10 ways to prepare for Oxbridge medical interviews

18-19.002

James Fraser

Just getting invited to interview at Oxford or Cambridge is a considerable achievement in its own right, but it’s no secret that Oxbridge interviews are amongst the hardest a prospective medical student might have to negotiate. Even so, there’s plenty of preparation you can do to give yourself the best chance of success – here are ten of our recommendations.

Just getting invited to interview at Oxford or Cambridge is a considerable achievement in its own right, but it’s no secret that Oxbridge interviews are amongst the hardest a prospective medical student might have to negotiate. Even so, there’s plenty of preparation you can do to give yourself the best chance of success – here are ten of our recommendations.

Just getting invited to interview at Oxford or Cambridge is a considerable achievement in its own right, but it’s no secret that Oxbridge interviews are amongst the hardest a prospective medical student might have to negotiate. Even so, there’s plenty of preparation you can do to give yourself the best chance of success – here are ten of our recommendations.

  1. Revise your science

Scientific aptitude is the single biggest factor by which Oxbridge interviewers assess medical applicants. Therefore, the best way to prepare is by getting 100% clued up on the relevant content of your A-Level science syllabuses. For Biology, that means practically everything but plant biology and ecology; for Chemistry, it’s harder to know what to revise, but the fundamentals of physical, organic and inorganic chemistry could certainly all be relevant.

Thanks to the Supplementary Additional Questionnaire (SAQ), you shouldn’t panic over topics you haven’t covered yet, as it allows interviewers to tailor their questions to what you’ve been taught. That said, there are certain topics that simply won’t be off-limits – think biological molecules or major organ systems, for example – ask your teacher to skip ahead if these are timetabled for after Christmas.

  1. Make use of online information

Just because Oxbridge interviews are different from those at other medical schools, doesn’t mean you have to guess in the dark as to what yours could be like. The two universities, not to mention specific colleges, provide plenty of information online about how they like to assess applicants, and you can even watch mock interviews for free. Additionally, there are numerous sources of interview questions that previous applicants have been asked – on forums and on the Medic Mind website!

  1. Plug the gaps in your clinical knowledge

Your A-Level studies and general knowledge will already span most of the clinical cases that could come up for discussion in an Oxbridge interview. But if you’ve got niggling uncertainties about any of the big ones – heart attacks, Alzheimer’s or an infectious disease, for example – it’s worth doing a bit of research and making some notes. You don’t want to get caught out!

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14 Comments

Jonathon PMedic Mind Tutor

21 April 2020

Great article! I had an interview at Oxford last year, and found it to be challenging. Its quite an experience, and you definitely get put out of your comfort zone. I sadly didn’t get an offer, but have an offer from Leeds 🙂