are signs that, however slowly, both Oxford and Cambridge are taking steps to address the under-representation
of state school students.
Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, my website will be an anachronism, and all applicants will be assessed on a level playing field.
In the meantime, I'm here again this year to help those state school students, with their Oxbridge applications, who don't receive the necessary help and support from their school or college.
I was a
part-time tutor for Oxford colleges, having taken my doctorate at Oxford
and my masters at Cambridge; so I have considerable experience
of the Oxbridge entrance application procedure, both as a student and as a tutor.
I provide help and advice to candidates, in all subjects, applying to Oxbridge; demystifying the process for them.
If I had to stress one point it is that Oxbridge applicants can be over-coached; the trick is to get the balance right, so that you avoid common mistakes without sounding like a programmed automaton.
There are three main areas where your Oxbridge application will benefit from informed advice from an experienced Oxbridge tutor:
What distinguishes the best Oxbridge personal statements? To answer that question you
need to understand the role of the personal statement in the Oxbridge admissions process.
The head of Cambridge admissions recently publicly conceded that the Oxbridge personal statement does not contribute towards the candidate's overall score. So what is the function of the personal statement?
Oxbridge interview preparation should begin with your personal statement,
for your interviewers are likely to use it as the basis for some preliminary
A common pattern of Oxbridge interviews is to follow the ice-breakers with one or two questions allowing you to demonstrate your general thinking skills, before posing subject-specific questions.
The trick to improving your performance in the Oxbridge interview is to eliminate simple mistakes without turning into an over-coached automaton.
I provide tailored online Oxbridge interview practice, using Skype, to Oxbridge applicants worldwide.
There are a number of Cambridge and Oxford admissions tests which probe the candidate's critical thinking skills.
I was a logic tutor at the University of Oxford, taught A-level Critical Thinking and have
been helping Oxbridge candidates with the critical thinking elements of their applications
for many years.
There are two complimentary aspects of the critical thinking test. Multiple choice questions examine the candidate's verbal reasoning, whilst a short essay tests the capacity to sustain an argument.
Certain Oxbridge applicants (PPE at Oxford, for example)
are now required to take a Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA).
The Cambridge and Oxbridge TSAs vary a little in detail, but generally have 2 parts: a multiple-choice test, and a short essay test.
I strongly recommend that candidates treat the verbal reasoning and essay components of the Oxbridge TSA as complimentary.
Having been a part-time philosophical logic tutor at the University of Oxford, I also offer more advanced tuition in formal logic.
As part of my Oxbridge interview preparation service I analyse personal statements
to compile a list of questions that would occurr to me to ask.
There are broadly four kinds of Oxbridge interview question you can expect to receive.