Biomedical Sciences @ Keble, Oxford in 2019

Interview format

BMAT; 3x interviews.

Interview content

Personal statement: books included; subject related questions; graph and data analysis. Felt guided if got stuck.

Best preparation

Personal statement re-read; re-read notes; mock interview; further reading and about current affairs.

Final thoughts

Know your personal statement; take your time.

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: Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT)
Number of interviews: 3
Time between interviews: 2/3 hours between each
Length of interviews: Two were 20 minutes and one was 40 minutes
Online interview: No

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

All my interviews started very casually and with a question about something from my personal statement. Both the books I had mentioned were brought up in conversation and I was asked to discuss either my favourite part or a specific part that I had highlighted in my personal statement. The majority of the interviews were taken up with subject related questions. I was often shown a graph or diagram and asked to say what I saw and why. Some interviews were harder than others and therefore harder to relax into. It very much depended on how the interviewers conducted themselves too. They were there to help me and guide me though if I got stuck or started going down the wrong though process. I made some silly mistakes with my answers but they would give me a chance to gave another go. It was very hard to tell how well they went once I had left. It's very easy to remember all the mistakes or questions that you didn't know the answer to but in reality there was more that I could answer than couldn't.

How did you prepare for your interviews?

I mainly focused on my personal statement, making sure that I could expand on any sentence I had written. I went over some notes of the books/article I had mentioned to refresh my memory. I did a practise interview with my friends, which wasn't too serious, but was a good way to start talking about my ideas out loud. The mock interview with my teachers was a good opportunity to talk in length and learn how to articulate my thoughts, even if it wasn't subject specific. I read some new articles in preparation in case they asked me about anything that is currently being discussed in the field/media.

If you took a test, how did you prepare?

I did nearly all the past papers I could find on the BMAT website. I revised some GCSE content that would be needed for the science section of the paper and asked my teachers questions if I was unsure on the practice questions.

What advice would you give to future applicants?

My advice would be to not over prepare as you want it to be as natural as possible, just like a conversation of discussion. I had notes of things I could say but definitely don't memorise things. Make sure you know your personal statement very well because then you can be more relaxed knowing you can talk about any part of your statement at length. If I did it again I would definitely not rush to answer questions. It's ok to ask for a minute to think about an answer.