So you want to go to Oxford/Cambridge University?

These are some of the questions asked during the December 2007 Oxbridge interviews (for entry 2008-9):


1. Why is there salt in the sea? (Biochemistry, Oxford)
2. Does a snail have a consciousness? (Experimental Psychology, Oxford)
3. What does it mean to be happy? (Philosophy and Modern Languages,Oxford)
4. When I get home this evening, how can I be sure that my wife’s diamond ring won’t have turned into graphite? (Chemistry, Oxford)
5. How would you market a rock band? (Economics and Management, Oxford)
6. Talk about a light bulb (Engineering, Oxford)
7. Would you rather be a novel or a poem? (English, Oxford)
8. If it could take a form, what shape would the novel “To the Lighthouse” become? (English, Oxford)
9. How many monkeys would you use in an experiment? (Experimental Psychology, Oxford)
10. Does this poem remind you of anything? What about spider-man? (English, Oxford)
11. How many grains of sand are there in the world? (Physics, Oxford)
12. Can a thermostat think? (Experimental Psychology, Oxford)
13. What colour is that notice board? (Mathematics and Philosophy, Oxford)
14. Explain the difference between shame, guilt and regret (Experimental Psychology, Oxford)
15. How does Geography relate to a Midsummer Night’s Dream? (Geography, Oxford)
16. How would you define infinity? (PPE, Oxford)
17. How do you organise a successful revolution? (History, Oxford)
18. Can you express every natural number in fewer than 50 characters? (Mathematics and Philosophy, Oxford)
19. Do you believe that statues can move, and how might this belief be justified? (French and Spanish, Oxford)
20. Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Discuss. (Music, Oxford)
21. Is Wittgenstein always right? (French and Philosophy, Oxford)
22. What happens if I drop an ant? (Physics, Oxford)
23. If you’re not in California, how do you know it exists? (PPE, Oxford)
24. Is it morally wrong to attempt to climb a mountain? (Theology, Oxford)

(For Mary)

1. If I were a grapefruit, would I rather be seedless or non-seedless? (Medicine, Cambridge)
2. Describe your school from an anthropological perspective (Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge)
3. How do you feel about anger and violence? (Architecture, Cambridge)
4. How many of these pebbles would fit in a car? (Natural Sciences, Cambridge)
5. Would I be justified in saying that only morons play sport? (Economics, Cambridge)
6. Are you cool? (Economics, Cambridge)
7. Why do we sneeze? (Natural Sciences, Cambridge)
8. Describe this saucer to me as if I wasn’t in the room (Economics, Cambridge)
9. What would happen if you drilled through the Earth all the way to the other side and then jumped into the hole? (Engineering, Cambridge)
10. How small can you make a computer? (Engineering, Cambridge)
11. Why do you think Charlotte Bronte detested Jane Austen? (English, Cambridge)
12. Why is rhythm important in a play? (French and German, Cambridge)
13. If money was no object, where in the world would you go and why? (Geography, Cambridge)
14. Do you think you’re clever? (Law, Cambridge)
15. Can History stop the next war? (History, Cambridge)
16. What photograph would I use to represent global warming to a business person? (Geography, Cambridge)
17. How would you poison someone without the police finding out? (Medicine, Cambridge)
18. How much can the success of the tank be attributed to the psychological impact it had on enemy forces? (History, Cambridge)
19. What would you do if you were a magpie? (Natural Sciences, Cambridge)
20. Would you say that greed is good or bad? (Land Economy, Cambridge)
21. If you could walk out into the College into a time machine, who would you go back and interview to clear up any historical problem that interests you? (History, Cambridge)
22. Should we have laws for the use of light bulbs? (Law, Cambridge)
23. Is there such a thing as an immoral book? (French and Spanish, Cambridge)
24. What did we learn about mankind by walking on the moon? (History, Cambridge)
25. Tell me about your life, from the beginning to what made you sit in that chair (Natural Sciences, Cambridge)
26. If a wife had expressed distaste for it previously, would her husband’s habit of putting marmalade in his egg at breakfast be grounds for divorce? (Law, Cambridge)
27. If my friend locks me in a room, and says I am free to come out whenever I like as long as I pay £5, is this a deprivation of liberty? (Law, Cambridge)
28. Why is it a disadvantage for humans to have two legs? (Medicine, Cambridge)
29. Are all our characteristics inherited? (French, Cambridge)
30. Why don’t fish freeze? (Natural Sciences, Cambridge)
31. Instead of politicians, why don’t we let the managers of IKEA run the country? (SPS, Cambridge)

Students thinking of applying to Oxbridge might like to consider this service - but it's not cheap!

Read this and listen to this.


"The last few years Oxford and Cambridge have been at pains to change their elitist image and encourage more students from state schools to apply. Gains have certainly been made but it's an uphill struggle. According to new research from Oxbridge Applications, a company set up specifically to help students get into Oxford and Cambridge, many students from state schools still believe that Oxbridge is not for them and the numbers of students from the state sector applying is still relatively low. The figures bear this out. Less than 10% of British children are privately educated and yet they make up almost 50% of the Oxbridge student body. "

1 comment:

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Approach to teaching

Methods there are many, principles but few, methods often change, principles never do