(Original post by suzanamarieXD)
Is there an actual rank/criteria for what constitutes what score? Like a mark scheme, essentially hahaha?
Story time involving these scores. I ... gasp ... applied to Oxford* last year, and when I asked for feedback they did send me scores for both my interview and my written work (English applicant). Oh, and the admissions exam (ELAT), but I think that's an Oxford thing only.
For reference, my interview score last year was a 4/10, which is obviously well below offer. I had a Skype interview**, and it was absolutely awful. Not that it was any scarier than normal - though I don't like Skype as much as natural conversation - but it felt rushed and we spent 5-10 minutes dealing with technical issues.
They gave me a little bit of reasoning to my low interview score, basically saying I wasn't good at analyzing the poem they gave me (absolutely right, I'd barely touched poetry before, especially not in school) and that I didn't have enough knowledge on the books I'd mentioned in my personal statement (also true, I did absolutely no revision). I, for instance, had not touched Moby **** for over a year before the interview, but I had written a sentence about reading it in my statement, and that took up a whole third of the interview!
They also said I was inflexible and not well read enough (both true, but fingers crossed that I fixed those problems this time around).
So, if you were able to bring up a few points and work through the questions with some sort of method during the interview, even if you were nervous or said some daft things, chances are you did better than me last year, which means more than a 4.
Just goes to show that no matter how much you prepare, you can never really
"prepare" for an Oxbridge interview!
*Oxford have (technically) lower requirements for American students - 3 AP 5's instead of 5 - so I thought Oxford would have been "easier" to get into; wrong of course. This year I did Cambridge instead so I could try and pull off a bit of a David Mitchell
. It was really a whim decision though; my gap year is totally unrelated to reapplying and I decided to try at Cambridge just for the heck of it. I'm not expecting to get in, but I'm of course hoping. I definitely felt ten times as prepared and confident this year, even if I wasn't asked about the specific things I'd prepared on.
**I'm English but I lived in America during my high school years, and didn't have a way to come back for the interview. Skype was the only option, but it was a pretty bad option. I'd have been rejected either way, but I feel with the 20 or so minute Skype chat I wasn't given as much time as I could've used.