Medicine @ Wadham, Oxford in 2016

Interview format

2x 20-30 min interviews, 1 day apart

Interview content

Interviews 1, 2, 3: science based; Interview 4: medical ethics, experiment plan

Best preparation

Did practice papers; gave practice essays to teachers

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Read around latest medical issues online; listen to podcasts; arrange a mock interview if possible; practise explaining your thoughts aloud; realise that interviewers want to hear how you think and process info, and don't want to catch you out.

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: 2

Skype interview: No

Time between each interview: 1 day

Length of interviews: 20-30 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

My St Hugh's interviews were both science based, using my A level syllabus knowledge as a place to start and then developing ideas from there. They used prompts such as a pedigree and a diagram of some sort of cell for a couple of questions, which revealed more information about as we went through.

My Wadham interviews were more relaxed. One interview was science based but the other was more abstract: we discussed recent medical ethics problems and planned an experiment. Again the tutors added in bits of information to help me along.

In both interviews the tutors were friendly and helped me feel more at ease.

How did you prepare?

I used the practice papers on the BMAT website, and got teachers to look over my practice essays.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

To prepare I read around the latest medical issues on websites such as BBC News. Podcasts were also helpful - anything that informs you, helps you form opinions on things and widens your reading is useful. If you can get a practice interview that’s great, however I didn’t have access to anyone who knew what an Oxbridge interview would be like, so it’s not crucial.

The main thing I wish I’d done would be to practise explaining your train of thought out loud or justifying answers, and you can ask friends or family to help with this as it can be on any subject. It’s more about the skill than your knowledge.

I now realise that the tutors aren’t really interested in what you already know. Instead, they care about how you deal with the new information they add in, and whether you can go back on what you originally said now you have more information. They want to see the best of you, so they aren’t trying to trick you or intimidate you, as they just want you to perform to the best of your ability.