Oxbridge Open Days: What Questions Should You be Asking?
An Oxbridge open day is the best chance you’ll get to interact with tutors and students and to see whether you think you are a good fit for studying there. Are you about to start your Oxbridge application preparation? For many people, the first step is getting a feel for the university by going to visit. But how can you make the most of your Oxbridge open days?
First, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the right dates and see whether you can book yourself on. With Oxbridge, the faculties might hold their own separate open days sometimes too. The easiest way to check those is to just search “Oxford/Cambridge [subject] department open day [year]”.
Plan your visit to the Oxbridge open days, and if you can get a map or check your itinerary in advance that can help, as the last thing you want to do is accidentally need to make a 40-minute journey in a 10-minute window.
But what questions might you want to ask?
Questions for your department at Oxbridge open days
When you go to the faculty, there are a few questions which might help your Oxbridge application preparation. These are some starting points to use at your Oxbridge open days:
- Course content. It is useful to confirm, for example, if you want to study a particular topic whether it is included on the syllabus. If you do have particular academic interests it can be very useful to ask tutors and students whether they think the course at Oxbridge is suitable for you
- Course breakdown. For your own knowledge, you may want to know how work is distributed throughout the three or four years, which years you will have exams or assessments, and which assessments carry the most weighting.
- Oxbridge has a notoriously heavy workload, and it can really help to quantify this during your Oxbridge application preparation. Do ask the students there what a typical day looks like for them, how much they work in the evenings, at weekends and how much they balance other activities
- Tips! Always ask the students what tips they have either for Oxbridge applications or for studying the course itself. These are the people who have the most up-to-date knowledge, and are working with the most similar conditions to the ones you will face!
Talk to the Experts
If you would like to talk to more people about your specific situation, or you didn’t manage to fit everything you wanted to in your Oxford open days, why not book a consultation with UniAdmissions to discuss your Oxbridge application preparation?
Questions for colleges
You may be using the Open Day to inform your decision of college choice when doing your Oxbridge application preparation. It is really useful to just be in the college space and get a feel for the differences between them, and you can also check out our articles, “How to choose an Oxford college” and “How to choose a Cambridge college” for more thoughts.
Do think about what support the college offers for your subject, what the tutors are like, what food and accommodation is like and also which of these are important to you.
Questions about your own application
Oxbridge open days are also a great opportunity in your Oxbridge application preparation to clarify any issues which might relate to your own specific circumstances. This is especially the case with:
- Extenuating circumstances. If you have particular reasons for why your grades or results so far aren’t what is expected, you can ask the department or admissions tutors while you are there how to best approach an explanation in your application
- Entrance requirements. If your school used a non-mainstream curriculum, you are an international student or perhaps you have got extra qualifications which you are unsure about how they will fit with your main application, now is your chance to see what the tutors’ reaction is!
- The new GCSE and A-Level.Given that there is so much change in today’s education system, if you have any queries about how the transition has affected you and whether this is a problem for your application, why not ask the admissions tutors while you are at the university?
You must make sure to think about and write down your questions in advance, and then when you do find the appropriate opportunity to get clarification to write down the answer! You will thank yourself when doing the rest of your Oxbridge application preparation.
The most important thing to take away from this article is that you should always make the most of open days. Whilst going to University might seem way off in the future, time really does fly, and it’s important you have accumulated all the things you need to know to choose your university wisely.
Expert Personal Statement Proofreading Services
Before you send your personal statement for your chosen Oxbridge university, get your personal statement checked over by the experts at UniAdmissions. We have an editing service dedicated to ensuring your personal statement ticks all the right boxes before you send it to your dream University. The personal statement is the next step in demonstrating that you’re a viable candidate to study at University so it’s important you get it right. Our personal statement services cover all subjects. We also take pride in our quick turnover which means you could receive professional feedback with 72 hours of sending it off.
What is life like at Oxbridge?
Choosing a university is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your student life. It’s important, then, to make sure you get the complete picture of the university you want to go to before you submit your application. Learn what life is really like at Oxbridge universities by reading this blog. We’ve got the home-truths about what it’s like to study, live and, of course, the social side to Oxbridge Universities.