Biochemistry @ Merton, Oxford in 2018

Interview format

2x interviews (20-30 mins each), a day apart

Interview content

Both interviews: motivations, personal statement; Interview 1: written questions from college test

Best preparation


Final thoughts

Ask for a mock interview if you can.

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: little test at college

Number of interviews: 2

Skype interview: No

Time between each interview: 1 day

Length of interviews: 20-30 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

Both interviewers asked me about why I wanted to study Biochemistry. From this they asked me a question about why I thought genetics was important as I had mentioned this. They then proceeded to question me to find out a little bit more on what was in my personal statement. This was useful as it allowed me to relax into the interview experience. After this stage, in both interviews the question stage began.

My first interview focused around a written question with some images, related to a little test that we had done the day before. The questions began with A level basic knowledge, which I initially stumbled over in one, yet was corrected, reassured and then continued. The questions got more difficult and challenging, but they corrected and guided me. At one stage, they compared one chemical to another which I had not yet studied. I mentioned this, and they then changed their comparison to help me understand.

How did you prepare?


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

I asked my Biology teacher for a mock interview and it was useful to practise thinking out loud. I would recommend this, especially if there is a teacher who you are unfamiliar with as this makes you more nervous.