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50 REAL LIFE Oxford University Interview Questions

Written by current University of Oxford students

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1. How would you go about learning 50 words a day?

2. If you had funding for one psychological study, what would you want to test?

3. What does it mean to 'be political'?

4. What are you reading at the moment?

5. Does moral responsibility require the ability to do otherwise?

6. What does autonomy mean and in which scenarios is someone exhibiting autonomy?

7. Have you read any poems that you would say are musical?

8. What is poetry?

9. Is the phrase ‘I would like a cup of coffee please’ in a cafe ‘poetry’?

10. If sport was the only lenses through which we could judge the past, how accurate would our knowledge of the past be?

11. How would you go about calculating the mass of the Earth?

12. Will there ever be a year without a Friday 13th?

13. Improvise a 1 minute piano piece based on space using a hexatonic scale  

14. Do you think Odysseus was a good leader?

15. Who’s your favourite Roman historian and why?

16. Can there be beauty in manipulation in poetry?

17. When do you think this text was written?

18. How does the material/physical book itself impact the experience of reading?

19. Why do you want to study (your subject)?

10. Summarise the argument from your written work you submitted in one sentence 

11. Should colonial architecture be preserved?

12. What is the future of stem cell therapy? 

13. What happens to your bones in space?

14. What is an autoimmune disease?

15. What are the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

16. What is the future of cancer treatment?

17. How do you think you can overcome the issue of noise in hospitals?

18. How does dance contribute to our understanding of history?

19. Does being a democracy make a state more or less likely to go to war?

20. What is the book you’ve read that has had the most profound impact on you?

21. Tell us about your interest in behavioural economics 

22. How do you know you are in Oxford?

23. Is ambiguity important in texts?

24. What is the point of ‘difficulty’ in texts?

25. Why do you think the Weimar Republic failed?

26. Imagine an island with around 20 people and they live by the law 'do not do anything immoral', would this be good society?

27. How can you measure how rich a country is? 

28. Why are there differences in countries’ wealth? 

29. What do you mean by human capital? What are aspects that are easy to measure and what are those that are harder to measure? 

30. Why might there be lower start up rates in UK vs America? 

31. In your opinion what is the most powerful nation? Why? 

32. Where does this power come from? 

33. What are the max and min values of f(x)=x2 between -infinity and +infinity?

34. A watch face shows 3:15. What is the angle between the hands?

35. A sequence exists such that an = 1/n. Where does this sequence converge?

36. Draw the graph of f(x)=ln(x).

37. What are the maximum and minimum values of f(x)=x2 between -1 and 1?

38. If you had to remove everything except one thing from your Personal Statement what would be left?

39. What are the purposes of the grammatical constructions in this text? 

40. What does the word 'equal' mean?

41. Talk to me about triangles

42. If you wanted to cause the greatest amount of sea-level change, would you melt the ice at the North or the South Pole?

43. Tell us your thoughts on this rock

44. To what extent should ‘emotion’ be factored into our understanding of history?

45. Why is Fair Trade important?

46. Explain what it means to 'be conscious'

47. How would would you count the number of rabbits on two separate islands and test if they were different?

48. Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster?

49. What is the effect of wind on the forces in the structure of tall buildings?

50. What would you say about this plastic bag if you dug it up 2000 years in the future?

PLEASE SHARE on your platforms ahead of Oxford Uni interviews this week!

Check out: for loads more posts written by current students on what to expect, top tips for preparing and personal interview experiences. Go, go, go!

1 Comment

Jenny Cutler
Jenny Cutler
Oct 26, 2021

Fun thing to do in the pub with any teenage children - to get them used to thinking on the spot.

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