Asian And Middle Eastern Studies @ Queens', Cambridge in 2015

Interview format

1st interview: prep reading, grammar questions; 2nd interview: less focused on subject

Interview content

1st interview: passage to discuss, personal statement; 2nd interview; 2nd interview: personal statement and essays, general; 3rd interview: personal statement, 30 mins, general

Best preparation

Personal research, revised personal statement, mock interview

Final thoughts

Practice discussing & arguing under pressure, practice in a different language for MML

Remember this advice isn't official. There is no guarantee it will reflect your experience because university applications can change between years. Check the official Cambridge and Oxford websites for more accurate information on this year's application format and the required tests.

Also, someone else's experience may not reflect your own. Most interviews are more like conversations than tests and like, any conversation, they are quite interactive.

Interview Format

I was greeted by a student and directed to the room of my first interview. I was given some reading to do for about 10 minutes before I went in. I was also given some grammar questions to do on sight in the interview. I then had an interview focusing less on the subjects I had applied for.

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

In the first interview, I was asked to read out the passage they gave me and discuss it, and after the grammar questions we discussed my personal statement. Ithought this went awfully.

In my second interview, the questions focused much more on my personal statement and the essays I had sent in, but with a very general angle. I think they were trying to assess my general thinking skills and style of learning/thinking.

My last interview was again very focused on my personal statement. The whole half hour was focused on around two points from my personal statement, and even more general discussion.

How did you prepare? I didn't find anything very useful on the internet, I had no contacts at Cambridge I could message for advice, and Ifound my school weren't particularly useful either. I think the best thing I did was a lot of personal research and thinking about everything and anything I had written in my personal statement or an essay I sent in etc;also a mock interview I had with my headteacher was very useful, as although it was unlike the interviews I had at Cambridge, it really helped to practise talking about my views in a pressuried situation.
Looking back, what advice would you give to your past self?

Make sure to practice discussing and arguing your viewpoints in a situation where you feel nervous and under pressure - my headteacher's office worked for me - and especially to practise in the language you're applying for post A-Level, if applying for MML.