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article | 11 December 2019

What Does It Really Take To Get Into Oxbridge? 5 Things They’re Looking For

If you are thinking of trying to get into an Oxbridge university, you will need to be as well clued-up as possible on what they are really looking for from prospective students. The better aware you are of these things, the more of a chance you have of getting into those highly competitive universities. Let’s take a look at just five of the things they might be looking for in their prospective students.

Passion

This is something that is said so often that it is hard to appreciate what it really means. But although it might sound like a cliche, it is certainly true that Oxbridge are looking for students who are going to be as passionate as possible about the whole endeavour. This comes down to displaying a few main attributes which in turn imply passion, and it also shows up in how well you know the university you are applying to and the subject that you wish to study. The more passionately you can display a love of these things, the better a chance you are going to have.

If you worry that you do not come across as a naturally passionate individual, then you might want to think about what you can do to improve upon that. You don’t need to pretend to be something you are not, but it might just be a case of trying to get yourself excited so that you can properly show the passion you have. Think about what it is that makes you love the subject in question, and why you want to go to that university, and that passion should come across in your application and, more importantly, in your interview.

Strong Understanding

Above all, of course, the Oxbridge universities pride themselves on their long and strong histories of learning. You are going there not because you already know everything, but because you wish to learn more, and so you should not feel that you have to display an endless awareness of your subject. However, be in no doubt that they are absolutely going to want to know that you have a strong understanding of your subject to begin with. They are considering you as an investment of sorts, and they are going to want to see that you are likely to turn out well. So the more that you can express and develop a strong understanding of your subject and related fields, the better a chance you will have of getting in.

Preparedness

Because they want to know that you are really serious about wanting to get into their university, they will also be looking for evidence that you are as fully prepared as possible for the experience. This preparedness is not something you can fake, so you are going to have to make sure that you are actually doing whatever you can to get prepared for the course you are considering. The more evidence you can show of having done this, the better your chances are. So what are some of the things you can do to get more prepared for studying at Oxbridge?

For a start, it’s a great idea to take a summer course before the year that the Oxbridge course starts. There are many kinds that you might wish to take, but in particular, if you take the Bucksmore Oxbridge Preparation Programme you will find that you are going to feel particularly ready for studying at one of the Oxbridge universities, and you will find that they respond well to seeing that you have done so. You can also prepare by reading up on the universities themselves, and if you are going to be studying postgraduate level, thinking about what your research will be.

A Love Of Debate

In both the Oxbridge universities, there is a strong focus on the ability to debate, and that is something which you are going to have to display well if you hope to get in. Whether or not you feel that you can debate well, you will want to make sure that you are developing those skills early on, so that you can display them and show that you are the kind of person that they should want. The better you can debate, the more likely you are to get into the course, even if you are not sure of this part of things being important yourself.

Confidence

Above all, you will want to display confidence. If you go into your interview – and express yourself in your application – with great confidence, then you should find that you have a much better chance of success. Indeed, it is often the case that it is the confident people, and not those who merely have the marks and the history, who actually get offered places. Even when a course says that a requirement is a must, you can be sure that they will consider you based on a strong cover letter – and writing that requires a great deal of confidence. Believe in yourself, figure out why you are worthy of the place and then argue that case with confidence – but not arrogance – and you should find that you are considerably more likely to have success with your Oxbridge applications.

These are all important for trying to get into Oxbridge, so think about working on these as soon as you can. And remember: if you are not lucky this year, there is always next year to consider.

Oxbridge Preparation

Bucksmore has partnered with Oxford International College, the UK’s top-ranked schools for A-level results and university application success, to bring you the perfect programme for international students wanting to apply to Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group Universities.