Oxford Interview Format: The Colleges Guide for Parents

How the college system affects the Oxford interview format. Oxford colleges are the central community of university life. They therefore play an important role in the application process and in the Oxford interview format in particular. It can seem even more confusing. We hope to clear up some of this confusion in the following article.

Author: Zayra Morales

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How the Collegiate System Affects the Oxford Interview Format


Oxford colleges are the central community to university life. Therefore, they play an important role in the application process and the Oxford interview format, in particular.

The Oxford interview format is an experience that may varies amongst applicants. It may seem even more confusing trying to work out how the Oxford collegiate system fits in. We hope to clear up some of this confusion in the following article.

(If you have any questions after reading this, or you already know that you want to talk through the issue, why not book a consultation with UniAdmissions. We have plenty of previous Oxford students who are happy to help with your queries. We want to support your child’s application in the best way possible).

The Oxford Interview format and the Colleges:

“Who is the application made to, anyway?!”

The very first thing you might have noticed on your child’s UCAS application is that they had to choose a particular college to send their application to. The admissions team for that college handle the application and arrange the later stages including the organisation of the Oxford interview format.

If your child made an Open application, they will be assigned a college and contacted by them throughout the process.

Overall, an Oxford interview format can be subject to the preferences of the particular tutor at a particular college. After all, it is them who are choosing which students they would like to teach. So this is why the Oxford interview format might vary even within the same subject.


What to Look out for When Choosing an Oxford College >>>



Places at Oxford are, of course, very competitive. The university does stress that they try not to disadvantage students who happen to apply to an oversubscribed college. For this reason, while students might apply to one college, they may end up doing interviews at another. This interview might then have a different Oxford interview format from their first.

Having an extra or a few extra interviews at other colleges will not necessarily mean that the student has been rejected by their original college of application. They may well do extra interviews and still get a place at their original choice.

It is possible, however, after going through this funny Oxford interview format, they end up being accepted by a second college. This is in the process known as being “pooled”. In this case, they will then receive a letter from their first college saying they have not got a place there. At the same time, they will notify your child that there will be an additional letter from the second college offering the student a place.


Read one student’s experience of the winter pool >>>


Words of Advice

Our advice would be to advise your child that they might have to take more than one interviews last minute. However, you should highlight that this is not at all a bad thing. Even if someone ends up at a college different from the one that they applied to, it is very likely that they will end up loving it – it happens every year!

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What is Life like at an Oxbridge College?

Find out what it’s like being a student at either Oxford or Cambridge University. You may think you’ve heard it all before, but in this article, we bust the myths that everyone’s heard about to tell you what life is really like when studying at Oxbridge. We talk about the courses, the studying techniques, the vast libraries, and the social side to showcase the array of incredible things you can see and do at an Oxbridge University.

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