How to prepare for the Oxbridge admission interview
Learn in this article how to prepare for the admission interview with Oxbridge tutor
Thanks to the advanced Oxbridge tutoring, you are almost ready to start your Oxbridge tuition. There is the last thing standing in your way – the Oxbridge admission interview, the thing for which not many Oxbridge tutors are willing to prepare students.
Fortunately, for such an interview – like any other – you can also prepare in advance. Hereby in this article the basic tips are listed, adhering to which, you can come to the meeting with the admission commission prepared and fully loaded.
The tips for preparing for the Oxbridge admission interview
Know the content of your motivation letter and submitted papers well
One of the main and most important tips is for any enrollee to be perfectly aware of everything that was indicated in their application form, motivation letter and any written works submitted – the likelihood that the questions will be asked based on indicated information is very high. That is why it is very important to study your motivation letter up and down in order to, if necessary, defend and talk about any statement that is present there.
So, did you actually participate in archaeological excavations in Mexico? Were you really the leader of a charity club at school? Have you truly been conducting independent research and writing articles for several years? Be aware that any exaggeration or lie may be revealed during the interview – which, in turn, may as well cost you your place at the university.
Therefore, it is crucial for you to make sure that you can fully stand behind your words. Don’t be surprised if the admissions committee will “interrogate” you to seek for the truth – it is really that important for them. In such a case, the best course of action is not to confront or quarrell, but to adequately and positively argue your position. In this way, you will show that you can conduct competent and lively discussions and make a good impression.
Read, read and read again!
It goes without saying that if you want to apply to such an education institution as Oxford or Cambridge, you must read extensively on the subject of your choosing, and doing so constantly, spending time to keep up on the related modern developments. It is obvious however that first on your list should be the main texts that every specialist on the topic should read – like Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations for future economists, or Nicholas Cook’s A Guide to Musical Analysis for future musicians.
Additionally, it is necessary to pay attention to the less known literature. For example, you can randomly go to a bookstore, find the relevant section and choose books that you have not even heard about before. The more unexpected the finds you read, the more impressed the commission will be.
Attend lectures and other events
If you live in a big city, chances are there are a lot of seminars, lectures, meetings of interest being hosted, and it will be easier for you to engage with like-minded men. Use the internet to find the events that will be useful for you; if there are no such offline events, pay attention to online seminars and lectures.
The constant practice will be a quality time well spent before going to Oxford or Cambridge. Though the ideal partners for practice will be students or graduates of Oxbridge who have themselves passed such interviews before (if you do not know them personally, contact us at Oxbridgemind.co.uk and we will organize professional training), but also anyone who is more or less familiar with your topic will also be suitable for basic practice – for example, school teacher.
Try therefore to conduct at least two test interviews before your final trip and ask your assistant to comment in detail on everything, and ask your partner in practice to comment in detail on everything you say – and don’t avoid the critical comments, they will only help you in the long-run.
The Day X
You have planned your trip to Oxbridge, decided what you will wear, repeated everything that you would like to convey to the selection commission and are a little (or not a little) worried. When you get excited, it is worth remembering that, firstly, this is an absolutely natural state, and, secondly, that this interview is an ordinary conversation with university professors who just want to get to know you better and are not going to torture you at all.
Finally, a few tips for the duration of the interview itself:
Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”
The admissions faculty that will interview you don’t expect to see you as a ready-made specialist, so don’t even try to be one. If they ask you about something you’ve never heard of before, or something you don’t quite understand, say so. This will show your confidence and curiosity. And if you try to answer a question without knowing the answer to it, you will not make the best impression. Once you’ve been given a little explanation on a topic, try to draw a parallel with what you already know and you’ll be sure to answer the question.
Think out loud
This is a fairly important skill that can be a big plus for you if you enter Oxford or Cambridge. Once you are asked a question, think it through out loud, using your knowledge logically. This will demonstrate to the admissions committee the way you think, as well as your ability to think rationally and logically. You may be suddenly interrupted by saying “have you thought about …?”, which will give you the opportunity to continue an interesting dialogue.
If you are allowed to ask questions, do so! Ask members of the commission about their area of research, about what topics they are passionate about at the moment – this is a great opportunity to learn more about your chosen direction. Show your genuine interest and they will surely remember you.