History And Modern Languages @ St John's, Oxford in 2017

Interview format

2x 30 min interviews, 1 day apart

Interview content

French: Read, translated, and answered questions on French text; History: discussion of period I chose

Best preparation

Past paper questions

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: HAT

Number of interviews: 2

Skype interview: No

Time between each interview: 1 day

Length of interviews: about 30 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

For French, I was asked to read, translate and answer comprehension-based questions on a French text. I was also briefly asked a question relating to my personal statement, as was the case in my History interview, which was otherwise just an analytical discussion of an historical period of my choosing.

I was nervous at first, but quickly relaxed into it in spite of a few blips in the French interview. Both interviews were open and accommodating—this was especially so with History, which felt more like an informal conversation than an interrogation of any sort.

How did you prepare?

I surveyed and discussed past paper questions.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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