Philosophy, Politics And Economics @ St Peter's, Oxford in 2017

Interview format

2x 25 min interviews, 1 day apart

Interview content

Politics and Philosophy: ethics, personal statement, humanitarian intervention; Economics: maths/economics questions, general economics discussion

Best preparation

Practice papers, questions with friends and family

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Talked through some previous interview questions with a friend; was excited during the interview.

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: TSA

Number of interviews: 2

Skype interview: No

Time between each interview: 1 day

Length of interviews: 25 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

In the politics and philosophy interview (we only found out it was both when we entered the room), I was asked about the differences between two concepts and how this was important for morality. I was also asked about the political philosophers I talked about in my personal statement, with reference to how I applied their theories to things I was interested in. Finally I was asked about humanitarian intervention. The atmosphere in the room was quite relaxed and they were happy to help me when I struggled to understand their questions.

I had a different experience in my economics interview as (being a type one diabetic) I went into hypoglycaemic shock and struggled to answer any of the questions. However they were very kind and did their best to assist me through some problem sheets. In my repeat interview I was asked to answer some maths/economics questions, while my interviewer assisted and then asked a couple of questions about how economics works in relation to state funding and current affairs.

How did you prepare?

I used the practice papers and talked through questions with friends and family.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

I looked at some previous interview questions and talked them through with a friend who was applying to Cambridge. I was not offered any interview help through my school but this just meant I was very relaxed when it came to the experience as I had prepared by having in depth conversations about the three topics with family and friends.

I think this came across well in interview as I was mostly just excited to hear some different perspectives from tutors considered top in their field, and I tried to convey this passion to the interviewers. I wouldn't have done anything differently because even though I did not expect to get in, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and any negative expectations I had were immediately proven false.