History @ The Queen's, Oxford in 2019

Interview format

HAT; 2x interviews.

Interview content

Interview 1: questions on some pre-provided reading; Interview 2: submitted work. Felt they went quickly and more relaxed in the second interview.

Best preparation

Mock interviews; re-read submitted work; listened to podcasts and articles.

Final thoughts

Clarify your thoughts; don't be afraid of being wrong; speak out loud.

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 Aptitude Test (HAT)
Number of interviews: 2
Time between interviews: one on Tuesday at 9am and one on Wednesday at 9am
Length of interviews: 25-30 minutes
Online interview: No

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

One interview was based on an extract we got a few days before--there were around 10 questions that everyone got asked that were mainly about the argument and the persuasiveness of the extract. My second interview I got asked about my submitted work but also about the context in which I had written it (other modules) and I got asked more generally about those. I left both interviews feeling like it had gone really quickly and it was a bit of a blur. I did relax into the interview but in the second one I felt a lot more comfortable, probably because I had then experienced the setting before and the uncertainty around it was removed.

How did you prepare for your interviews?

I had three mock interviews--it was very useful to actually have a situation similar to the one I would be in. It was particularly helpful to have one with a teacher who had never taught me before so they felt as new as possible. Before my interview I reread my submitted work and thought about what I could asked on as well as listening to an in our time episode about the topic. I also read some articles (around 5?) by different historians to see different arguments. For my other interview I had an extract to read--I read that 3 times and annotated it but I didn't look up anything related to the text or the historian.

If you took a test, how did you prepare?

did around 4/5 practice papers, discussed some with other people applying from my school

What advice would you give to future applicants?

Allow yourself to go back on things that you have said or to try and clarify your thoughts. If you go at it trying to speak your thoughts out loud it can be helpful to try and organise them and directly answer the question after.