NSAA; 3x interviews
Interview 1: general; Interview 2: academic, physics; Interview 3: academic, maths
Practice papers and engaging with the subject generally
Don't panic, ask questions
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.
Test taken: Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment (NSAA), Extra test upon arrival
Number of interviews: 3
Skype interview: no
Time between interviews: 1 hour
Length of first interview: 30 minutes; Length of second interview: 30 minutes; Length of third interview: 30 minutes
I had a test upon arrival. It had more abstract physics questions than I had at A-level.
The first interview was just about me and my interests in general. We covered my head of sixth form role, whether I was into politics and what I enjoyed. It felt more like a simple chat to get to know a little bit about me. I was obviously nervous to begin with but there wasn’t any need to be.
My next interview covered physics. They introduced a concept I’d not heard of before and asked me to derive an equation. They helped me along and I ended up getting it, but I’ve been told that getting to the final solution isn’t important, but rather how you respond to being proposed a question I’d never thought about before.
My last interview was maths and an observation style question. The former was an extremely simple question, the latter I tripped up on. I began getting too
To prepare for the testI did the specimen paper and questions on Isaacphysics.org and went over what I knew from AS so far
I did a fair anount of preparation for interview; again, a lot of questions on Isaacphysics.com, attended
One note, bring pens and pencils for the exam on-arrival! It was also run by students and