So, you want to apply to Cambridge or Oxford? Here are the basics for preparing an application to either institution.
Grades count! If you are an IB Diploma student then your target is 40-42 inc. 776 in HLs for Cambridge and 38-40 inc. 776 in HLs for Oxford. See the IB Diploma link for Cambridge here and for Oxford here. For A Level students your target will be 3 or 4 subjects with scores ranging from A*A*A to AAA. See the A Level link for Cambridge here and for Oxford here. #Please note that these are the minimum entry requirements (other educational qualifications are also accounted for on these links).
Entrance Assessments or Tests. You may also find that you will need to sit extra pre-interview entrance assessments which are generally subject specific. #Be aware that there are registration deadlines for these tests! At Cambridge you may also be asked to take what are termed as “at-interview assessment” if you reach the invite to interview stage of the application process.
Cambridge entrance assessments. Oxford entrance tests
For Law students you will need to sit the LNAT at any of the test dates from September 1st of the year that you are applying. There are test centres worldwide hosting this test.
For Medicine students you will need to sit the BMAT Registration opens on September 1st and closes on October 1st. Test date is November 2nd. Test centres again are worldwide.
The Admissions Testing Service administers most of the remaining pre-interview subject assessments including the Thinking Skills Assessment TSA which Cambridge and Oxford (and UCL) require for some subjects. Registration deadline for most ATS tests is October 15th but do check very carefully for each test as they may vary. Test date is November 2nd.
Cambridge also asks for a Supplementary Application Questionnaire to be submitted after the UCAS application has been submitted and for students applying from outside the EU a Cambridge Online Preliminary Application to be submitted at the same time as the UCAS application. For all application dates & deadlines for Cambridge see the following link: Cambridge dates & deadlines
Written work & Transcripts. Some departments may also ask for an example of a written piece of work and/or Transcripts to be submitted as part of the application. Transcripts are produced by your school so ask your College Counsellor/Advisor for this.
Personal Statement. As with all UCAS applications a Personal Statement is required. Be sure to focus your essay on your chosen subject/subjects and enter information about extended academic reading, academic studies, academic interest and academic curiosity. In other words focus on the academics!
Application deadline. Your completed UCAS application to both Cambridge and Oxford must be submitted no later than 18:00 GMT on October 15th.
Interviews. If you pass the entrance exams with the required score and you are predicted the required scores in your school subjects then you may be asked to attend an interview sometime in December. About 80% of the total applicants receive an invite to interview to Cambridge and about 70% at Oxford. Cambridge interview. Oxford interview.
Decisions. These are usually finalised and sent out in January.
Events and Open Days. If you can, try to attend an online or actual event either at your school or at Cambridge and Oxford. Cambridge events Oxford events
General information about Cambridge and Oxford go to this link
Teachers, Counsellors and Staff supporting student applications to Cambridge & Oxford.
For members of staff supporting applications please take a look at the following links:
Oxford International Counsellors’ Conference,
Oxford Regional Teachers’ Conferences,
Oxford Math & Science Teachers’ Conference,
Oxford Supporting an Applicant page
2016 UCAS Fairs attended by Cambridge