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    I'm hoping to make an application for 2017 entry (given I performed well enough for my AS levels, if not I shall apply with my A2 grades) to study History. I'm putting together a list so my Dad can buy me some books for wider reading. I currently have one for each History paper and two about the theory of History/other parts of History for me to read analytically. They are very narrow books for example my Paper 1 topic is England 1509-1603 and I have, for example, a book on Edward VI.

    I was just wondering if 4 books would be enough? I know you need to read 'as much as possible and enjoy reading it' which I will, but I like being regimented and thinking "okay I have read x amount, now I can read some extra books if I have the time but at least I have x amount of books under my belt". I don't want to be regretting my choices of reading if I get to the interview stage. On top of this, I have been engaging with lectures that have been put on YouTube by other educational institutions and podcasts.

    Any other independent reading tips for pre-application?
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    I would recommend reading what impassions you rather than trying to master any kind of content. An interview will not test for knowledge, but how you think (to see if they'd like to work with you), so if there is something you really like, develop that, write about it in your UCAS essay and you can bet they'll ask you about it.

    My daughter started reading about the historical Jesus at 16 from some books I had around, then we bought her a bunch of books on the subject as her interest in it developed, including one on the Bible as a source of archaeological ideas. She wrote about that and they grilled her on it until she was stumped. But they saw how her mind worked and she immediately got an offer. Their questions were attuned to her interests, not some accepted scholastic agenda. They liked the quirkiness of her interests and saw it as an ability to pursue directions on her own - exactly what they wanted for her tripos.
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    (Original post by alcibiade)
    I would recommend reading what impassions you rather than trying to master any kind of content. An interview will not test for knowledge, but how you think (to see if they'd like to work with you), so if there is something you really like, develop that, write about it in your UCAS essay and you can bet they'll ask you about it.

    My daughter started reading about the historical Jesus at 16 from some books I had around, then we bought her a bunch of books on the subject as her interest in it developed, including one on the Bible as a source of archaeological ideas. She wrote about that and they grilled her on it until she was stumped. But they saw how her mind worked and she immediately got an offer. Their questions were attuned to her interests, not some accepted scholastic agenda. They liked the quirkiness of her interests and saw it as an ability to pursue directions on her own - exactly what they wanted for her tripos.
    Oh wow congratulations to your daughter! I have a particular interest in 16th Century Religious History and the religious history that precedes it, but I'm somewhat confused since I've heard conflicting accounts about the interview process. Some say you need to read around your syllabus, and some say just focus on your interests. :confused:

    I think I'll do that then - I'll develop my interests on religious History, medieval history and the enlightenment era.
    Thank-you so much and congratulations to your daughter! I hope to be in her position one day
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    (Original post by SteamboatMickey)
    Oh wow congratulations to your daughter! I have a particular interest in 16th Century Religious History and the religious history that precedes it, but I'm somewhat confused since I've heard conflicting accounts about the interview process. Some say you need to read around your syllabus, and some say just focus on your interests. :confused:

    I think I'll do that then - I'll develop my interests on religious History, medieval history and the enlightenment era.
    Thank-you so much and congratulations to your daughter! I hope to be in her position one day
    The presumption is that, with A-level results, you've already got it.

    As they say, follow your bliss. Let me know how it turns out. Please contact me if you get an itnerview, I will offer whatever advice I can.
    I'm routing for you.
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    (Original post by SteamboatMickey)
    I'm hoping to make an application for 2017 entry (given I performed well enough for my AS levels, if not I shall apply with my A2 grades) to study History. I'm putting together a list so my Dad can buy me some books for wider reading. I currently have one for each History paper and two about the theory of History/other parts of History for me to read analytically. They are very narrow books for example my Paper 1 topic is England 1509-1603 and I have, for example, a book on Edward VI.

    I was just wondering if 4 books would be enough? I know you need to read 'as much as possible and enjoy reading it' which I will, but I like being regimented and thinking "okay I have read x amount, now I can read some extra books if I have the time but at least I have x amount of books under my belt". I don't want to be regretting my choices of reading if I get to the interview stage. On top of this, I have been engaging with lectures that have been put on YouTube by other educational institutions and podcasts.

    Any other independent reading tips for pre-application?
    There's no book "quota", you're not thinking about it the right way. As someone who is academically strong with a strong interest in their subject, one would expect that you'd be reading things that interest you for pleasure. You shouldn't be reading books "for" your interview, you should be reading books to improve your understanding of your subject. Read as much as you can but there isn't a requirement of how much you need to read or what you need to read.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    There's no book "quota", you're not thinking about it the right way. As someone who is academically strong with a strong interest in their subject, one would expect that you'd be reading things that interest you for pleasure. You shouldn't be reading books "for" your interview, you should be reading books to improve your understanding of your subject. Read as much as you can but there isn't a requirement of how much you need to read or what you need to read.
    I keep on hearing conflicting things. I've been reading a lot of books on the Protestant Reformation to improve my understanding, and the reason I got selected as an Oxbridge candidate (and now, after researching Cambridge I somewhat am determined to get in) was because of both my academic strength but also because of how intensively I engage with my subject. I was told by someone who got into Cambridge to read books about different things, and to not stick to one particular Historic era... but on TSR I've been told to read what I'm interested in, which I'd obviously rather do. I'd rather just follow my interests. So I think I've gotten a little confused, because I don't know quite what to believe.
    However following alcibiade's advice I'm just going to stick to reading what I'm interested in, instead of reading for my interview - which I was told to do before by a current student.

    Thanks for your help!

    Also thanks to alcibiade for being so supportive, I'll let you know how I get on.
 
 
 
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