Classics and English Interviews

By Jenna Colaco


When I was preparing for my Oxford interviews, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This blog post is a selection of things that I did or thought I would have benefitted from in retrospect.


Using a personal statement to prepare:

Read through your personal statement and make sure that you know all the books and case studies that you have mentioned. You could make a brief summary of them if they are texts or ideas you haven’t explored in a while, just to refresh your memory.


Where you have expressed an opinion or an argument in your personal statement, question whether you still hold that opinion and why. If you have changed your mind, think about why you have changed it and what you now think about the topic instead.


This is to help you go through your personal statement critically and get used to justifying and substantiating your opinions and arguments.


Using your written work to prepare:

Similarly to the personal statement, go through your essays and look at all the points and arguments you have made, considering if you think they are still things you would argue. In addition, see if you have learned any new information in class that you would add to your essay now that you have more information— see how you could expand on your essay.


Using your admissions test prep:

If you sat the CLAT you will probably have a Classics language interview. For this, you should look over any preparation you did for the CLAT. An understanding of grammar such as how tenses work, the differences between singular and plural forms and how gender can be expressed or not expressed in feminine or masculine forms of a word could be very helpful. If you study any languages already, this could be much easier because you could think about how they differ from English and get a sense of how language works differently and similarly. Equally, I didn’t have an A Level language, so this is not a requirement and you are not expected to have A Level languages for course II Classics.

General advice:

Sleep as well as you can, rest is important. Lastly, have faith in your capabilities because getting to interviews is a wonderful achievement.