4x 30 min interviews, over 2 days
Poem given beforehand, personal statement / general discussion, conversation in target language
Practice papers, grammar tests / sections from different A-level exam boards
If you're not sure of something, you can say so.
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.
Number of interviews: 4
Skype interview: No
Interview spread: 3 one day, 1 the following day
Length of interviews: about 30 minutes each
Each of my interviews (four in total - one for each language at two different colleges) followed a similar structure. I had a poem to read before the interview (30 minutes before), which was then discussed during the first part of the interview. For the second part we usually discussed my personal statement, but often this was just a springboard for the discussion (ie it went beyond what I’d written). The final part of each interview was conducted in the target language (not as stressful as it sounds I promise!)
To prepare for the test, I used practice papers, as well as grammar tests/sections from my own A level exam board and other exam boards.
The real interviews were not as “scary” as I imagined - the
Don’t be afraid of pausing when asked a question - it’s OK to have a think about it rather than rush in. They are not expecting you to know all the answers but they are looking for you to think - someone they can teach. If you aren’t sure about something you can say so.