For students wishing to enter the University of Oxford, in order to best prepare for your individual training and interview day, there are several things you should be doing now, even if you’re not yet applying. Remember that applications open around September every year, but preparation can begin much earlier than that. However, what exactly should you be doing? How can you get an edge on the competition and come out top in your individual training?
Stage 1: Prepare Early
The competition is tough, with places at popular courses being snapped up within hours of being made available. In order to have a chance of getting into top courses, you’ll need to take action well in advance of your actual applications. Start by researching as many courses as possible ideally while you’re still at school.
Your best chance at getting into a prestigious university is if you apply directly to it and go straight from high school (although there are plenty of exceptions). If that’s not an option for you, then find out about all your college options in advance and get on their mailing lists. Once you’ve applied early decision or early action to one or more colleges, it will be easier for them to figure out which other institutions make sense for you.
Stage 2: Assemble Your Statement of Purpose
Once you’ve begun to assemble your statement of purpose, you should have a good idea of what steps you will need to take to prepare for individual training. Start preparing for interviews: If there is anything about your application package that does not reflect well on your ability to complete higher education, make sure that it won’t be an issue by correcting it before applying. This includes essays, MCAT scores, and letters of recommendation.
Confirm Your Interviews: After confirming your interviews, all that is left is to wait until June and hope for a successful outcome in September! Good luck! (Contact us if you want our help with interview preparation).
The University of Oxford requires applicants to apply through UCAS using their own personal details (not those of someone else). Therefore, applications must also be made under one’s own name. Applications made under another person’s name are rejected as invalid or incomplete upon submission.
Applicants may only apply once; subsequent applications will result in rejection from all universities/colleges applied to. All correspondence regarding confirmation and acknowledgement of receipt of applications are sent directly from UCAS; please ensure that these emails are responded to promptly (especially if sent from a different email address) so as not to delay your application further.
Stage 3: Learn from Mock Tests
When your individual training is complete, you’ll be ready to sit down and take a mock test. A good practice exam offers several valuable benefits: it gives you an accurate baseline on which to evaluate your performance; it can reveal weak areas that require more work; and, it helps you adjust your strategy as necessary. In many cases, students benefit from taking multiple tests prior to application in order to get a full picture of their performance.
Regardless of how many times you test, take them all seriously, it’s a rare student who doesn’t perform better when given focused time. The key here is motivation; if you don’t feel prepared or comfortable taking the exam then don’t do it.
For some students, taking one or two exams under timed conditions may be enough to prepare them adequately for application. Others will need to take a few tests before they feel confident about applying. If you aren’t sure what works best for you, speak with your tutor about options that might fit into your schedule.
It’s also important to remember that not every school uses entrance exams in admissions decisions so don’t put too much stock into any single result if you’re aiming at schools where entrance exams are used, however, there’s little doubt they’ll play an important role in shaping admissions decisions so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare. For more, you can visit oxbridgemind.co.uk.
Stage 4: Practice Interview Skills
To Prepare for University, You Need to Become a Student of Life: One of my favorite things about working with Year 13 students as part of our summer prep course at PrepScholar is when I see what you’ve been doing in your spare time. That’s because many schools don’t have a system in place to prepare students for what they face when starting university.
Students aren’t given an opportunity to practice questions and answers under exam conditions; they are rarely offered training on how to read exams or even sit through them. The standard advice seems to be that if you just work hard and do well, everything will work out.
This isn’t always true! Many students make mistakes that cost them their place at top universities like Oxford and Cambridge. If you want to avoid these mistakes, then it’s worth putting some effort into preparing for individual training courses like ours.
Our tutors offer expert guidance from former admissions officers who know exactly what it takes to get into top universities like Oxford and Cambridge. Our program has helped thousands of students gain admission into elite universities worldwide including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Columbia, and Penn and we can help you too.
Stage 5: Attend Practice Assessment Centers
This is a multi-stage process, and your performance in an Assessment Centre will be used to shortlist you for further rounds of assessment. In these rounds, you’ll attend a number of interviews with subject specialists; each interview will focus on your ability to answer questions from specific subjects and disciplines.
At some Assessment Centers, there may also be face-to-face group activities and online tests available for you to take, which test your reasoning skills and ability to think quickly under pressure. To prepare yourself for these stages, it’s important that you know what kinds of questions you might encounter so that you can get as much practice as possible beforehand. You should also start thinking about how best to present yourself during an Assessment Center, after all, first impressions count.
The best way to do this is by practicing in front of others: try presenting your work or ideas to family members or friends and ask them for honest feedback afterward. If possible, ask them if they could role-play being a panel member so that they can ask challenging or awkward questions that might come up during an interview. Nothing helps prepare you better than knowing what kind of situations you might find yourself in when taking part in real Assessment Centers. Remember though: practice makes perfect.