Applying to Oxford

Competitive Applications

Our friends at St Peter’s College, Oxford have put together this really useful and comprehensive video for Year 12s considering competitive universities and applications – we really recommend watching this.

Below, we have an introduction to, and top tips for, personal statements, more information about Admissions Tests, as well as some more personal advice from some of our current students who helped with interviews this year.

Personal Statements

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us about why you are particularly interested in your course, what questions you have about it, and how you have pursued that interest for yourself. It’s also a good way of checking for yourself that you actually want to study your subject! At Oxford, the personal statement can also be used at interview to start a discussion, for example about a book you have mentioned, and it’s then a chance for you to show your own thoughts and ideas about a subject or topic.

Personal Statements – An Introduction

Personal Statements – Top Tips

Play Video

Personal Statements Bank

Our current students have very kindly given us permission to publish some of their unammended personal statements to help give you some suggestions as to how to structure your personal statement. Click here for the Personal Statements Bank.

If you are a current student and want to share your personal statement as a way to guide prospective applicants toward a more successful application, please submit your personal statement (anonymously) here.

Admissions Tests

Before applying, make sure you know whether your subject requires you to sit an Admissions Test. Follow this link to check what is required by your subject.

Click on the test(s) required for your subject – there are past papers, solutions and webinars for the different papers that you can use to practice. There are also a number of useful resources from across the Oxford Colleges and Departments you can use, for example:

  • Jesus College’s YouTube channel also has some really useful resources for preparing for the TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment).
  • The Maths Faculty has a number of videos to help you prepare, including this video on the MAT

Remember, to sit the test you will need to register with a test centre – this will typically be your school for UK students, so do make sure you let your teachers know in advance! For applications in 2023, schools will need to re-register as test centres, so please consult your school’s academic office to check this.


Applicants will typically be  informed whether they have been shortlisted for interview by late November/early December. You can find out more about what to expect from the interview process here.

Different subjects interview on different days during December – you can find the timetable for this year here

Some of our current students at St Anne’s College who helped with the interview process this year have the following advice and tips:

  • Remember why you applied in the first place
  • Treat the interview like a mini tutorial
  • Ask for a definition if you need it
  • Think of the interview like a conversation
  • And forget about it once it’s done!
All of their advice can be found in the following videos …