Oxbridge Application Process
What is required to join an Oxbridge university
If you wish to secure a place at an Oxbridge school, you will need to meet tough entry requirements, answer famously difficult interview questions and pass admissions tests. The deadline for applying to either Oxford or Cambridge each year is October 15th.
Choosing an Oxbridge college
Applying to a specific college is recommended, but open applications can also be submitted. When picking a college, students should consider if it teaches the subject you wish to study, its academic history and if it is close to your personal interests and hobbies. Not all colleges offer undergraduate or postgraduate courses, so research is vital.
Visiting Oxbridge universities for an Open Day is vital to gain an understanding of the area and what your life will be like. Oxbridge tutors are also happy to meet informal visitors if a request is made.
Oxbridge admissions tests
Many applications to Oxbridge universities now require you take an admissions test before reaching the interview stage. Oxbridge admissions tests test aptitude rather than knowledge and this helps the university distinguish excellent candidates from merely good ones.
Don’t expect the tests to be straightforward question and answer – questions are often obtuse and require the candidate to think outside the box. Not all Oxbridge courses require the taking of a set test, and those that do often depend upon the staff’s preference.
If you have made it through the initial application and passed the subsequent admissions test, the final part of an Oxbridge application is passing an interview. Oxbridge interviews vary from one college to the next and students will be expected to analyse unseen materials during an interview, whilst also answering questions on inventive and unorthodox topics. Oxbridge interviews for Cambridge and Oxford take place during December.
Interviewers will be looking for candidates who are passionate about their interests, with enthusiasm a criterion for success. Questions might focus on your personal statement, so be sure you can back up and discuss at length what you have written.