Oxford and Cambridge, commonly referred to as Oxbridge, are the most prestigious universities for studying in the United Kingdom and the world. Students from all over the world apply to Oxbridge universities every year. We’ve covered you if you want to know about the Oxbridge application process! Read on to discover how to get into Oxbridge.
What is Oxbridge?
Although the term Oxbridge is common to academics, Oxbridge is a collective term used to describe two highly established and worldly recognised universities, Oxford and Cambridge. These universities are known to seek and attract the brightest students and provide them with an excellent academic space to flourish in with teaching provided by some of the best subject experts. The Oxbridge application process differs slightly depending on whether you go to Oxford or Cambridge.
Oxford and Cambridge are made up of colleges - more than 40 at Oxford and more than 30 at Cambridge - and prospective students normally apply to a specific college. Some of the top Oxbridge colleges are listed below.
- Westminster School
- Hills Road Sixth Form College.
- Brampton Manor Academy.
- Peter Symonds College.
- The Perse School.
- Brighton Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College.
- Eton College.
- St Paul's Girls School.
- St Paul's School, London.
- Brighton College.
Tips to remember while applying to Oxbridge
Many wonder how to approach an Oxbridge application’s thorough and rigorous process and how to get in! From researching your course to writing your Oxbridge personal statement, here are a few tips that can get you on your way:
Research the course
Before the Oxbridge application process, you must thoroughly examine their courses, including the modules and topics covered. This research will also help you with talking points in your statement and during your interview.
Is Oxbridge for you?
Oxbridge courses tend to focus highly on the academic side of the university, and the teaching often includes small group tuition, and assessments are usually 100% exams. Hence, you must ask yourself if this is a journey you wish to embark on.
Making the grades
Although this may seem self-explanatory, you must meet the grade requirements for your chosen course in the Oxbridge application process. With a high focus on academics, grades will often be one of the first things the admissions team sees. If your grades don’t reflect your commitment and dedication to your studies, there are chances that your application will not make it very far.
Oxbridge application deadline
Once you have had a look at which course you would like to study, it is important that you make a note of the Oxbridge application deadlines. The Oxbridge application deadline usually is earlier than the usual UCAS deadline, on 15th October each year. This is important as you must allow yourself enough time to prepare for the whole process.
In some cases, you are required to share examples of written work. These will usually also have deadlines which need to be checked when applying.
Oxbridge personal statements
Although personal statements are crucial regardless of which university you are applying to, an Oxbridge personal statement differs slightly from what you may expect. With their heightened focus on academics, your Oxbridge personal statement should thoroughly explain your passions and drive behind pursuing the course you are applying. Additionally, it would help if you aimed to discuss what you would like to research and how your studies can encourage new and innovative approaches to the topic or subject. As with any personal statement, ensure that you’re being truthful and honest, as whatever you mention is likely to be discussed during your interview.
Attend a subject open day
Sign up for Subject Open Days at Oxford or Cambridge on the university websites! These are crucial since they give you an idea of what it would be like to study your topic at university and something to discuss in your Personal Statement or during an interview.
Prepare for your admission test
Admissions tests vary depending on the degree and university you are applying to. Some are more content-based, such as the UKCAT or BMAT for Medicine, while others, such as the TSA for various degrees at Oxford and Cambridge, are more thinking-based. Check your preparation by reviewing past papers and consulting a subject specialist if necessary.
Practice for your interview
Preparing for the interview is critical because it is an essential aspect of the Oxbridge application process. Your interview closes the deal if you have the appropriate grades and a strong Personal Statement. The interview is conducted in a tutorial format, with tutors/fellows from the college where you are being interviewed discussing your subject with you. You must be competent and expressive, and your passion must shine through.
How to apply to Oxbridge
Before selecting which university is best for your Oxbridge application, we recommend looking into the course you wish to study at both universities.
Here is an orderly list compiled for you to prepare for each step of the Oxbridge application:
- Choose your course
- Fill out your UCAS application
- University forms - these may vary depending on which university you choose to apply to.
- Tests - Most Oxbridge courses require you to sit a pre-interview test.
- Submission of example written work.
- Interview - Interviews are an essential aspect of the admissions processes at Oxford and Cambridge.
- Decision letter - The decision will be displayed in your UCAS Hub, and you will receive direct notification from the college to which you applied.
- Winter pool (Cambridge only) - Some folks will not receive a clear rejection/acceptance hence will be pooled. At the end of January, you'll learn whether or not you've been accepted.
Statistics show that the average Oxbridge applicant has a 1 in 5 chance of successfully securing a place at the university. By following the correct guidance, you could maximise your chances of a successful Oxbridge application process and boost your career prospects! However, most importantly, do not be disheartened if your application is unsuccessful. The process is demanding and rigid, and it is always best to have a backup plan! Since the hunt for student housing near the University of Cambridge and Oxford University is just as competitive, we recommend beginning the booking process soon as well.