Oxford and Cambridge Entrance

How to maximise your chances of winning a place at Oxford or Cambridge

July 2nd 2018


Oxford and Cambridge are two of the best universities in the world so it’s no surprise that competition between applicants is fierce. Excellent qualifications help but they are by no means all you need to receive an offer. To ensure they attract the students best suited to them, Oxbridge has a rigorous, complex and daunting application procedure. Here are our tips for winning the place of your dreams.


Act quickly

Unlike all other universities, the deadline for Oxbridge applications is October, almost a year before the course starts. For most students exhausted from A Levels, spending the summer working on applications forms is the last thing they want to do. This is where we can help. Our UCAS advisor is on hand to guide you through the process and we can put in the legwork so as early as possible so there’s no last-minute rush.



You can’t apply for Oxford and Cambridge in the same admissions round so you need to be clear about the reasons for choosing one above the other. If an applicant is shortlisted for interview, they will be expected to speak passionately about their selected subject and have opinions on why they have applied for a specific college. Our educational consultants can help you make the right choices and pass on their in-depth knowledge of each university so you know there’s more to it than Bullingdon, balls and boat races.


Create a perfect personal statement

The UCAS personal statement is the chance for an applicant to stand out from the crowd; to tell the admissions tutor a little about them, their relevant experience and why they’re right for the course in question. One statement has to cover all applications – too general and it lacks focus, too specific and it risks alienating other options if your first choice isn’t offered. Schoolteachers may have 20 or 30 statements to look at and can’t possibly invest much time in each one. We can offer one to one advice and as much time as you need. 


Be prepared for tests

Many courses require an admissions test as part of the application process. These are written exams designed to show how applicants think, analyse and solve difficult questions. Most students will have never come across anything like these before and they can unnerve and derail the most confident of people. We can prepare students for these – show them what to expect, how to deal with seemingly random questions and give them mock tests using past papers and our unrivalled knowledge of each course.


Be interview ready

For many applicants, the Oxbridge interview will be so daunting, nerves can get the better of them. We offer on advice on everything from what to wear, what questions to expect, what to say and what not to say. We can set mock interviews, recreate the environment in which they will expect to find themselves and put them through the paces. The idea isn’t to produce a robot rattling off a pre-prepared script but to relax the young person so that when the real thing comes around, there are no surprises.


Be flexible

Getting into Oxbridge is not easy and not everyone will be successful, regardless of a gold standard application, unbeatable qualifications and a good interview. If you don’t receive an offer of a place, we’re here to advise you of other options with quality universities and support you as you continue your journey to higher education in a different direction.


William Clarence Education offers unbiased advice on UK School and University PlacementOxbridge AdmissionsUS College ApplicationsUCAS application and extensive support for parents and students in all aspects of preparing for entry to the UK.


Please contact us on 02074128988 to discuss your particular needs, or email info@williamclarence.com