Biomedical Sciences @ Exeter, Oxford in 2018

Interview format

3x 30 min interviews; same day

Interview content

Personal statement discussion; 3 interviewers; document analysis; interviewers were welcoming

Best preparation

Stay informed about field

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts


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: BMAT

Number of interviews: 3

Skype interview: No

Interview spread: all in one day

Length of interview: 30 minutes

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

There was some personal statement discussion, with a more in-depth analysis of some of the subjects I mentioned that were of interest to the researchers. Generally 3 interviewers were present, who would each present one problem, which they would question you to go through, asking you to reconsider answers, etc. There was some document analysis: for example, 'What could you conclude from this graph?'

The interview was not stressful beyond measure, the interviewers were welcoming and not so intimidating, just insistent in making sure you justified all answers.

How did you prepare?

I did practice papers from the official website in timed conditions; practised mental maths through any method available; and re-read my relevant (biology, chemistry, physics, maths) notes from high-school

For interview preparation, I did a lot of extra reading: scientific papers, books, textbooks, podcasts (not as cramming for interview, but starting earlier if possible). I did one practice interview with a teacher which was not at all how mine turned out to be (in the practice, the teacher only mentioned what I had included in my personal statement). Practise speaking to yourself or someone about specific things that interest you, so that you can steer the conversation your way.

What I would do differently: Start revising for the pre-admissions tests earlier and don't try to revise specific material, rather stay informed about recent developments in your field

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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