History @ Brasenose, Oxford in 2019

Interview format

3x 20 min interviews, 1 per day

Interview content

Interviews 1 and 3: personal statement, general discussion; interview 2: written work

Best preparation

Make notes on personal statement and written work

Final thoughts

Try not to overthink responses

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: HAT

Number of interviews: 3

Time between interviews: I had one on each of the three days I was there, so about a day between each

Length of interviews: Between 15-20 minutes

Online interview: No

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

My first interview was more focused on my personal statement and my personal experiences with history, before moving onto more general questions. My second interview focused on my written work, and was more like a debate whilst the first was conversation-like.

My third was again focused on my personal statement (it was at my current college not Brasenose) but this one focused on the intersection of history with my other subjects and briefly on my coursework.

How did you prepare for your interviews?

I prepared by looking over my personal statement and writing notes on the parts I thought they'd ask about so I knew what to say if they did. I also went over my submitted written work and did the same thing. It really helped focus me and relax me as I knew what I would say to questions they might ask me.

If you took a test, how did you prepare?

I looked at the advice on different student websites, as well as looking at past and example papers to gather as much info about what the exams would be like

What advice would you give to future applicants?

I would say not to panic or overthink your responses. Let your argument flow naturally and be prepared to defend your point if it's challenged by the interviewers - they like to do that. I'd also say that it's ok to change your point of view after a discussion.