2x 20 min interviews, over 2 days
Interview 1: personal statement, school work; Interview 2: reading; areas of school work not discussed in Interview 1
Start preparing for interview before you find out if you've been invited
Don't worry too much about interviews
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.
Number of interviews: 2
Skype interview: No
Interviews spread over 2 days
Length of interviews: 20 minutes each
The interview was largely based on my personal statement. In general I talked about the books that I’d been reading and about some of the schoolwork that I’d been doing. They asked me a variety of questions and it was really about finding how far I could take a topic. They pushed and pushed at answers I gave about events and ideas to try and see what different perspectives I could come up with. All the questions were based upon what I’d already mentioned or talked about, so nothing was out of context or horrific like you might perhaps expect.
This was more based on my wider engagement with the subject as well as further school work. I was asked about what reading I’d been doing, and I was pushed again on certain observations I made from books. They really wanted me to make links between different parts of history, which was definitely an interesting exercise. They also focused on the part the school course I hadn’t discussed in the first interview, asking why I thought things had happened and how they linked.
Neither interview had source questions, it was more just a general discussion.
I was nervous before going in, but I soon relaxed into the interview. The atmosphere was welcoming and encouraging, and by the second one I was far more confident going in. It’s really important to remember that they want you to be there and to do well, otherwise they wouldn’t have invited you. Have confidence that you can do it, and you’ll be absolutely fine.
Preparation was largely based on the past papers available from the faculty website. Don’t be coaxed into paying for advice, it won’t give you anything more than what is already available for free, and success doesn’t depend on spending money! If I were to apply again, I would definitely look to put even more preparation into the
Apart from the
I honestly expected the interviews to be terrifying, but they couldn’t have been farther from it. Yes, the