English Language And Literature @ Trinity, Oxford in 2020

Interview format

3 x 20-30 min interviews, 2 hours apart

Interview content

Discussed texts mentioned in personal statement; analysed and discussed a poem

Best preparation

Had mock interviews; looked over sixth form notes; reread personal statement

Test preparation

Practice papers

Final thoughts

Make sure you are familiar with everything you mention in your 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: English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT)
Number of interviews: 3
Time between interviews: 2 hours
Length of interviews: Around 20/30 minutes
Online interview: Yes

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

I talked about the texts in my personal statement, and I had to analyse a poem and discuss it in the interview. It was fun but a little bit scary to think about, but when the interview started, the tutors were very nice and they help you along.

How did you prepare for your interviews?

I did some mock interviews with some of the teachers at my school. I looked through my sixth form notes to ensure my subject knowledge was as good as it could be. The best thing I did was reread my personal statement as I got asked about some of the texts I mentioned. I think my preparation helped me anticipate the sort of questions I would be asked, which made me less nervous and made me feel more prepared as I knew my subject knowledge was good.

If you took a test, how did you prepare?

I did past ELAT papers.

What advice would you give to future applicants?

Make sure you know what you’re talking about in your personal statement, and don’t just mention something to ‘impress’ because, if you get asked about it later, you won’t know how to respond to their questions.