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How to get admitted into Oxford or Cambridge

Learn from the Oxbridge tutor on how to multiply your chances of successful Oxbridge admission

Oxford and Cambridge Universities are two of the most prestigious educational institutions on the whole green Earth. Every year, and despite the enormous Oxbridge tuition fee, they attract thousands of promising enrollees from all over the world, and everyone is striving to successfully secure a place at one of their colleges. In a highly competitive environment, this article will provide you with the tips you need to get into Oxbridge and actionable ways to help you stand out from the crowd and greatly increase the likelihood of you successfully securing a place at Oxbridge.

Academic Superiority

What Oxbridge needs, looks for and retains are the brightest academic minds around the world – and this is no exaggeration. The potential candidate must obtain at least eight A* grades, or eight 8-9 grades in their GCSES. Indeed, the academic position of the applicant must be impeccable – top of the class, no less.

At this stage it is rational to stop, take a deep breath and consider the sober assessment of the situation – decide whether Oxbridge itself is the right option for you (do you truly have the necessary capabilities?). Perhaps you need additional training – read as: “spending hours with Oxbridge tutors”, or can you secure the grades on your own without the supplemental Oxbridge tutoring?

Choosing the right course

Oxford and Cambridge Universities are looking for students with both deep knowledge and great passion for their subject. While at University, the student is expected not only to study passively by reading a vast swaths of professional literature, but actively engage in debates and discussions with their peers and professors and submit a minimum of two essays per week. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the enrollee carefully studies the program of the chosen course to be sure that this is what he truly needs. Considering the usual workload in Oxbridge, you simply won’t sustain studying the subject you don’t personally like.

Choosing the most suitable College

Choosing the right college is a part of paramount importance when applying to Oxbridge, as it encompasses the future places of study, residence and student community. When choosing a college, study all the available information, attend open days and communicate with people who know the college well enough. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Do you want your college to be in the city center or on the outskirts?
  • Would you prefer a general education or a blended college?
  • Would you like to study in a small traditional college or in a large modern college?

If you find the college selection process to be too complicated and cumbersome and decide to focus on exams and instead, you can choose the Open Application option. This way, the system itself will randomly distribute you to any of the colleges available. Bear in mind though that you will not be able to request another college in the future.

Writing a perfect motivation letter

A good motivation letter is so important that it is rightfully considered to be the gateway to Oxbridge. The motivation letter is an opportunity to show off your academic skills and prove how passionate you are about your chosen program. The motivation letter should mention everything from books and articles that have piqued your interest to any lectures, courses and even work experience related to the subject. However, as Oxbridge first and foremost cares more about proper academic achievements, you should ensure that the mentions of other extracurricular activities are kept to the bare minimum.

Take care however that your motivation letter complies with the UCAS recommendations. Your motivation letter should therefore consist of no more than 4000 characters and 37 lines. Also, please be aware of the Oxbridge admission deadline (October 15th) and that an enrollee can only submit one motivation letter.

Preparing for the entrance exams

Depending on the course or college, the enrollees will be required to take entrance examinations at Oxford and Cambridge. These tests often assess the enrollee’s language and math skills, additionally – overall cognitive prowess. Furthermore, such tests are designed to evaluate how well the enrollee copes with tasks under pressure.

Giving the right impression to the interview commission

The admissions are rightfully considered to be the most unpredictable part of the Oxbridge admissions process for future students. They usually take place in early December, and receiving an invitation for an interview is already a great achievement in itself.

Both Oxford and Cambridge are actively looking for students who can reliably demonstrate the breadth and depth of their knowledge. For example, if you are applying for a course in history, you will need to demonstrate to an academic interviewer that you know about various concepts and authors, including the obscure ones, as well as demonstrate passion and interest in specific topics.

It is important for the enrollee to answer all the questions he is asked, avoid hesitation and give proper examples to support his statements and conclusions. He must also be confident enough in his opinion, remaining steady even if the interviewer tells him that he is wrong. In this case, the enrollee must remain calm and either continue to support his opinion with facts and logic, or discard it and look for other clues to reach a correct answer. Oxbridge is, after all, looking for students who can solve problems logically, justify conclusions and defend their own ideas.

Asking for professional help

Everyone who is faced with the question of admission to Oxbridge understands how hard it is to secure a place in Oxford or Cambridge just after a brief research. So, it is rational to look for external help, especially if your own time resources are rather limited. In this case, we at Oxbridgemind.co.uk are ready to help you prepare for Oxbridge and provide our professional services to guide you through the complex application process.