Oxbridge Preparation Programme

Supporting Students Through the Rigorous Selection Process

The Oxbridge Preparation programme is offered at all of Astrum Education’s colleges. Students who wish to be considered for this extremely competitive process are all given an honest appraisal of their chances of success.

Astrum Education provides excellent academic support, thorough preparation for the application process and expert advice and mentoring. Interviews for undergraduate places are just one part of a very rigorous selection process, where academic ability and potential is assessed through a range of measures: at least two interviews, aptitude tests in most subjects, written work in many subjects, predicted grades, attained grades and references.

The personal interview is a very important stage of the Oxbridge application process and our Oxbridge Preparation programme is designed to help students find out how they think when they encounter challenging ideas.

Our mock interviews are designed to assess academic ability and potential. While this sounds intimidating, their aim is to get candidates to use their knowledge and apply their minds to new problems while allowing them to shine. The interviews are not designed to see how quickly students get the ‘right’ answer or show off specialist knowledge, but to gauge how they respond to new ideas. Each subject has its own selection criteria, and interviews are structured to look for evidence of academic ability and potential in those areas.

With more than 30,000 applications to Oxford and Cambridge each year, the admissions process can be daunting and with an average of five students competing for every place, there is no guarantee of success even for the brightest applicants. These elite universities admit students from every background around the world based on their ability, willingness to apply themselves and achieve. The undergraduate degree courses offered by these universities are highly academic and are not necessarily appropriate for all students as they rely on a high degree of self-study.

Oxbridge candidates receive:

  • Specialist help from personal tutors, their subject tutors and the head of sixth form on choosing the university, course and college that best suits their ambitions and capabilities
  • Guidance from their subject tutors with suitable further reading, and careful monitoring to ensure that they are completing all additional work and ‘super-curricular’ activities to ensure their application is as competitive as possible
  • Specialist help with interview practice, from tutors who have both been through the Oxbridge interview process themselves, and who have sat on Oxbridge interview panels
  • Guidance with entrance tests (where necessary), extra help with personal statement writing and help from tutors who are specialists in their chosen areas
  • References written by tutors experienced in the Oxbridge application process
  • A visit from an Oxford and a Cambridge admissions tutor, to give specialist advice on their application as well as an invitation to the open day at the college/s of their choice

Representatives from other top universities, such as Imperial, UCL and LSE, visit Astrum sixth form colleges to help students make informed decisions on their ‘insurance’ choices. In addition, the head of sixth form and other academic staff are available throughout the year for one-to-one consultations on all aspects of their application.