History And Modern Languages @ Fitzwilliam, Cambridge in 2018

Interview format

History Admissions Assessment; MML Admissions Assessment; 2x interviews.

Interview content

Interview 1: discussion of unseen passage; Interview 2: discussion in target language, translation, personal statement.

Best preparation

Practised reading and summarising unseen passages.

Final thoughts

Take advantage of the opportunity discuss passages with world-class experts.

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

Test taken: History Admissions Assessment (HAA), MLAA (Modern Languages Admissions Assessment)
Number of interviews: 2
Time between interviews: A few hours
Length of interviews: 20 minutes
Online interview: No

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

In both the history and the languages interviews I had been given a text to look at beforehand. In my first interview, we discussed the text and my opinions on it.

In my second interview, I had to read a section of the text aloud in the foreign language, translating a passage into English and then discussing it. Towards the end there was also some discussion of my personal statement, particularly focused on what I had read.

How did you prepare?

I practised reading unfamiliar passages, both for history and languages, then summarising and expanding on my ideas surrounding them.

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

The best advice anyone gave me was to just enjoy the application and interview process. It sounds odd, but if you tell yourself that it will be enjoyable then the whole process seems to fly by and becomes a lot easier. After all, you are getting the opportunity to challenge yourself, to read some fascinating passages on things which you haven't studied yet and to discuss your favourite subject with world-class experts in a mock-supervision style interview. Moreover, if you are enjoying yourself, then you are likely to convey this and your love for your subject in your interview.