22 -Oxbridge Preparation- questions

A hypertensive patient asks you to choose his treatment without disclosing potential side-effects of different options as that would only make him anxious, he claims. Which medical and ethical issues would you investigate before proceeding?

This question tests Oxbridge interview skills, mainly in area of Medicine. Purpose of the tutor is to guide the student through the dilemma and provide factual information or leading questions when stuck. This is akin to the structure of most Oxbridge interviews. Important points to discuss: 1) Mechanisms of common anti-hypertensive drugs (reduced afterload/vasodilation, reduced cardiac contractility, reduced circulatory volume) 2) Likely side-effects that these drugs might cause and how they might affect different people's quality of life and/or co-morbidities (e.g. postural hypotension, erectile dysfunction, electrolyte disturbances) 3) In light of that: The issue of consent when information is inadequate. Can the patient truly understand what is being omitted? 4) Patient autonomy and preference maximising medication choice (whilst not making them anxious) would involve an investigation into patient's lifestyle and personal preferences, e.g. sex life, how active they are, do they have other conditions, do they life with someone who can help them in case of an accident. 5) Considering all of the above, would you feel confident prescribing a standard set of first-line medications for hypertension?
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Jure H. GCSE Biology tutor, GCSE Human Biology tutor, A Level Human B...

2 days ago

Answered by Jure, who has applied to tutor -Oxbridge Preparation- with MyTutor

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Should I write about extracurricular activities on my personal statement?

Extracurricular activities directly related to your subject e.g. a summer project, a CREST award or work experience, are a great thing to talk about in an Oxbridge personal statement! However, it is unnecessary to talk at length about non-academic extracurriculars- Oxbridge are looking for students with a passion for their subject, regardless of whether they are well-rounded or not! Nevertheless, if a significant amount of your time is devoted to excelling at a particular hobby, it is worth mentioning in brief to show good time management.
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Amber B. A Level Biology tutor, GCSE Biology tutor, A Level Human Bio...

1 week ago

Answered by Amber, a -Oxbridge Preparation- tutor with MyTutor

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Do militant tactics aid or hinder political causes?

Minimum two examples given, one for either side - i.e. British c19 suffragettes vs Byzantium riots Should be clear argument with evidence from both sides given and one weighed to be stronger Wider considerations of question - big picture as a concept; what are militant tactics, how valid is the notion of a political cause? Some idea of historiography.
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Jennifer M. A Level English tutor, IB English tutor, 13 Plus  English...

2 weeks ago

Answered by Jennifer, who has applied to tutor -Oxbridge Preparation- with MyTutor

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How do I make my personal statement effective?

Although personal statements can seem like an overwhelming task, they don't need to be! They are what it says on the tin - a short piece of writing that’s about your interest in the subject and your experience. It can be difficult and might even seem cringe-worthy to write about yourself, but my main pieces of advice to avoid this, and make your personal statements more effective, are: 1. Avoid generic statements like ‘Since the age of 5 I’ve been interested in XYZ’. Instead, think about what genuinely interested you and made you apply for the subject, using evidence and perhaps referencing a particular occasion/lecture you attended/article you read to back this up. 2. Don’t use more words than you need to! Writing in simple language shows clarity and confidence, and makes it clear that you’ve got a genuine passion and are not hiding behind long words and sentences. 3. Focus on your skills. Even if you think you don’t have experience that is specific to your course, think again! For example, you might not have extensive experience of laboratory work, but perhaps you have held a job that required organisational skills and attention to detail – both of which are key for good scientific research. So, using simple language, focusing on your skills, and keeping your personal statement focused on the real-life experiences that led you to apply for the course will help make it a compelling piece of writing. Just take it step by step and you’ll get there!
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Lily R. A Level English Literature tutor, GCSE English Literature tut...

2 months ago

Answered by Lily, a -Oxbridge Preparation- tutor with MyTutor

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How should I pick a college to apply to?

Picking a college is arguably a very important part of your application to Oxbridge as it is where you will be spending the majority of your time at. My advice would be to first check which colleges offer your course subject and look into the technicalities of the structure of the course and perhaps speak to students to hear their personal experiences. Visiting the universities on the open days they offer and having a look at as many colleges as you can is also important in gauging each of the colleges' own 'vibe'. There are several factors available in choosing your preferred college such as whether it's more traditional and conservative or innovative and modern. Another thing worth looking at is the college ranking table which might be important to you in figuring out which colleges consistently achieve particular academic excellence. The size of the college could also be important to you as well as the architecture and the look of the college since you'll be spending a lot of time there. However it's also fine if you realise you don't have a preference for one particular college in which case you can make an open application. At the end of the day, you will grow to love whichever college you end up at.
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Dhanya N. GCSE Classical Civilisation tutor, A Level Classical Civili...

2 months ago

Answered by Dhanya, a -Oxbridge Preparation- tutor with MyTutor

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What are the key tips you would give me before my science based Oxbridge interview?

Always make sure you have read around your subject and are up to date with any recent media reports of scientific research linking to your area of study. However, the most important thing is to have practised mock interviews and mock questions so you are familiar with the process and will be confident when attending the interview. The questions you will be asked will be difficult and you will no doubt get some wrong but make sure you are always communicating with your interviewers so they can see the thought process you are going through. After all they are testing whether you are teachable or not, being exceptionally bright but not non-communicative is not what they are looking for. Finally, make the most out of your interview and try to enjoy it, it is a once in a life time opportunity and you should see it as good practice for job interviews later in life.
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Laura  W. GCSE Chemistry tutor, IB Chemistry tutor, A Level Chemistry...

3 months ago

Answered by Laura , a -Oxbridge Preparation- tutor with MyTutor

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How do I make my personal statement stand out?

Avoid the temptation to be too 'quirky'. Oxbridge admissions tutors can spot style over substance a mile off. What they're more interested in is a sense of genuine passion for your subject and for university-level study. Be as authentic as possible, and don't be afraid to say what you think - a large part of the Oxbridge method is encouraging you to state your ideas and then challenging them.
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Alexander R. IB History tutor, A Level History tutor, IB Government a...

3 months ago

Answered by Alexander, a -Oxbridge Preparation- tutor with MyTutor

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How do I prepare for an Oxbridge interview?

The best place to start is to look back at your personal statement. What particular topics did you pick out and what are the key books you referred to? Start by brushing up on these topics and revising these books. They might ask you to summarize an argument from a key book (as I was in my interview). Secondly research your interviewers and read some of their papers. They might want to hear what you have to say about a particular topic that they are interested in! Thirdly if you wrote an EPQ make sure you revise that and write a quick summary of your argument and the evidence you used to back it up. Finally think about how you might answer general questions like: Why do you want to study *subject* at Cambridge? Mentioning how the supervision system might benefit you is a great place to start, and try to think about the unique parts of Oxbridge that made you apply in the first place. Extra-curricular activities might be a good thing to mention, but at the end of the day they want to know that you are passionate about your subject! My final piece of advice would be to think of the interview as a really great opportunity, not so much as daunting experience. You will be discussing a subject that you love with top academics! Don't be afraid to ask questions, as doing so will show them you have the mindset they are looking for!
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Hannah W. GCSE Geography tutor, A Level Geography tutor, Mentoring -O...

3 months ago

Answered by Hannah, a -Oxbridge Preparation- tutor with MyTutor

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