History @ Gonville & Caius, Cambridge in 2018

Interview format

HAA; 3x interview

Interview content

Interview 1: academic, source based; Interview 2: academic source based; Interview 3: more general interest

Best preparation

Practice papers; rereading around personal statement

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Think out loud & don't worry about sounding silly

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: History Admissions Assessment

Number of interviews: 3

Skype interview: no

Time between interviews: ??

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

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

All of my interviews at their core had a set of visual or data-based historical sources. I had to speak about my inferences from them and why they may have been produced.

My last interview was very conversational and informal compared to the others where we talked around History about books we enjoyed! All of my interviewers were incredibly kind and stimulating, hearing everything I had to say on a topic.

How did you prepare?

I did all the practice papers and some TSAs which compare very similarly to the first parts of the HAA!

I reread the books from my Personal Statement and further journal articles which elaborated on their themes. I tried to make notes to collect my thoughts on them all, yet in hindsight all of this work only benefited a small part of the process.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

I think what is most important is them wanting to see how your mind works in the moment through giving you material you’ve never seen before. Therefore don’t hold anything in in your head even if you think you’re making the most outlandish statement!