Aspire students attended a session on Wednesday 26th of September to help them prepare for interviews at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The first session delivered by Dr Amber Cuttill, was on application and interview tips. The main point for personal statements is that they need to be focussed on their subject of choice. The personal statements need to show that the students can think critically and flexibly about their subject.
Dr Cuttill mentioned some of the myths of interviews at Oxbridge; students do not need to worry which chair they pick to sit in, if they shake hands or how difficult it is to open the door! The interviews are set up to emulate the tutorial session at Oxbridge. The point of the interview is to stretch the student, they will help and prompt the student but they want to see that they can think critically and flexibly.
Students were encouraged to complete as much wider reading as possible and really engage with it. They should get used to talking about their subject too, not just write about it.
In the second interactive session students were split into subject related groups with Admission Tutors and Professors from Oxford and Cambridge. Students got a taste of the questions and problems put to them in the interviews. Josh McCracken attended the session run by Dr Robin Murphy, Professor of Experimental Psychology and Fellow and Tutor for Admissions at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Victoria Dennis attended the Physics session in which she was challenged to explain the theory of Special Relativity!
In the final session, the students were free to ask the panel of experts any and all questions related to the application and interview process. The panel did an excellent job and left all the students feeling confident about the next steps. Our students left the event excited about their upcoming University interviews!