OXBRIDGE INTERVIEW PREPARATION GUIDANCE – BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, BIOCHEMISTRY
Dont stress too much about the interview a large part of the admissions process will be determined by you
A-level/GCSE grades and teacher recommendations. However, its good to be as prepared as possible!
Be prepared to make small talk at the start of your interview as the tutor is like to want to put you at ease by asking questions about your journey/how you like the college
Remember what you wrote in your personal statement, and be prepared to discuss projects you mentioned there. This is seen as an easy introductory interview discussion topic.
Try to follow the major scientific discoveries, which were in the news (e.g. CRISPR) and be prepared to talk about them at least superficially. Pick a couple of examples that inspired you to choose to study your degree level subject, and find out about these in depth.
Dont be afraid of questions seem odd and take you by surprise, e.g. Whats your favourite amino-acid?. Often there is no correct answer, so just relax and speak confidently as long as you can justify your choice youve done really well.
Dont panic if you are asked a question that seems impossible at first. I was asked to estimate how long it would take bacteria to fill the surface of the earth if they were unimpeded. As above, there is no absolute correct answer here and you are not expected to know it. Work through the question logically and carefully step by step, making estimations as you need to. For the example above, estimate a figure for the radius of the Earth, and work an approximate surface area. Then estimate a doubling time and a surface area for the bacteria. Consider some factors, which may reduce bacterial growth, e.g. nutrient availability.
Most importantly, relax and enjoy the full attention of a world-class scientist this is your chance to talk about your favourite subject!