questions you do not understand or giving answers you do not believe in. Not to mention, it may be refreshing and may help you to