Human Sciences @ St Hugh's, Oxford in 2017

Interview format

3x 30 min interviews, over 2 days

Interview content

Both interviews: diagram/image to discuss; questions on TSA essay in one interview

Best preparation

Book, past papers

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Think out loud; don't worry about saying something groundbreaking or sounding stupid; be yourself!

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: 3

Skype interview: No

Interview spread: 1 in morning and 1 in afternoon of day one; 1 in morning of day two

Length of interviews: 30 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

I was asked general questions at the start, and then in all of my interviews I was given a diagram or image of some kind to talk about (they ask you guiding questions so don't worry too much if you have no idea what the image is!). I was also asked a few questions about my TSA essay in one of my interviews. I really enjoyed my interviews; they were really relaxed and went very quickly, so don’t stress too much. Advice I’d give is to make sure you read the news in the weeks before your interview.

How did you prepare?

I used a book called ‘Ace the TSA’ to start to understand the style of questions asked and I looked at a few online past papers to see the types of essay questions asked.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

The main advice I would give is to make sure that you think out loud in an interview, even if you think what you are saying might sound stupid. They want to see how you think, not what you know, so speak through all of your thoughts, and ask them questions if you want them to clarify something.

Don’t worry about saying something really groundbreaking, they aren’t expecting you to come up with genius comments in the interview. The main thing I would emphasise is don’t worry about sounding stupid. Try your best, be yourself and speak out loud; don’t worry that you will embarrass yourself because chances are they will like what you are saying, and if not you won’t have to see these people again, so just give it your best shot and be yourself so you don’t finish interviews with regrets.

Don’t try to be the student that you think they want - be yourself, chances are they’ll like you even better for that!