Philosophy, Politics And Economics @ Somerville, Oxford in 2018

Interview format

2x 30 min interviews, 1 day apart

Interview content

Interview 1 (politics and philosophy): motivation, text given beforehand; Interview 2 (economics): data analysis

Best preparation

Past papers

Advice in hindsight


Final thoughts

Revised personal statement; watched philosophy and economics videos on YouTube. Think aloud during interviews, and don't be afraid of being wrong.

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: 2

Skype interview: No

Time between each interview: 1 day

Length of interviews: 30 minutes each

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

I had one politics and philosophy interview, with 20 minutes pre reading before hand. They asked me why I wanted to study PPE and then proceeded to ask me about the text I had just read and some follow up questions. I wasn't asked about my personal statement and the interview lasted 20 minutes.

I had a second economics interviews with a tutor and a PhD student. It was split into 2 sections and he first required me to look over some graphs and data, which I had to explain and answer further questions on. Again, I wasn't asked about my personal statement.

How did you prepare?

I did past papers I found online.

What advice do you have for future applicants?

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

I revised my personal statement to prepare and watched YouTube series of a crash course in philosophy and economics, as I hadn't formally studied them before.

From my experience, my interviews were a discussion to test how you think- the best way to convey that is to speak your thought processes out loud and not be afraid to say something for fear of being wrong.