Mathematics @ Trinity, Oxford in 2017

Interview format

3x 30 min interviews, over 2 days

Interview content

Problem solving

Best preparation

Past papers, practice interviews if possible, A-level and calculus revision

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Rest well; stay hydrated.

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: MAT

Number of interviews: 3

Skype interview: No

Interview spread: 1 in morning, 1 in afternoon, 1 next day

Length of interviews: about 30 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

They didn’t ask about personal statement beyond an initial icebreaker of like “oh this is interesting”.

We’re very friendly, a Trinity tutor gives chocolate in interview :). I was asked interesting problem solvingy questions and asked you to talk aloud through your thought process. There wasn’t really a theme to the interviews, just general maths stuff. Tutors were very friendly and gave you pointers if you were stuck/ going the wrong way.

How did you prepare?

I did all the past papers I could find on the website, and tried to do the later ones timed and closed book. I also found British Mathematical Olympiad style questions useful for practice - and looking throughly over the material needed for C1/C2 (I don't know what the equivalent is now but I’m sure it’s on the website.)

I would recommend getting as many practice interviews as possible at school or with friends/family.

If you can, ask people who have already applied about the kind of interview questions they had - e.g. if there’s anyone who applied in year 13 at school while you’re in year 12.

If you’ve written about anything on your personal statement, I’d recommend looking over that just in case, but don’t spend too much time on this.

Knowing derivatives and integrals will save some time having to derive them.

Practise drawing different graphs: this often comes up, so have a routine - e.g. think about turning points / points crossing x and y axis / asymptotes / where it goes to as x tends to negative or positive infinity, etc.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

The most important thing is to sleep and rest well, stay hydrated, etc., so you can do your best for interview.