Philosophy, Politics And Economics @ Oriel, Oxford in 2018

Interview format

3x 25 min interview (+ 30 min reading time), over 2 days

Interview content

All interviews: sheet given beforehand; Economics: game theory; Politics: scenarios, definitions; Philosophy: logic questions, thought experiment

Best preparation

Past papers, mock exam

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Interviews and tests usually designed to avoid requiring knowledge; basic reading and practice interviews helpful.

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: TSA

Number of interviews: 3

Skype interview: No

Interviews spread across 2 days

Length of interviews: 25 minutes each, with 30 minutes reading time

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

Before each interview I had 30 minutes to read through a sheet of problems or questions and think about them.

Economics was Game Theory based questions about what would happen in a situation with two agents negotiating and a particular set of rules.

Politics involved a series of questions of why particular scenarios might be the case or defining words.

Philosophy had a set a set of pairs of statements, for which I had to say whether they logically entailed one another, and then a thought experiment about knowledge.

There was no way to really prepare for any of them or prior knowledge needed.

How did you prepare?

I completed all the practice papers and had a mock exam.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

For PPE the interviews and tests are usually designed to avoid requiring knowledge and instead test aptitude. Some basic reading is useful but not essential. A practice interview with a teacher or someone you know in order to get used to the interview scenario helps to reduce nerves on the day.