If you’re reading this, it probably means you have been invited to a Cambridge medicine interview. If so, congratulations!
The academics and admissions tutors at the university have read your application and have concluded that you have what it takes to study at Cambridge and succeed on its Medicine course.
So instead of looking at the interview as another hurdle where people are waiting to see you fail, see it as an opportunity to further impress people who are already impressed by your application. As one Professor told me at an open day, they would not waste time and money interviewing you if they didn’t truly believe you were good enough.
However, after the initial excitement sets in, it’s time to start working towards that interview.
This is a surprising yet invaluable tip. I found that in most of my interviews, the interviewers did not care about the latest impressively difficult scientific concept I had committed to memory; they were far more interested in the basic concepts that I had known since GCSE, and how I could apply them to problems I had never seen before.
It goes without saying that you should be well prepared to answer questions on all the topics you have covered at A-Level and that you have included on your SAQ, however do make sure to spend some time recapping some of the scientific concepts you learnt at GCSE and perhaps haven’t revised recently, particularly if you dropped one of the sciences for A-Level.
One of my interviewers asked me questions which were almost purely physics-based, much to my dismay – as I hadn’t even thought about Physics since GCSE!
A peculiarity of the Cambridge interview experience is that it varies greatly between colleges, so make sure you research the interview format at your particular college.
This information is often readily available on their website or in the interview schedule they will send you, so ensure you use this information to steer your preparation.
Some colleges have general interviews, whereas others may not have a specific general interview and will only have academic interviews. Some colleges may also ask you to read information beforehand and answer questions on it at interview.
Knowing and practising for the types of interviews you will face will ensure you feel calmer and more confident on the day.
This is the one piece of advice that I was given by just about everyone who knew I had a Cambridge interview; having gone through the experience myself, it could not be more important.
The Cambridge interviews are designed to push you academically until you cannot go further, in order to see how much you are capable of. It is also designed to mimic a supervision type discussion – Cambridge’s name for small group teaching sessions.
You are not supposed to get everything right straight away and you are expected to make educated guesses and go off track at some point.
The interviewer is there to guide you back to the right path, but they can only do this if you let them know what you are thinking. Even if it’s wrong or sounds silly, it will be a lot better than sitting and twiddling your thumbs because you have no clue what to say and are too scared to ask a question.
As with any interview, practice is key. For me, it came to the point when my little sister was giving me mock interviews because it gave me the opportunity to answer questions out loud in front of someone.
Many schools offer practice interviews with teachers and/or ex-pupils, so make use of them! If your school does not, try to ask a teacher yourself for a mock interview. I would particularly recommend asking a Biology teacher to give you an academic interview, as that is the style of medical interview which is unique to Oxbridge.
If this is not possible, ask friends or family members for help or even give yourself mock interviews in the mirror. The point is practice regularly so that at interview, your answers come naturally to you.
My final tip is to enjoy it. The Cambridge interview experience, although plagued by horror stories of crazy professors, is actually one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had. Try to stay over at the college if possible and take in the beauty of the city whilst you are there. And remember, you’ve worked incredibly hard to get this far, so stay calm and enjoy the experience.
Words: Anonymous Cambridge Medical Student
Prepare for your Cambridge interview with our one-day Interview Course!
Loading More Content
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously.
|__cfduid||1 month||The cookie is used by cdn services like CloudFlare to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis. It does not correspond to any user ID in the web application and does not store any personally identifiable information.|
|__hssrc||session||This cookie is set by Hubspot. According to their documentation, whenever HubSpot changes the session cookie, this cookie is also set to determine if the visitor has restarted their browser. If this cookie does not exist when HubSpot manages cookies, it is considered a new session.|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-advertisement||1 year||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Advertisement".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
|JSESSIONID||session||Used by sites written in JSP. General purpose platform session cookies that are used to maintain users' state across page requests.|
|PHPSESSID||session||This cookie is native to PHP applications. The cookie is used to store and identify a users' unique session ID for the purpose of managing user session on the website. The cookie is a session cookies and is deleted when all the browser windows are closed.|
|sbjs_first_add||5 months 27 days||This cookie is to identify the source of a visit and store user action information about it in a cookies. This is a analytic and behavioural cookie used for improving the visitor experience on the website.|
Functional cookies help to perform certain functionalities like sharing the content of the website on social media platforms, collect feedbacks, and other third-party features.
|__hssc||30 minutes||This cookie is set by HubSpot. The purpose of the cookie is to keep track of sessions. This is used to determine if HubSpot should increment the session number and timestamps in the __hstc cookie. It contains the domain, viewCount (increments each pageView in a session), and session start timestamp.|
|__stripe_mid||1 year||Stipe cookie to provide fraud prevention.|
|__stripe_sid||30 minutes||Stripe cookie to provide fraud prevention.|
|woocommerce_cart_hash||1 day||Used to store items in shopping cart.|
|woocommerce_items_in_cart||Session||Used to store the number of items in shopping cart.|
|wp_woocommerce_session_*||Session||Used to store performed actions on the website.|
Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors.
|YSC||session||This cookies is set by Youtube and is used to track the views of embedded videos.|
Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.
|__hstc||1 year 24 days||This cookie is set by Hubspot and is used for tracking visitors. It contains the domain, utk, initial timestamp (first visit), last timestamp (last visit), current timestamp (this visit), and session number (increments for each subsequent session).|
|_ga||2 years||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to calculate visitor, session, campaign data and keep track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookies store information anonymously and assign a randomly generated number to identify unique visitors.|
|_gat_UA-61748161-1||1 minute||This is a pattern type cookie set by Google Analytics, where the pattern element on the name contains the unique identity number of the account or website it relates to. It appears to be a variation of the _gat cookie which is used to limit the amount of data recorded by Google on high traffic volume websites.|
|_gid||1 day||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to store information of how visitors use a website and helps in creating an analytics report of how the website is doing. The data collected including the number visitors, the source where they have come from, and the pages visted in an anonymous form.|
|_uetsid||1 day||This cookies are used to collect analytical information about how visitors use the website. This information is used to compile report and improve site.|
|hubspotutk||1 year 24 days||This cookie is used by HubSpot to keep track of the visitors to the website. This cookie is passed to Hubspot on form submission and used when deduplicating contacts.|
|sbjs_current||5 months 27 days||This cookie is to identify the source of a visit and store user action information about it in a cookies. This is a analytic and behavioural cookie used for improving the visitor experience on the website.|
|sbjs_current_add||5 months 27 days||This cookie is to identify the source of a visit and store user action information about it in a cookies. This is a analytic and behavioural cookie used for improving the visitor experience on the website.|
|sbjs_first||5 months 27 days|
|sbjs_migrations||5 months 27 days|
|sbjs_udata||5 months 27 days|
|vuid||2 years||This domain of this cookie is owned by Vimeo. This cookie is used by vimeo to collect tracking information. It sets a unique ID to embed videos to the website.|
Advertisement cookies are used to provide visitors with relevant ads and marketing campaigns. These cookies track visitors across websites and collect information to provide customized ads.
|IDE||1 year 24 days||Used by Google DoubleClick and stores information about how the user uses the website and any other advertisement before visiting the website. This is used to present users with ads that are relevant to them according to the user profile.|
|MUID||1 year 24 days||Used by Microsoft as a unique identifier. The cookie is set by embedded Microsoft scripts. The purpose of this cookie is to synchronize the ID across many different Microsoft domains to enable user tracking.|
|OAID||1 year||This cookie is set when an AdsWizz website visitor have opted out the collection of information by AdsWizz service or opted to disable the targeted ads by AdsWizz.|
|test_cookie||15 minutes||This cookie is set by doubleclick.net. The purpose of the cookie is to determine if the user's browser supports cookies.|
|VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE||5 months 27 days||This cookie is set by Youtube. Used to track the information of the embedded YouTube videos on a website.|
Other uncategorized cookies are those that are being analyzed and have not been classified into a category as yet.
|_dc_gtm_UA-61748161-1||1 minute||No description|
|_ga_N02X64JKVD||2 years||No description|
|_uetvid||1 year 24 days||No description|
|CONSENT||16 years 7 months 13 hours 29 minutes||No description|
|CX_254379340||1 year||No description|
|ep201||30 minutes||This cookie is set by the provider Surveymonkey. This cookie is used for statistical analysis and website optmization. It gathers information on user's interaction with the SurveyMonkey- Widget on thewebsite.|
|ep202||3 months||This cookie is set by the provider Surveymonkey. This cookie is used for statistical analysis and website optmization. It gathers information on user's interaction with the SurveyMonkey- Widget on thewebsite.|
|ep203||3 months||No description|