56 -Oxbridge Preparation- questions

Is a law still a good law if nobody actually follows it?

This depends on how we define the concept of "law", which academic scholars have been at war over for decades. Some people take what's called a teleological point of view, where the procedure that goes into actually making a law (e.g. Parliament, Royal Assent, precedent) is what makes it a "law" in the first place. Some go beyond that to say that this is redundant if it's not effective - this is what we call consequentialist. There is no wrong or right answer to this question, but variations of it are very popular in Oxbridge interviews because it demonstrates how an applicant thinks about the role of the law in society - whether it's merely formalistic or whether it actually has to achieve a purpose to be good law.
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Srishti S.

6 days ago

Answered by Srishti, who has applied to tutor with MyTutor


What sort of preparation should I be doing before Oxbridge law interviews?

Two key things I would encourage anyone preparing for Oxbridge interviews to do would be: to know your personal statement inside out and to demonstrate your interest in the subject during the interview. You can demonstrate your interest in the subject in a number of ways, such as talking about further reading you have done and being able to discuss one or two current legal issues that you have seen in the news. Furthermore, make sure that you have actually read and can talk about any law-related books you mention in your personal statement. Ensure that you can back up any opinions or ideas that you have expressed in your personal statement and explain why you hold those opinions. This is a key way to demonstrate your ability to engage in critical analysis, which is an important skill you will need in order to thrive at Oxbridge.
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Louise F.

3 weeks ago

Answered by Louise, tutor with MyTutor


How can I prepare for my interview?

In the interview you first have to show that you have the knowledge to get in there. So a good way to prepare is to repeat everything you learned in your A-levels and do some exercises (you can find everything you need by searching on Google). Even if they will probably ask you harder questions, they expect you to only know your A-level syllabus. They just want to see how you think on certain problems. After that, you have to show them that you are passionate about the subject and that you are hard-working. That means you have to talk about certain projects you did or books you read and be ready to analyse them. Try to tell them all the lessons you learned from that experience and all the skills you think you developed.
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Razvan T.

1 month ago

Answered by Razvan, tutor with MyTutor


What would be your best advice for someone going to interview at Oxford or Cambridge?

First of all, be happy with yourself that you've got this far! If they want to take the time to interview you, it means that you've impressed them and they want to get to know what you're like as a person and how you think! For this reason, I think it's so important to go in with the mindset that this is almost a mock supervision / tutorial. You want to find out as much as you can about whatever subject you're going into! You should be enthused by what you're discussing and you need to show that! Speak out loud. For example, I was asked to think through a chemical reaction mechanism which I hadn't encountered at A level, so I made sure to explain, I haven't seen this before, however from the reaction mechanisms I know already, I know these are the principles of why a species may attack another. Thinking about the reactants, I know they have an electronegative atom here etc. They want to know what your thought process is, so make it easy for them! They'll help you if you get stuck and although the majority of people think their interviews went badly, the people who did are often the ones who get an offer! Good luck, but it's really not as daunting as they make out!
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Alec M.

2 months ago

Answered by Alec, tutor with MyTutor


What should I do the day before the interview?

As hard as it sounds, try to relax. Meet other applicants, walk around the city, talk with some older students you are bound to meet. It may be a good idea to ask for any advice if you find a university student studying the same course as you and it might be helpful to have a small set of notes with you so you can take a quick look if you suddenly feel like you've forgotten something (stress often does that). Make sure you get a good night's sleep and try to eat well to avoid an upset stomach. Don't let the stress of those around you (fellow applicants and parents who may be acoompanying them or you) affect you and remember, this is neither the end nor the beginning and should, above all, be a memorable experience.
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Theano X.

2 months ago

Answered by Theano, tutor with MyTutor


What's the most difficult question you were asked during your interview for Cambridge?

During my second interview, the interviewer asked me to compare language with a city, meaning I had to use components of a city or town in order to describe how the structures of a language worked. I told the interviewer I wanted a few minutes to think, which they were happy about, so I wasn't rushing into my answer. I then explained how I would make the transport system "grammar", because grammar enables us to connect individual words together to form a sentence. I said that I would therefore make the buildings the individual words, and the interviewer asked me to specify what kinds of words each building would be. I then explained that content words, like nouns, could be skyscrapers, because they tend to form the overall meaning of the sentence, whilst function words, like verbs, could be buildings like libraries, museums and buildings like this that are used to learn, because function words glue the sentence together and complete its meaning. The interviewers were mostly interested in how my mind worked and how I articulated my thoughts. So, although this was a tricky question, it was less about my actual answer and more about how I got to my answer. 
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Gabrielle R.

2 months ago

Answered by Gabrielle, tutor with MyTutor


Will Oxbridge interviewers purposefully try and trip me up by asking hard questions?

A lot of the horror stories about Oxbridge interviews are exaggerations, but interviewers are likely to throw in a few difficult curve-ball questions. The tutors ... [book session to see more!]
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Jem B.

2 months ago

Answered by Jem, tutor with MyTutor


What is the effect of the first sentence of "Pride and Prejudice" and how would it change if "must be in want" would be substituted for "must want"?

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."  The sentence introduces one of the main themes of the plot, the pursuit of rich, single men. It establishes the prevailing social concept of the time of a "good marriage", and the second part of the sentence makes one realise that the reverse is also true: Single young women at the time had little other choice in life than to marry as high up in status and wealth as possible. If we change the second part of the sentence to "must want a wife", the meaning changes. "In want of" suggests a need for wholeness, the necessity to be complete, which is only possible with a companion, not just with money. A simple "want" however, indicates possession rather than companionship. Here, a wife would simply be an accessoire to complete the man's exterior wealth. Ultimately, one could argue the two phrases are about interiority vs exteriority.
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Aimee D.

3 months ago

Answered by Aimee, tutor with MyTutor


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