Oxbridge Medicine Interview – 15 Tips (Oxford / Cambridge)



hey guys welcome back to the channel if you new here my name is Ali I'm a final year medical student at Cambridge University and in this video we're looking at the Oxbridge medicine interview and we're going to be hearing from nine different medical students who are offering their tips all of these students have had interviews at various colleges and Cambridge but I've shown the video to my friends Oxford and run the tips by them and they've unanimously said that everything that applies to the Cambridge interview also applies to the Oxford interview because the two are pretty much identical in terms of you know what they ask you the things you need to be able to do to do well in them if you have a look in the description below you'll see a link to a video containing these same medical students as experiences of the Cambridge interview and you'll also find timestamps to all 15 tips so that if you want to skip ahead or if you've seen something before if you want to share a specific bit of the video you can just reference the appropriate timestamp so without further ado let's hear from 9 medical students talking about 15 tips for the Oxbridge medicine interview I really hope you find it useful and I'll see you at the end the biggest thing I always tell everyone is that you need to be able to think out loud it's a good song thinking out loud is really important like what you don't want to do when they ask you a question that you don't know the answer to is to sit there like a lemon for 30 seconds or for a minute for two minutes just kind of sitting there and thinking because the objective of the of the Cambridge and I assume Oxford interview isn't that you know you know the answer to everything it's that they can see your thinking process and they can see how you'd get the answer how you reason things so thinking out loud is super important for that definitely speak out loud show them your thought process so don't just tell them your answer tell them why you're getting that answer and how you might sort of progressed through it if they can see your thought process that's the main thing and that's what they want to know I was kind of practicing this before my interview that I would ask a friend to ask me a question that I didn't know the answer to and I would say things like okay so what if we were to start with this concept or for example one one Cambridge question that was I thought I found online I don't know if they actually use it was how would you calculate the number of molecules of oxygen in this room so instead of just kind of sitting there thinking in my head how would calculate that I would kind of make it a two-way dialogue at Bayla okay molecules of oxygen so firstly we need to find the volume of the room so I mean we could eyeball that that's probably about six meters across about eight meters across maybe about three meters high so we can work out a volume from that and then I think I mean if we if we assume that we've got standard conditions we could potentially apply the gas Avogadro's gas constant like korra hold it's called and like multiply that by the number of multiply that by the volume to get the answer so you know while it will have been rambling a bit in this you can you can see that I've been thinking out loud I haven't just been kind of retreating into my head and trying to work out what the answer is so that is the number one biggest tip for the Cambridge interviews secondly I would say don't be afraid if you don't know the answer as I said earlier the objective is not to know the answer the objective is just to think about it and the questions they will ask you are going to be quite hard so you know if you're the type of person that gets flustered by not knowing the right answer then that's something that you want to practice I mean you want to work on before your interview always be willing to venture an answer if you don't know say well I'm not sure I do it I don't know but if I were to hazard a guess it would be this so that you make sure that you are at least using your brain you know and thinking about the question and that's what they really want to see that you grapple with the problem intellectually and I think again remembering that they are there to test you but also they want to get the best out of you so they in mind even when I couldn't I couldn't get to an answer for some of the more science questions they would help me that give me clues and there to really try to guide me so in that way it was good my main thing would be revise your Sciences in your mouth be ready with those when you arrive I used to get asked quite a lot do I need to know this level of chemistry and biology and do I need to know this stuff in chemistry and I'd say no you're a level syllabus well you know know your chemistry and biology well and really know the principles but then further than that I unless you've mentioned it in your personal statement you don't need to know super you know complicated concepts because they're kind of I'd say they want you to work from the zero a level yeah if you can show evidence of wider reading it's it's great it but what's important is not to answer the question you wish had been asked because you know loads about that answer the question they've actually asked you so they ask you about high blood pressure and coronary disease don't spout off about diabetes and coronary disease because you've read loads about that and you read this and you did this work experiencing it just answer the question it seems but if you do actually happen to know loads about the topic that they touch on they'll just move on because again like I said they're interested in seeing how much new knowledge you can take on and how you can apply your knowledge within that interview it's not sort of exactly how much you know to start with I actually found my camera interviews really fun which might make you think I'm a bit of a weirdo but actually that's really important to know because you should find it fun you should be passionate about medicine about the science he concepts that are going on because if you're applying to Oxbridge you're about to do a really science heavy course so if you're not passionate about it you're applying to the one place they know that it's part of why they do the interview like that they want your passion to show through so if you've got problems with being really anxious for interviews or you just feel like you don't know enough science or for example you need to be able to talk confidently and enthusiastically about science on the day if because if that enthusiasm shines through the interviewer who is normally a lecturer of that subject or a tutor supervisor for that subject will think oh wow yeah this this person can think that and they're really keen like they'll be they've been really fun to teach actually and I think that what you should be willing to do in the Cambridge interview is you should be willing to improve it and should be willing to backtrack so if you think that your back-end roantree don't be proud don't have intellectual hubris or whatever just backtrack and say I'll you know that's a good point and then push the logic and the reasoning from there oh yeah so I I was told when I was in sixth form to always take it and on a piece of paper put in a pocket somewhere cuz as we mentioned before a lot of the love the interview is about trying to show how you get to an answer what's going through your head and sometimes certain questions really help if you can have a piece of paper paper just just for you because you get to write things down you get to sort of think out loud while drawing things and for them it's really useful as well because they see so much some people find that hard to say out loud what they're thinking and sometimes it does just help so much when you can draw something show them like actually you think maybe the graph would look something like this it just shows a lot more of you and you normally would be able to say just by speaking but yeah just then don't be afraid to take your time with the questions write stuff down if it helps bring a hand bird apart from that any interview practice you can get for it will will be helpful particularly if the people have had an Oxford interview themselves because they're really not as sinister and strange and out to get you as the media would have you believed it's really important even if you think you've got the answer to just be slow with it yeah because being slow uses up time which is good and also really shows your thinking yeah I think that's quite a good point if you know the answer you don't want to just say oh it's this you kind of ones like because if you know the answer you already have a little bit of an advantage so take a step back in the side you know what I'm gonna sound really clever and I'm going to work my way I'm gonna show off and like really break it down as though you're teaching them how like why that's the answer and that that's really good this is all about your thought process sharing how you go through the motions and how you get there so you place a medical school against lots of smart people right lots of people who have got straight A's they've got good grades in their exams everybody who applies to Cambridge is like the top cup of them right so if the Cambridge interview was just about getting the answers would be an extraordinarily waste for we or finding that out after all they could just do what they do every other time and sent you in a hole and make you do a test and the people who do best in the test get in but that's a bad way of getting because you're not here to learn what you already know you're here to learn and a lot of what you learn while you're here is stuff this like way new to you new concepts new ideas new ways of thinking he says you know frightening me cliched month so they need to test what it's like when you're learning things you don't know when you're out your comfort zone before you learn they want to see how you learn and they only see that by finding out what you don't know so if for example they ask you a question about I denote lungs and you happen to have done a special project on lungs and all you've done in biology up until this point was lungs and you're an expert on lungs they'll go okay fine let's talk about the kidney instead and get you right the bat food and that doesn't mean that you're bad it just means they recognize you a little bit lungs and they're not gonna get anything by hearing you talk quite long as for ages they want to hear you struggle through kidneys rather than breeze through lungs because if you can demonstrate for you the way that you approach problems that you don't know the answer to that's much more useful to them than finding it then you know a lot because everything that was a lot everybody was applying to Cambridge anyway good a lot apart from enthusiasm swinging through in your interview they want to see you can think so that doesn't require you to be SuperDuper intelligent it doesn't require you to know every last fact about some specific disease it just requires you to be able to think on your feet so when you're in there on the day make sure that you're comfortable enough to just be able to think out loud they might ask you a question on something you know nothing about but just think of any relevant information you do have and try and use that to answer the question they'll quite deliberately Beyonc asking you questions that you don't know the answer to because they don't want you to be in your comfort zone where you're going to give a textbook answer they want you to be working through they want to see how your brain works they want to see how creatively you can think how sensibly you think how you can link different ideas up and I think keeping calm is a huge thing because if you freak out in the middle of that interview then you might miss out on a few stages of the question and it's really important to keep focus because for the whole interview you might be working on one question it's in my experience it really wasn't the why medicine why this college why this university questions it really was the sciences so I think focus on those but also be prepared because some colleges do do one that's a bit more about your personal statement about your extracurricular thing so have that ready but that focus on science arguably there's even less preparation required for a Cambridge interview than a normal interview because it's unpredictable and you know they're not going to ask you any of the questions that you think they can ask you so just practice talking and being relaxed and whatever relaxes you I genuinely when I came down I forgot my razor and he used to shave so I just walked into town got a shave but a barber and then went to the interview house that was my example that was my interview day preparation work well alright so that was 15 tips for the Oxbridge medicine interview I really hope you found it useful thank you very much for watching and a massive shout out to my friends who took part in the video and helped make it possible if you have any questions about the Oxford admissions process or about the interviews or about anything else for that matter just leave a comment down below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can equally if you have any suggestions for content that would be useful to you more things about the medicine application interviews Beamer exam revision and it's anything like that just let me know the comments down below and that would really help in kind of giving me ideas for videos that we could be doing on the channel so yeah let's end the video there thank you very much for watching if you like the video please give it a thumbs up if you haven't subscribed to the channel please consider doing so loads more videos coming out over the next few weeks about like interviews specifically and also more stuff about the application process and I also do vlogs every now and then about life as a medical student which you might find vaguely interesting cool thanks for watching have a great day and I will see you in the next one bye you

11 comments

  1. Hey friends, I've just launched an online course for medical school interview prep 🙂 If you liked this video, you may like to check out the course – https://courses.aliabdaal.com/interview-crash-course-online. Take care xx

  2. can you help me please!! I want to complete my studies at Oxford but the problem is that I m from Algeria and I don't how can I manage to do that?

  3. Do you have any tips on how I could practise for the oxbridge interview specifically? It's easy to give someone some generic interview questions but how could I practice for the oxbridge ones? Thank you so much for this series!!

  4. This channel is so underrated 😭😭Great advice and tips but I feel like I'm gonna flop anyways next year wen I apply

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