Modern And Medieval Languages @ Newnham, Cambridge in 2018

Interview format

At-interview MML and Classics Assessments; 2x interviews

Interview content

Interview 1: discussed French passage, EPQ, subject questions; Interview 2: personal statement

Best preparation

Analyse your personal statement

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Try to stay relaxed and confident

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: At-interview MML and Classics Assessments

Number of interviews: 2

Skype interview: no

Time between interviews: 2 interviews in 2 days

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

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

MML interview: examined a passage by a French author, was asked to give my thoughts on it, to translate a section and to read another section aloud. Then, had a general conversation in French with the interviewer, followed by general conversation which tended to focus on my EPQ. I was asked one linguistics based question by second interviewer.

Classics interview: started off talking about my SAQ and general discussion, then questions on my personal statement. Overall, interviewers were really, really lovely and welcoming and encouraged me to develop my ideas. Very friendly atmosphere.

How did you prepare?

For the MML assessment: practice papers from the website. Looking at articles from different newspapers and analysing them, examining the stylistic devices used and explaining what exactly makes them persuade the reader. For the Classics assessment: practice papers from the website, translations from John Taylor/any Latin grammar book and vocab+grammar recap.

It's a good idea to read lots about the area of the subject you are interested in! I read a lot of books, articles and online websites about French and Latin literature. Spoke to careers at school for advice and subject specific teachers. The best thing I did was going through my personal statement in detail and examining why I wrote these opinions specifically, and getting my family to ask me questions.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

I was very nervous about the interview setting, but in retrospect I shouldn’t have been! Both students and staff were so welcoming! Next time, I wouldn’t worry so much about the atmosphere, and the interviewers honestly don’t expect you to know everything about the subjects - they are interested in hearing your developed views and most importantly, how you think.