Mathematics And Computer Science @ St John's, Oxford in 2018

Interview format

5x 25 min interviews, over 3 days

Interview content

All interviews: problems, short conversation at start about personal statement

Best preparation

Past papers, some help from teachers

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Do all past papers; remind yourself of A-level maths.

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: 5

Skype interview: No

Interviews spread over 3 days

Length of interviews: about 25 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

In all of the interviews the main focus was on a problem - there was a little conversation at the start, to try and make me feel more comfortable, about my personal statement.

I made lots of mistakes working out the problems, but that didn't matter and thinking clearly with pen and paper was the most important thing.

I definitely felt nervous the whole way through, though with some interviewers I felt less so.

None of the interviewers gave me problems to pre-prepare - I knew nothing about what I'd be asked.

How did you prepare?

I did past papers and had some help from teachers

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

Make sure to do all the past papers for the MAT/equivalent, because that's exactly the kind of stuff they talked about in the interview.

It would also be worth reminding yourself of basic A-level maths so you don't, as I did, make mistakes that stress you out, which you could avoid.

If anyone offers interview prep, to me it was only worth it with someone who was actually a mathematician.