- “It’s not for me, I won’t fit in” – 63% of Cambridge undergrads starting a course in 2016 came from a state school, and 58% for Oxford.
- “I won’t get in, there’s no point in applying” – Over a quarter of UK undergraduate applicants were offered a place at Cambridge for 2016-17, and 20% of Oxford applicants.
- “I’m no good at interviews” – You should certainly practice interviewingat school and home and make sure you’re prepared, but interviewers know how to see through the nerves to recognise potential and passion.
- “Interviewers like to throw rugby balls at candidates” – No they don’t.
- Choosing a university: You can apply to either Oxford or Cambridge, but not both. Cambridge has a better overall success rate for applicants.
- Choosing a college: Cambridge and Oxford are made up of different colleges, and you can apply to one or submit an open application to any. Look at application numbers and success rates for each college to boost your chance of getting an offer.
- Choosing a course: If you’re still deciding which subject to study, you can see the number of applicants who apply for individual courses to see how competitive each subject is.
Always do your own research before applying, and think carefully about your personal priorities. Never choose a subject you’re not that interested in just because you think you might get a place.
Making your application:
- Apply through UCAS: Include your college on your UCAS application as normal. Make sure you apply by the Oxbridge deadline of 15th October.
- Extra tests or applications: You might need to do an extra test or fill in a separate application form depending on your subject – check your department’s website to find out. Cambridge will email you a link to a questionnaire after you apply through UCAS.
- Interviews: Your college will write to let you know whether or not they’d like to interview you. Interviews usually take place in the first few weeks of December.
- Pooling: If you’re not accepted by the college where you interviewed, you may be “pooled”. That means other colleges get the chance to look at your application and invite you to another interview after Christmas.