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Are you submitting an application to Oxford or Cambridge in October 2020?

Are you submitting an application to Oxford or Cambridge in October 2020? Minerva Tuition can help.

Making an application to Oxford or Cambridge is quite different to applying to any other UK university. Obviously the competition for places is far tighter at these two institutions, but the whole application process is quite unique.

It is not possible to apply to both universities through UCAS in the same year (with the exception of Organ Scholarship applicants) and the UCAS deadline for Oxford and Cambridge, along with medic, dentist and vet applications is three months earlier than other universities.

Oxbridge courses often require an Admissions Test (Oxford) or Admissions Assessment (Cambridge) and for several Arts subjects, applicants are required to submit written work in advance of a potential interview. For Oxford the deadline date is 10th November for everything, whilst at Cambridge that can vary from college to college and course. Cambridge also requires a SAQ (Supplementary Application Questionnaire). Then there is, of course, the interview which is quite unlike any aspect of a university application anywhere in the world and takes the form of a sort of tutorial (Oxford) or supervision (Cambridge) to gauge the ability and interests of the candidate. The Autumn Term of UK Y13 for Oxbridge applicants is therefore highly charged.

Making an early start on an Oxbridge application is the best approach. A last-minute approach is rarely a fruitful one. The sooner an applicant can start to engage in the desired subject and read around and do all the super-curricular things that interviewers like to see and hear, the better her or his chances are at being successful in an Oxbridge application.

At Minerva Tuition we have many years of experience in preparing pupils for Oxbridge applications. One-to-one tuition allows for bespoke lessons tailored to the needs of the individual. It may be, for example, that the admissions test is not a problem for the applicant, but expressing thoughts in an interview situation is. The interview can be an isolating experience and it is a common misconception that it is an opportunity to show what one knows. The interview is, in fact, an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate an ability to apply what they have learnt to new situations.

The “thinking out loud” approach to this is crucial and often underestimated. Interviewers want to hear interviewees explain their thinking – even if they are wrong – rather than hearing a catalogue of facts regurgitated. This, for many, is the most difficult part of the process and one-to-one practice with an expert in this area can really improve a pupil’s performance.

It may be that an applicant needs support and guidance on all aspects of the process. At Minerva Tuition we can work on any or all aspects of the application process to give your child the very best possible chance of a successful Oxbridge application.

For more information on how we can help your child, please contact Valerie Weston on:


Phone: +852 6156 5705.

We would be delighted to hear from you.

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