Medicine @ St Catherine's, Oxford in 2018

Interview format

4x 20-40 min interviews, 2 hrs apart

Interview content

Interview 1: motivations, personal statement, work experience; Interview 2: science (diagrams)

Best preparation

Practice papers, mock interviews

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Stay calm; try to enjoy 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: BMAT

Number of interviews: 4

Skype interview: No

Time between each interview: 2 hours

Length of interviews: 20-40 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

In my first interview we discussed why I wanted to study medicine, as well as my personal statement and my work experience. We also discussed why I wanted to study at Oxford and the sort of things I would enjoy doing whilst in Oxford, such as clubs and societies.

In my second interview the focus was on science; I was presented with some diagrams and asked to pick out a feature and talk about it in detail. The interviewers used my answers to ask me more questions, so that it was more of a conversation, rather than me reciting information.

I was very nervous for my first interview but the interviewers were very friendly and patient. My second interview was challenging and I felt like it was an absolute disaster! However, I subsequently had two more interviews at a different college the next day and I felt more prepared for those and much more relaxed.

How did you prepare?

To prepare for the test, I used the practice papers.

To best prepare for the interview you need to know about the subject you are applying for as a whole in terms of what qualities it requires from you and what it entails.

Having mock interviews with a teacher of a similar subject at school is also very helpful, try to make it a discussion and ask for them to make it challenging and to ask you things you do not expect to know. The interviews are meant to reflect tutorials where you learn something, so it is important to engage in the discussion and ask questions to help yourself.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

Retrospectively I would say that, if an applicant has made it as far as interview stage, then you have what it takes to receive an offer. Just stay calm during the interview and show the interviewers your desirable qualities, such as resilience and coping under pressure, but also try to enjoy yourself. (I know this sounds absurd.)