2x interviews (+ 20 min reading time for 2nd interview); 1x test (1 hour)
First interview: general archaeology questions, EPQ; Second interview: unseen text discussion, personal statement
Speaking to current students/those knowledgable about the subjects; practice interviews
It's not about knowledge, but the way you think through answers
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.
I was taken from the porters lodge to the student bar to wait for my first activity. This was a
In the first interview, I was asked general questions about an archaeological site I'd discussed in my personal statement. We discussed why study of the past is important and relevant in the modern day, and the differences between natural and social sciences. I was asked what reading I'd done that I'd found interesting - I talked about accounts I'd read as part of my
In the second interview, the first part was based around discussing the text - they asked me questions about what I'd understood from it, and while I didn't understand all of it I gave a brief summary, and then answered some further questions on it. We then discussed more things I'd mentioned in my personal statement - archaeological and political topics that I was interested in.
For HSPS interviews I don't think it is important to have a huge amount of knowledge in the subjects, rather to be interested and to just think through your answers. I'd also say, while it's a little cliched, it's quite good to just talk the interviewers through your thought process. It's not important to have slick, eloquent, well presented answers - it's okay to change your mind or challenge your own points as you discuss your thoughts.