Sixth Form Oxbridge Aspire Programme
This programme aims to provide bespoke and tailored support to Year 12 students who are looking to apply to Oxford, Cambridge, Medicine or Dentistry. The programme involves 6 sessions spread across the year to equip students with the skills, experience and knowledge of applying to these universities/courses. Each session has its own focus and build on from each other to ultimately leave students ready with a full UCAS application fit for purpose. The initial sessions look at how to find good work experience relevant to the students course and signing up to taster courses at the various Oxbridge ad Russell group universities. Following sessions include emphasis on writing an outstanding personal statement and then lead into preparing students for interviews.
Visiting Oxford and Cambridge
We endeavour to take students to Oxford and Cambridge directly and attend local conferences. It is a chance for candidates to ask questions of current pupils, to have the application process explained by members of the university’s admissions team, attend talks by tutors and undergraduates from subject specific faculties. Where students can not attend these we suggest that students register for the Open Days that both universities offer usually in July and September.
Some colleges and faculties at both Oxford and Cambridge will ask that candidates sit additional tests. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that they have enrolled for all necessary aptitude tests. Examples of tests include:
- BioMedical Aptitude Test (BMAT)
- Classics Aptitude Test (CAT)
- English Literature Test (ELAT)
- History Aptitude Test (HAT)
- Oriental Language Aptitude Test (OLAT)
- Physics Aptitude Test (PAT)
- Thinking Skills Assesment (Oxford) (TSA)
- Modern Languages Aptitude Test (MLAT)
- Maths Aptitude Test (MAT)
More information can be found by visiting www.admissionstestingservice.org. Candidates must register themselves for the UKCAT (Dentistry and Medicine), LNAT (Law) and TSA (Cambridge).
Example Oxbridge Interview Questions
Talk about a light bulb (Engineering, Oxford)
Would you rather be a novel or a poem? (English, Oxford)
How would you market a rock band? (Economics & Management, Oxford)
How does Geography relate to A Midsummer Night's Dream? (Geography, Oxford)
How many of these pebbles would fit in that car? (Natural Sciences, Cambridge)
Can History stop the next war? (History, Cambridge)
Would you say that greed is good or bad? (Land Economy, Cambridge)
What parents can do to help?
Oxford and Cambridge discuss the importance of research and reading as part of the application. Candidates need to be able to demonstrate a deeply felt enthusiasm for their chosen subject as well as academic knowledge. Parents can help in encouraging wider research (reading/ podcasts/ magazines/ journals etc) as well as relevant trips. Contacts through which they can achieve work experience or even practice interviews should be utilised, but most importantly they should ensure that candidates are given the time to practise and prepare. We would also encourage parents to ensure that the personal statement is entirely their son or daughter's own work. The candidates will have to speak in detail about the points they have made or achievements they claim in interviews and therefore it is very important that they take ownership of the material from the outset.
Other useful websites:
- Cambridge University subject masterclasses for Year 12
- Cambridge University HE+
- Guide to Medicine, Healthcare and Sciences
- Medical Schools Council - Application process