You need to submit your application via the UCAS website by October 15th. Here you enter your grades, predicted grades, personal statement, and teacher’s reference. Admissions tutors are trying to determine your academic potential and suitability for your chosen course so try to focus your personal statement on academia rather than extra-curricular, and demonstrate you enthusiasm for your chosen subject. Perhaps you have read something particularly interesting or taken part in a Maths challenge – make sure you let the admissions tutors know!
If your course requires written work, you will be asked to send something you have already produced as part of your normal school or college work so this shouldn't be an additional burden to your current workload.
Most Oxford subjects require you to sit an admissions test. Check whether your subject needs one. Your school must register you for tests in October so make sure you check the deadlines and make the arrangements in plenty of time. The tests are usually taken in your school or a local test centre. Past papers are available online and we recommend that you practice, this will help you get used to the format and timing of the test.
If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to Oxford for interviews. Accommodation and food is provided free of charge for the duration of your stay. There are also undergraduate students to help you around and organise evening entertainment such as quizzes, tours, and film nights.
Most people have 1-3 interviews, usually split between 2 colleges. You don't need to dress formally and we highly recommend wearing whatever you feel most comfortable in. Decisions are not based on your appearance or background, but on your ability to think independently and to engage with new ideas. The purpose of the interviews is to assess your academic potential, suitability for your course, and tutorial-style teaching. Tutors are trained to put candidates at ease and help them to demonstrate their thought process. Having an academic discussion with a stranger can be daunting so you may want to practice discussing your subject with an adult you do not know. The best place to start is Oxford's official information on preparing for interviews. Interview accounts and sample questions from current students are available on our pages for each course.
Final decisions are communicated to applicants in early January. If you are made an offer, it will be almost certainly be conditional on achieving the standard offer for your course.