So, you’ve decided you want to study at Oxford or Cambridge. Now what? Applying to Oxford or Cambridge University is a daunting task for any student but to help break down the process, we’ve assembled this guide for you. Read on to find out what it takes to apply.
This seems the most obvious but choose a course that you are interested in and would enjoy learning about for the next three or four years. Research the different courses that are available for each university and make sure to check out their faculty pages that will have information on what your academic life will be like. This includes details like: what content you might learn, how many contact hours are typical for your course, the workload, and what exams will be like, etc.
In addition, check the requirements for each course and that you meet their standards. For international students (Oxford and Cambridge), it is also important to make sure that the university accepts whatever international qualifications you may have. Your course may require you to submit written work as part of your application; this could be either one or two school essays that you have completed.
You should also research which college you would like to apply to. This decision is personal preference (you can read more about how to choose a college here), but you should also make sure that the college offers the specific course that you wish to apply for.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a preference, you can make an open application, which means that you won’t specify a college.
You will also need to write a personal statement as part of the application process. In short, you will need to demonstrate your passion for your chosen subject and convince the admissions team why you are a good fit for their university. Crafting your personal statement can be challenging, but there are many resources available to support you. The UCAS application deadline is October 15th, so make sure that you do not miss this date!
Cambridge University also requires that you complete the SAQ, which is an additional questionnaire to fill in after your UCAS application and is usually due on October 22nd.
At this stage, you will also need to check whether your course requires you take an assessment. This requires you to register for and take any tests as part of your application. Depending on which university you choose to apply to, the assessment may take place before or during interviews: Oxford’s admissions tests take place before the interview, while many of Cambridge’s tests happen during the interviews.
If you meet the academic requirements for Oxford or Cambridge, you may be shortlisted for interviews. This year, the Interviews will be held virtually in December. These questions are designed to get a feel for your problem-solving and critical thinking skills and how you communicate your thought process. While interviews will be new for students, there are many mock interviews and questions that you can use to prepare.