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    I was wondering if someone could describe to me in as much detail as possible what their university interview was like, particularly for language applicants. Also anyone who received an interview at Oxford or Cambridge, as I am interested in applying for joint honours in French and Spanish.

    Please, share your experience
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    (Original post by Banoffeepie16)
    I was wondering if someone could describe to me in as much detail as possible what their university interview was like, particularly for language applicants. Also anyone who received an interview at Oxford or Cambridge, as I am interested in applying for joint honours in French and Spanish.

    Please, share your experience
    Hi - having gone through Cambridge interviews for French and Spanish, I'd suggest that some of the best advice (at least for Cambridge) can be found here. It's coming straight from the horse's mouth, and so is really valuable.

    Generally speaking, for post-A-Level interviews you can expect to spend at least half the interview speaking in the language that you're applying to study, as well as to receive a passage beforehand to read through. The interviews aren't designed to test your knowledge (although that is important), but rather to gauge your linguistic competence and willingness to apply that knowledge to new situations.

    Hope this helps! If you'd like to ask any other questions about the Cambridge course, about languages at uni, or just about languages in general, please feel free to drop me a private message.
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    At Oxford you'll have a grammar test for each post A level language you are applying for.
    For French, the first section consisted of around 10 sentences with missing prepositions/pronouns
    They were testing things like the ne explétif, à/de, en/y etc

    The second section was similar but you had to choose the right tense and conjugation of certain verbs (irregular ones that just need to be learnt)
    There was a lot of subjuntive in it, with questions like "Pour autant que je ______ (savoir)"

    The third section was English to French translation, again testing tricky bits of grammar with lots of subjunctive.

    The last section was French to English translation, which was mainly testing recognition of literary tenses like the passé simple "Il se mit à"
    and weird past participles and verbs (cueillir cropped up). Loads of people translated "Elle s'est tue" as 'she killed herself', when it was 'She fell silent'.

    Here are some past papers
    http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...sts/index.html
    Though I think there's only one per language.

    I also recommend these placement tests, which (for French at least) get quite tricky int he later questions
    http://www.lang.ox.ac.uk/courses/tst_index.html

    The interview itself was spent discussing a piece of French Literature. I got prose, but it's very likely that you'll get a poem instead. As long as you talk intelligently and vaguely coherently about the text you should be fine.
    I only spent about 5 minutes speaking in French at the end of the interview and it was a simple "How was your time in France" type question. However, this probably varies widely between colleges.

    My second interview wouln't really be relevant to your situation because it was a second French one testing aptitude for the French sole course.

    Well that was my experience, hope it helped
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    (Original post by qwertyuiop1993)
    At Oxford you'll have a grammar test for each post A level language you are applying for.
    For French, the first section consisted of around 10 sentences with missing prepositions/pronouns
    They were testing things like the ne explétif, à/de, en/y etc

    The second section was similar but you had to choose the right tense and conjugation of certain verbs (irregular ones that just need to be learnt)
    There was a lot of subjuntive in it, with questions like "Pour autant que je ______ (savoir)"

    The third section was English to French translation, again testing tricky bits of grammar with lots of subjunctive.

    The last section was French to English translation, which was mainly testing recognition of literary tenses like the passé simple "Il se mit à"
    and weird past participles and verbs (cueillir cropped up). Loads of people translated "Elle s'est tue" as 'she killed herself', when it was 'She fell silent'.

    Here are some past papers
    http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...sts/index.html
    Though I think there's only one per language.

    I also recommend these placement tests, which (for French at least) get quite tricky int he later questions
    http://www.lang.ox.ac.uk/courses/tst_index.html

    The interview itself was spent discussing a piece of French Literature. I got prose, but it's very likely that you'll get a poem instead. As long as you talk intelligently and vaguely coherently about the text you should be fine.
    I only spent about 5 minutes speaking in French at the end of the interview and it was a simple "How was your time in France" type question. However, this probably varies widely between colleges.

    My second interview wouln't really be relevant to your situation because it was a second French one testing aptitude for the French sole course.

    Well that was my experience, hope it helped
    Thank you very much that's very helpful
    Which college were you interviewed at, and were you offered a place?
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    I applied to Trinity and I have a conditional offer. (I chose Trinity because of its central location. Plus the food is AMAZING)
    I was only interviewed at Trinity, in fact none of the modern languages applicants at Trinity were pooled, so it must have been quite a clear cut year =S

    It's nothing to be worried about if you get pooled during interview, indeed, I don't think the college would recommend you to another if they thought you were absolutely not worth an offer...
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    (Original post by qwertyuiop1993)
    I applied to Trinity and I have a conditional offer. (I chose Trinity because of its central location. Plus the food is AMAZING)
    I was only interviewed at Trinity, in fact none of the modern languages applicants at Trinity were pooled, so it must have been quite a clear cut year =S

    It's nothing to be worried about if you get pooled during interview, indeed, I don't think the college would recommend you to another if they thought you were absolutely not worth an offer...
    Congrats on the offer I've been trying to decide which college to apply to... it's so hard to choose! :rolleyes: I do like the look of New College, though.
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    Ha, thanks. My friend has an offer from New College, it looks beautiful (I especially like the cloister they used for Harry Potter). The choir is pretty good too :P
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    Since someone has already answered in detail for French I'll tell you a bit about the Spanish at Oxford - the test is fairly straightforward but they use a few idioms in the translation section so make sure you know them. They also like to test on verbs which take irregular prepositions.

    The interview itself (at least for me) was more casual/relaxed than I'd expected. I didn't spend too long talking in Spanish either and when I did it was only about work experience (I was really afraid they'd make me analyse the poem in Spanish!). Also they don't expect you to understand every word/line of the poem so don't worry - getting the general gist and having some imaginative ideas is the most important thing.
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    (Original post by BeckyIsOptimistic)
    Since someone has already answered in detail for French I'll tell you a bit about the Spanish at Oxford - the test is fairly straightforward but they use a few idioms in the translation section so make sure you know them. They also like to test on verbs which take irregular prepositions.

    The interview itself (at least for me) was more casual/relaxed than I'd expected. I didn't spend too long talking in Spanish either and when I did it was only about work experience (I was really afraid they'd make me analyse the poem in Spanish!). Also they don't expect you to understand every word/line of the poem so don't worry - getting the general gist and having some imaginative ideas is the most important thing.
    Thank you very much
    Can I ask what encouraged you to apply for the college you did?
    Because I'm trying to decide which one I will apply for (hopefully )
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    (Original post by Banoffeepie16)
    Thank you very much
    Can I ask what encouraged you to apply for the college you did?
    Because I'm trying to decide which one I will apply for (hopefully )
    It was mostly the Liberal attitude it's generally associated with, and the fact my mum had given me an article on it about four or five years ago about a girl who'd gone their from a state school (like myself) and was really enjoying it. The college just stuck in my head from then on and I didn't ever really want to apply elsewhere
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    Hi, I can tell you some of the poetry I was given to analyse - for French I had Verlaine's L'art poétique and Baudelaire's 'La cloche felée' at Exeter and St Hilda's respectively. Have a look at them, it'll give you an idea of where they can be pitched. I applied to Exeter for French and German, so had two interviews there, but also had one combined (45 minutes long!!) interview at St Edmund Hall and one for each language at St Hilda's - yep, 5 interviews! They were quite chilled though, the emphasis was on seeing how you analyse rather than how much vocab you know, and at Exeter and St Edmund Hall you're given dictionaries when preparing poems.

    I chose Exeter because it's one of the few that has a fellow in both subjects (and who were recommended to me by a teacher who taught at Ox for 20 odd years) but also because of its location and beautiful buildings.

    Hope this helps, and good luck with your application!!
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    (Original post by cob007)
    Hi, I can tell you some of the poetry I was given to analyse - for French I had Verlaine's L'art poétique and Baudelaire's 'La cloche felée' at Exeter and St Hilda's respectively. Have a look at them, it'll give you an idea of where they can be pitched. I applied to Exeter for French and German, so had two interviews there, but also had one combined (45 minutes long!!) interview at St Edmund Hall and one for each language at St Hilda's - yep, 5 interviews! They were quite chilled though, the emphasis was on seeing how you analyse rather than how much vocab you know, and at Exeter and St Edmund Hall you're given dictionaries when preparing poems.

    I chose Exeter because it's one of the few that has a fellow in both subjects (and who were recommended to me by a teacher who taught at Ox for 20 odd years) but also because of its location and beautiful buildings.

    Hope this helps, and good luck with your application!!
    Thank you very much! This is extremely useful
    Hopefully I'll be able to give advice regarding Oxbridge entry sometime in the future.:rolleyes: I don't think I've ever wanted something so badly
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    I found this site really useful: http://www.oxbridge-admissions.info/profiles.php

    For my interview at Cambridge I didn't have any grammar questions as hard as the ones above - in fact I didn't have any at all in my French interview. I didn't spend long speaking French or German either, and it was fairly basic stuff about France and Germany. I think the literature was what we spent the most time on.

    One thing I would say: don't mention anything at all that you can't answer follow-up questions on. I said I'd like to go to a particular part of Germany because it was very historical and I like history, and they pounced on it with 'What historical events have happened there?' or something along those lines. Of course I didn't have a clue, all I knew was that it had a lot of cool old buildings :P
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    Just want to say thanks to everyone who replied... even though it was ages ago, it really helped me and I have an offer! I think this thread helped :yep:
 
 
 
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