Chemistry @ Magdalen, Oxford in 2016

Interview format

2x 30 min interviews, over 2 days

Interview content

Academic questions based on A-level content

Best preparation

Practice papers

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Don't worry too much about excessive reading or the personal statement.

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: TSA

Number of interviews: 2

Skype interview: No

Interviews spread over 2 days

Length of interviews: 30 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

All the questions were academic questions: I was asked a few easy introductory questions to settle into it, and then a main, harder question based on stuff we've learnt in A level - but then taking it a bit beyond to see how you react.

How did you prepare?

I did practice papers.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

Trust your teachers.

You are either the right person or you aren't - so preparation can only help so much. Oxbridge tutors are looking for a specific type of intelligence, so don't think you're stupid if you don't get in.

Don't feel like you have to read too many books. Personal statements don't matter at all.

Your grades matter.

Be a person the tutor can stand to sit in a room with for 3 years.