It should go without saying, but it’s important to get things right when applying to the top universities in the world.
So, what are the do’s and don’t’s when applying to Oxbridge, you ask? Read on ahead to find out.

Prospective undergraduates hoping to study at either the University of Cambridge or Oxford must get their applications in by 6pm UK time on October 15.


First thing’s first, have you chosen the right degree?

While a complete subject change might be a bad idea at this point, a slight change of degree may not be beyond the realms of possibility.

Having last minute doubts is natural, so it’s important to remember what drew you to the course in the first place.

Spend an hour or two doing a bit of reading around the subject. Hopefully this will remind you why you opted for the degree in the first place. However, if you do decide to switch, then make sure you are clear about what will be expected of you.


Have you chosen the right college?

Hopefully, by now, you’ll have a good idea about the type of college you’re looking for: big or small, traditional or modern, sporty or political.

At this late stage, your only option for further research is to look at the colleges’ websites.

You will easily be able to narrow down your choices by looking at the courses that each college offers. Not all colleges will offer your subject, so your first point of research will be finding those that do.


Have you read through your personal statement?

It’s suggested that 70 per cent of your 4,000 characters should be set aside for explaining why you want to study your chosen course and why you are the ideal candidate to do so.

When you do mention activities beyond your academic work at school, focus on your extra reading and any work experience or trips you have been on that are relevant to your course.

The key is always relevance. Make sure you have demonstrated how your knowledge has grown beyond the work that is expected of you in school.


You’ve submitted your application: What next?

So, you’re done and dusted. Now what?

Consult past papers in preparation for your pre-interview test, which you will be expected to complete if you make it past the first hurdle.

Next, read over your personal statement—again—to refresh your memory about the evidence you cited for your course interest and also practise discussing your interests out loud.

Finally, don’t worry too much about it – there’s no ‘best’ way to prepare, so don’t risk over-preparing.