English @ Emmanuel, Cambridge in 2015

Interview format

2x interview; 1x test

Interview content

1st interview: personal statement; 2nd interview: poem

Best preparation

Mock interviews, reading lot

Final thoughts

Nothing to add :)

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

Morning test which was a close reading of a short story. Then two interviews: one on my personal statement, one on an unseen poem I had 20 minutes to read and make notes on before. Interviews were both around 20 minutes.

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

At the first interview we went through various aspects of my personal statement and discussed issues around the moral responsibility of literature (which I had written an essay on). There were quite specific questions asking me to quote from things but when I said I couldn't remember a specific quote that was okay. At one point I was given a passage from something I'd read and then we discussed it. The interviewers made me feel really at ease.

The second interview began with a close discussion of a part of the poem that I chose. Then we discussed the poem as a whole and things around that.

How did you prepare?

My school were very helpful and organised a couple of mock interviews as well as times I could just chat with my English teacher one to one about literature, to prepare me. And just reading lots and making sure I knew what I thought.

Looking back, what advice would you give to your past self?

Nothing to add!