While many students ponder whether to apply to Oxbridge, what they don’t know is how their chances of getting in just went from possible to impossible.
Most driven high school students may already have their eyes in the prize – getting into Oxbridge is gold.
To prepare an Oxbridge application, grades do come first. We all need to meet the minimum requirement before anything.
What are the key traits of Oxbridge candidates?
From many sources, we have learned that Oxbridge admissions officers look for academic-oriented candidates who thrive to excel in their fields. This means grades are not it. Typically speaking, there are different ways to showcase your academic drive:
- Extracurricular activities
- Practical experiences (internships or volunteering)
- Academic competitions
- Research-based experiences
- Teaching experiences
- Completion of academic course (or other forms of accreditation)
There is no one-size-fit-all template to building one’s profile but strengthening your experiences in these area will help increase your exposure to your academic interest(s).
We also know that most competitive applicants aiming for a place at Oxbridge demonstrates a sense of “social responsibility”. How your profile reflects this is more of a personal question than anything.
What do Admissions Officers look for?
There is reason why students applying for Oxbridge gets interviews while other universities typically send out offers without this process – to better understand how you think in person.
“Interviews are particularly useful for seeing whether students can think for themselves.” Steve Watts, Admissions Tutor at Homerton College, Cambridge
It is no mystery that Oxbridge interviews can be challenging. But these academic questions are not there to trick students; they seek to stretch students to think beyond their intuition and analyse the facts given to them.
The rationale is clear – the supervision system at Oxbridge are more socratic than ever. Admissions officers are looking for students who can articulate their ideas with individualism fostered by a strong foundation in logical and analytical thinking.
What are your chances?
If you’ve met the minimum requirement of your course at Oxbridge, your chances of obtaining an interview at Oxford or Cambridge is around 30% and 70% respectively.
Both Oxford and Cambridge take around 17% from all applicants annually.
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