Top Ten Tips… Applying to Oxbridge

Amy Alexander & Natalia Sanchez Castro – Year 12 Students

Amy and Natalia recently attended an Oxford & Cambridge Student Conference at Aintree racecourse. They now share their top ten tips for future Oxbridge applicants.

Top Ten Tips

1 Choose The Right Course

Pick the subject you love. Attend different master classes and taster courses to help you decide.

2 Meet Your Deadlines

Does your course require an admissions test? Check the registration and test dates.

Does your course require any written work? Check the submission deadlines.

3 Super-curricular Activities

Engagement with relevant academic extension and enrichment is vital – get involved with subject societies, explore MOOCs, seek guidance on deeper subject reading, discuss options for EPQ…

4 Revise Your Subjects

Do everything you can to make sure that your record of academic achievement is as strong as it can be. Check your entry requirements – be realistically aspirational!

5 Deeper Reading

Use this to develop your interests within your subjects – explore specific areas of interest in greater depth rather than trying to show an interest in everything and anything.

6 Practise Discussing Ideas

The ability to articulate and develop your thoughts is extremely important. Teachers, clinics and subject societies are a great place to start.

7 Use Resources Available

Find out which subject teachers might be willing and able to offer insight and advice; make the most of the Lawson library and the expertise of the librarians; speak with a member of the HE team about your aspirations.

8 Think Critically

Practise applying existing knowledge to new situations. Engage critically with your deeper reading. The EPQ can be great way of demonstrating independent and critical thinking.

9 The Interview

Be yourself. Practise being comfortable in subject-based conversations. Review your personal statement and any work submitted as this can be a starting point for interview questions.

10 Writing Your Personal Statement

Be honest and be selective. For highly competitive academic courses, admissions tutors will be more interested in super-curricular than extra-curricular.


What are the Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences?

Designed as Open Days on the road, our conferences bring experienced admissions staff, subject specialists and current students from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge to you and your students at venues around the UK.

The events are aimed at Year 12 students (or equivalent) who are studying for their A Levels/IB (or equivalent) and are beginning to consider their options for study beyond sixth form. These full day events provide up to date information about our courses, clearly outline the admissions process and provide students with the opportunity to hear first-hand how our current undergraduate students find life at Oxford and Cambridge. Our aim is for students to leave having explored the breadth of subjects on offer to them, gained a deeper insight into what our courses involve and an understanding of how both universities assess applications.

Oxford & Cambridge Outreach

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