The Oxford Interview Results and the University Selection Process
As you watch your child go through an application to Oxford university it can be quite overwhelming given there are many different stages to the overall process. By the very end, waiting for Oxford interview results might seem like you’re on your last nerve. Especially if it hasn’t been clear exactly how much of a role each stage plays in the final outcome. We try to break this down a little in our post below. Following this, we set out an outline of the decision itself and the steps leading on from it.
The first thing to say is that everything; including existing and predicted grades, your child’s personal statement, their reference written by their school, their submitted written work and the results of aptitude tests are all taken into account when tutors decide who to interview for a place at Oxford. This is because they try to see an overall picture of the candidate and understand their skills as to whether they would fit in well with Oxford life. It requires meeting demanding deadlines and a high standard of academic work.
On top of this, however, the best way in which a candidate can show they are suited to Oxford teaching is their performance in a tutorial-style setting, which is what the interview is designed to mimic. Therefore, unsurprisingly, Oxford interview results are quite a weighty factor taken into account. Furthermore, the interviews are a chance for candidates to make a personal impression on tutors and to show off their personality in as genuine a manner as possible.
Oxford University’s Guide for Parents quotes statistics as follows:
“College tutors consider around 22,000 applications for around 3,250 a year… Around 9,700 candidates will be shortlisted and invited to interview in December”.
The point of highlighting these numbers is not to show that Oxford University is extremely competitive (although this is also a fact, it is somewhat out of you and your child’s control), but rather to show that a high proportion of applicants will be invited to attend the last stage of the process and get Oxford interview results in the end.
This can be useful to bear in mind because it shows that intellectual personality is still important in the Oxford university selection process. It might also offer some consolation for those who felt dissatisfied or uncomfortable with any single part of their UCAS application or aptitude tests, because there is a chance to redeem themselves. That is as long as they show that they are a bright and motivated candidate at interview.
If you do have particular worries regarding this, you can book some extra preparation with UniAdmissions’ Oxbridge interview Programmes.
We have covered the timeline of Oxford interviews in other blog posts, but to re-iterate, typically Oxford interview results will be communicated to the applicant in early January. In 2019, candidates will receive the outcome of their application on 9 January.
-Conditional or unconditional offers
If your child receives an offer from Oxford, like with all other universities, this offer will either be conditional or unconditional. Generally, for those who are applying in their last year of Sixth Form, i.e. those who still have examinations and qualifications to complete at school, their offer will be conditional. The typical conditions are always covered in Oxford’s prospectus and course pages. The student will need to decide whether to accept the conditional offer by around March, and to select Oxford as their “firm” choice on UCAS.
-Decisions for international students
International students may also be asked to fulfil requirements for proficiency in English. It is also worth any students who are sitting international qualifications (i.e. those other than A-Level, International Baccalaureate and Scottish Highers) to contact their college to alert them to this fact.
-Offers after pre-university studies / gap year
For those who have completed their pre-university studies, perhaps those who took a gap year or applied later, it is possible that they will receive an unconditional offer for the Oxford interview results. Congratulations, their place will therefore be assured once such an offer is accepted by the student!
-How you will be contacted…
The decision may be communicated by a letter from the college handling your child’s application, or (less likely) by email. Don’t forget if you do have queries about the offer or about your child’s Oxford interview results, it is best to contact the Admissions tutor at this college. The contact list is above and has also been covered in previous article on contacting Oxford University.
Your child may receive an “Open offer”. This could still be conditional or unconditional, but all it means is that the college at which your child has a place has not yet been confirmed. It is still an assured place (subject to meeting the requirements if conditional) and a college will be confirmed for your child once they receive the results of their examinations.
For those who had a conditional offer, once they receive A-Level, International Baccalaureate or Scottish Higher results which meet the offer criteria, and they have accepted the place on UCAS, their place will be confirmed. The college will then get in touch ready for the next phase to start as an Oxford university student.
If your child is unsuccessful in their Oxford interview results, or if your child does not meet the criteria set out in their offer from Oxford then they will unfortunately not be able to gain a place at Oxford through clearing as the university does not participate in this system. Instead, there are options to apply again the following year or to select a different university as their firm choice.
We hope the above has been helpful and wish all of this year’s candidates the best of luck.
Get the Best Oxford Interview Results
The only way to get the best results possible in the Oxford interview is with practice. If you want the best possible interview prep then take a look at our Oxbridge Interview Programmes. Delivered by expert tutors, you will learn skills from the Oxbridge professionals themselves and get full feedback on things to improve on.
Students enrolled on our Oxford Programmes are three times more likely to gain their Oxbridge place.
Good Luck in Your Interview!
We want to wish anybody who has an interview this season the very best of luck. For more information about the admissions process and the process of getting Oxford interview results, check out our blog.