1x test (done prior to interview date); 2x interviews at different colleges (1x 15mins pre-reading).
1st interview: , discussion of sample essay sent in; 2nd interview: personal reading and interests
Reading lots of books and drawing links between them and things happening in the media; thinking about how reading is changing perception; writing lists of questions for future learning.
Interview enjoyable; interviewers interested in seeing initiative and evidence of independent and deep thinking about interests.
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.
I had already sat an
I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed both of my interviews. In the first one I felt comfortable enough to disagree with the person interviewing me and present a different opinion. We also talked about the sample Religious Studies essays I had sent. In the second interview, I was given the space to talk about what I found interesting about religions, and told them what I thought about the books I was reading at the time by a critic of Islam. We also discussed secularisation, Christian doctrine and other such topics, but I especially enjoyed having the space to talk about the things I was really interested in.
Reading loads of different books on things I was genuinely interested in really helped me. In my desire to learn more about Islam, I read an article about the formation of Daesh, books by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the novel 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' and then sat down and made links between them all and what I saw in the media, and thought about how reading these books had changed my perception. I also made a list of questions I was asking based on my reading, thinking about things I'd like to learn in the future.