What Should I Read Before An Oxbridge Interview?

Wider reading is a key part of Oxbridge Interview preparation. Here's how to find resources and organise your reading with some recommended reading for all subjects.

Author: Rob Needleman

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The obvious way to prepare for any Oxbridge Interview is to read widely. Reading academic material will form the basis of your degree, so you can be sure that it will be discussed during Interviews. 

Getting your reading technique sorted before an Oxbridge Interview is a really great advantage. Starting with the Oxbridge Interview recommended reading list, combined with ours for every subject, you can start preparing the reading topics with the process below.

How to choose from the Recommended Reading List

You might be wondering – how can I choose what material I read so that I am best prepared for the Oxbridge Interview questions?

The most obvious answer is to read about what you are interested in. However, being systematic about this as well as selective is, in fact, a really good skill that will prepare you not just for Oxbridge Interview questions, but for studying at university too.

Here are some approaches to building up your reading library and preparing for the unknown at an Oxbridge Interview.

Prepare properly for the Oxbridge Interview using our recommended reading lists and through Mock Interview practice and One-To-One Tuition.  

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Organise your reading

In order to best face the dreaded and hardest of Oxbridge Interview questions, it is really important to review and organise your reading. Each time you read a new source, it is helpful to go through some sort of process to make sure you digest what you’ve read.

As an Oxbridge Interview recommended reading strategy, we suggest that you set up a table or book review, which you fill out for each reading. This way, you can keep track and be prepared to use them to answer Oxbridge Interview questions.

Here is a suggested format:

Book Title & Author:

Date Read:

Author’s Main Argument & Key Ideas:

Look out for any points of view which the author supports or challenges. Make note of any new concepts that the author proposes and any key debates with which the author engages.

Useful Facts Learnt:

Note down any interesting/useful bits of information you picked up.


Keep a record of these tables and read over them before you go into the Interview. It’s especially important to do this for those sources you have mentioned on your Personal Statement.

Highlight those mentioned or stick post-it notes on them so you can find them easily.

You can do this exercise by hand or digitally (however you work best), but make sure you summarise your thoughts as best you can! You really want to show the difference between just reading a source, to being able to understand the source you are reading and process the key ideas.

Each subject will also have a slightly different approach to analysing sources.

Subject Specific Oxbridge Interview Reading Lists

Aside from the Oxford and Cambridge recommended reading lists, take a look through our subject-specific reading lists to get you started before the Oxbridge Interviews.

Biology and Medicine













Texts in Translation:

Secondary Works:




Biological Anthropology





Reading is an important part of your Oxbridge application. Our Interview support helps you convey your subject knowledge and passion to the admissions tutors.

Whether you are applying for Maths, History or Medicine, we have the right Interview support for you. Our Oxbridge Interview Programmes effectively prepare you through One-To-One TuitionIntensive CoursesComprehensive Materials and Enrichment Supervisions to give you the best chances of Oxbridge success. 

Discover our Oxbridge Interview Programmes by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

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