Whether you apply to Oxford or Cambridge University – here is advice from the expert
In this article, our experienced University entrance tutor talks about how to best prepare for your Oxbridge Interview. As well as sharing his tips on acing the interview, he also shares some examples of the kind of questions that might be thrown at you.
Applying to Oxford or Cambridge University is, on paper, straightforward. So, like many other eminent places of study, distinction in the entrance exam and interview are crucial.
Are you prepared for these kinds of questions?
Who are more original, authors or philosophers?
How might the rise of the “selfie stick” be related to the popularity of first person video games?
What does our obsession with professional sports say about us?
To what extent do people unconsciously take on ideas from the society in which they were raised?
As Director of Critical Thinking at the school with the best IGCSE and A Level results in England and Wales my job is to provide the guidance required. I have thirteen candidates from medicine to music, economics to engineering. All would be welcomed at any other place of academe but they are prepared to read more, study more, and give up more for the opportunity of being accepted at either of these world famous institutions.
Undoubtedly, all candidates have excellent A Level or IBDP qualifications and the expected result of the Oxbridge exam will be brilliant so what makes the difference? So, who will be accepted and who will be cruelly called Oxbridge Rejects?
An Oxbridge tutor has five places and thirty dazzling candidates. How does he or she choose?
The difference is the interview which is where I come in. I use microteaching methods to bring out the best in the interviewee.
Over many hours the quality of the student’s answers are analysed, assessed for tone, humour and of course for replete enthusiasm and discursive knowledge of their subject.
Most importantly, if the entrance exam is subject-specific the interview is not.
Firstly, questions are often abstract with no right or wrong answer. Secondly, the interviewer wants quality of thought, of logic, of respect for opposing opinions.
The process is not easy. In fact, it is not meant to be. Yet the enquiries are designed to provoke a conversation. A high faluting chat but a dialogue nevertheless.
Why exactly is Kim Kardashian famous?
Is Vladimir Putin mad, bad or just a product of his time and place?
Are we all unwitting products of forces we did not choose?
Tutors at Oxford and Cambridge entrance interviews have asked all questions in italics. Could you answer them?
Finally, why not try testing you and your family and see if you are ready for your Oxbridge Interview?
So, if you would like to talk to Ron about your University entrance interview and exams, get in touch. Or to book tuition with any of our tutors call us on +41 22 731 81 48. You can email us at email@example.com, or you can click below.