Human, Social And Political Science @ Gonville & Caius, Cambridge in 2018

Interview format

HSPS Admissions Assessment; 2x interviews

Interview content

Interview 1: Discussion of pre-interview text; Interview 2: Personal statement and general discussion

Best preparation

Read around the subject

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Take your time on difficult questions.

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: HSPS Admissions Assessment

Number of Interviews: 2

Skype interview: No

Time between interviews: An hour and a half

Length of first interview: 20 minutes; Length of second interview: 20 minutes

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

I was given a text to study for 10 minutes prior to my first interview. We then discussed this text in my first interview, and moved on to answer questions surrounding the text and general discussion. In the second interview we discussed my personal statement, including books that I had read, before moving on to answering some very open ended questions.

How did you prepare?

I did practice papers and general reading around my subject, which is by far the best means of preparation. It really helped me be confident in my answers and shows the interviewer you are very interested in the subject

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

Some of the questions they ask are very difficult to answer and are meant to throw you off, so don't be alarmed if you can't answer immediately, take your time and talk them through your thought process.