History And Modern Languages @ St Catharine's, Cambridge in 2019

Interview format

History Admissions Assessment (HAA), MML Admissions Assessment; 2x interviews

Interview content

Interview 1: discussing the usefulness of studying history and languages; Interview 2: submitted essays

Best preparation

Re-read personal statement and submitted essays

Test preparation

Read over past papers

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), MML Admissions Assessment
Number of interviews: 2
Time between interviews: None
Length of interviews: 15 minutes
Online interview: No

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

In my MML interview, I was given a text to read beforehand, and a few lines of French to translate. I would say that the theme of the interview was broadly the usefulness of studying a language alongside History, and also problematising the study of a language (for example the accuracy of translations). My personal statement was briefly mentioned, but overall this wasn't really an interview that I could have prepared for, because the questions were mostly quite abstract and frankly a bit random. 99% of the interview was in English.

The History interview was even more unpredictable - I wasn't given any materials to work with and even though my submitted essays were talked about a little most of the questions seemed to come out of nowhere. However this wasn't a bad thing, it was more of a chance to be creative with my answers and not feel stressed about reeling off facts! All my interviewers were very friendly but also very probing with their questions. Basically the atmosphere was relaxed but they didn't let me off easy. I was very nervous before the interviews but they flew by.

How did you prepare for your interviews?

I pored over my personal statement and the essays I submitted, thinking up any questions that were likely to be asked based on what I had written. This made me feel less worried about being off guard and looking stupid. I also did some more reading on topics I was interested in, so that I could possibly bring them up.

If you took a test, how did you prepare?

Honestly, I didn't really prepare except reading over some past papers.