This guide to Oxbridge interviews will familiarise you with what to expect and how to prepare for the day.
The Oxbridge interview is designed to reflect a tutorial or ‘supervision’ that students at both universities experience on a regular basis.
The interviewers will ask challenging questions that are designed to see how well you adapt to different scenarios – and you’ll be expected to talk the interviewers through your thought process as you make an attempt to establish an answer.
Both Universities share a statement about their interviews, describing the same process at each. Since you can only apply to Oxford or Cambridge, you’ll only have to face one Oxbridge interview – but the preparation is the same for either institution.
During your Oxbridge interview, you may be asked why you’ve applied to study Medicine at Oxbridge as an ice-breaker.
Once you’ve warmed up, you should expect to be asked more scientific questions than Medicine ones. That’s because the ratio of scientists to doctors who will be interviewing you could be skewed towards scientists.
Like other Medicine interviews, the questions are asked to see how you think – they don’t expect you to have the correct answer or to have memorised obscure scientific facts.
For this reason, you should expect to be surprised by the questions you’re asked. Oxbridge interviewers want you to be challenged and have to think on your feet, as that is the way they will test your potential.
You’ve probably heard the rumours of bizarre questions that have been asked during Oxbridge interviews – but many of these are a myth!
It is notoriously hard to predict exactly what questions you will be asked, but the type of questions and the approach you can take to answering them well is much easier to anticipate. You will often find you are faced with a scenario, during your Oxbridge medical interview, where you need to apply scientific reasoning to an unfamiliar problem.
We have a number of Oxbridge Medicine questions in our Interview Question Bank that you can revise and practice for free.
The best way to answer Oxbridge interview questions is calmly and strategically. Think beyond GCSE and A-Level knowledge and have the confidence to verbally work and talk through problems as you come up with an answer.
During your interview, you should:
If you’re still not sure after giving the question some thought, tell the interviewers so but say it is a topic you would love to research in greater depth in the future. This will show that you are serious about pursuing a Medical degree and that you are eager to learn.
The main thing Oxbridge interviewers are looking for in candidates is a genuine enthusiasm for the course as well as a desire and commitment to become a Doctor.
Oxbridge Medicine applicants should be able to:
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