Music @ St Catherine's, Oxford in 2018

Interview format

5x 10-30 min interviews

Interview content

All interviews: motivation / personal statement; article / piece / score given beforehand

Best preparation


Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Know your personal statement well; don't cram facts; practice answering interview questions.

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

Number of interviews: 5

Skype interview: No

Interview spread: 1 or 2 interviews each day (usually morning and afternoon)

Length of interviews: 10-30 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

My interviews started off with a general question about why I wanted to study music or about my personal statement, and then most of the rest of the time was spent talking about an article, about a piece, or analysing musical scores. It was a lot more relaxed than I expected and it seemed like the professors really just wanted you to be yourself and do your best.

How did you prepare?


What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

Know your personal statement well and be prepared to hold a conversation about any of the things you mentioned in it.

Don’t worry about cramming facts in and remembering as much as you can because that’s not what they are testing, it’s more about how passionate you show you are about your subject and how you can apply what knowledge you already have to situations.

Regularly ask yourself or get someone to ask you practice questions before you go to familiarise yourself with how to structure your responses and it will help you deal with the panic and nerves on the day.