English Language And Literature @ St Anne's, Oxford in 2017

Interview format

2x 15 min interviews, 1 day apart

Interview content

Both interviews: prose/poetry given beforehand, current reading, personal statement

Best preparation

Practised reading and comparing unseen texts

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Go to any uni application sessions your school might run; try reading challenging books; don't worry if your points are challenged at interview.

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: ELAT

Number of interviews: 2

Skype interview: No

Time between each interview: 1 day

Length of interviews: about 15 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

In one interview I was given a piece of prose to analyse, 10 minutes before entering the room, and in the other it was poetry. The interviews centred on my understanding of and thoughts on those pieces. There was also discussion of what I was reading at the moment, including what I had written about on my personal statement.

How did you prepare?

I practised by reading and comparing unseen texts.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

Make use of any and all in-school university application sessions. Try to read a few extracts from books that you feel are 'above your level' under time pressure and see how you can deal with them.

I now understand that the interviewers are looking for people who will be good to teach - even if you get something wrong! They will try to present an opposing view to you and see how you respond to and develop it - don't be worried by this!! It's a way of testing how you respond to being challenged - even if your point is great.