Engineering Science @ St Edmund Hall, Oxford in 2016

Interview format

2x 20 min interviews

Interview content

Both interviews: maths problem, dynamics problem, personal statement and interests; Interview 1: A-level study, extended project

Best preparation

Past papers; learning new content from syllabus

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Talked to friend at Oxford; went through interview-style questions online; had mock interview; reviewed some content from extended project.

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: PAT

Number of interviews: 2

Skype interview: No

Length of interviews: 20 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

St Edmund Hall interview: There were two interviewers: one would talk and the other would take notes, alternately. We first discussed my recent A-level study, then got into the first problem, which was some relatively simple maths. The second problem was a more complex fluid dynamics question (solving them involved frequent discussion, which helped with the feeling of being out on the spot). We then moved onto my personal statement and about my personal interests - particularly my EPQ.

St. John's interview: this followed the same format, with two interviewers again and two problems (dynamics followed by maths). Then we finished with talking about my personal interests.

How did you prepare?

I took the past papers and learned new content from the syllabus.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

I had a friend at one of the colleges who was able to put me in touch with current engineering students so I was able to find out more about my interviewers, including specialties and how nice they are.

I went through some interview style questions I found online and my sixth form gave me a mock interview from a Cambridge alumnus (who had studied English and knew little about engineering) which helped with getting used to problem discussion. The only last minute preparation I did was reviewing some content from my EPQ.