Human Sciences @ St Catherine's, Oxford in 2016

Interview format

2x 20 min interviews, 3-4 hrs apart

Interview content

Motivations, hypothetical questions, guessing what unlabelled graphs showed, suggesting reasons for trends

Best preparation

Practice papers

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Did A-level revision; read online; spoke to Oxford grad and teacher; did UNIQ summer school; researched tutors.

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

Time between each interview: a few hours

Length of interviews: 20 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

I was asked about my motivations for studying the course. Then I was given mainly hypothetical questions about phenomena in the world and speculative explanations: questions to test thought processes and response to further pushing.

I was shown graphs/data without labels and asked to hypothesise what they showed. They asked me, 'Why might this be?' about real trends. They were interested in how I responded logically and creatively.

How did you prepare?

I did the practice past papers at home.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

I did A-level revision, looked at The Student Room and unofficial guides, read 'Tell Me About a Banana', read other relevant books, and spoke to an ex-Oxford student and teacher at school who gave good tips.

I also did the UNIQ summer school, which helped me to prepare lots - I gained a lot of confidence from this (defo the most helpful!). I also researched the various tutors and their interests.