English @ Homerton, Cambridge in 2017

Interview format

ELAT; 2x interviews

Interview content

Interview 1: unseen text, EPQ discussion; Interview 2: unseen text, personal statemen

Best preparation

Practice papers, and making notes

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Be yourself, treat the interview like a discussion

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

Test taken: English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT)

Number of interviews: 2

Skype interview: no

Time between interviews: 10 minutes

Length of first interview: 30-40 minutes; Length of second interview: 30-40 minutes

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

In both interviews I started by discussing an unseen poem or piece of prose they’d given me. I was given around 10 minutes to have a read before the interview, and then we chatted about them.

In my first interview I spent some time discussing my EPQ.

In my second we talked more generally about books (some of which were on my personal statement).

How did you prepare?

I used past papers, and practised analysing poems and pieces of prose.

I spoke to teachers for advice and some of them were kind enough to practise with us by asking us lots of random questions.

I made lots of notes and re-read things in preparation for the interview, although looking back, I feel like I just did it to make me feel a little more reassured.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

The interviews are such a strange experience and are never the same for any two people. I don’t think that there is a perfect way of preparing. My best advice would be yourself and just try and treat it like a discussion because that’s what it will probably end up being.