Nearly three quarters of Somerville’s offers to UK-domiciled applicants have been made to state school pupils this year.
Candidates found out this week whether their applications were successful, and Somerville made 72.6% of our UK offers to state school pupils – an increase from 61.5% in 2018.
This success follows a new initiative held at Somerville in November, ‘Demystifying Interviews’, a day of interview preparation attended by 127 state school applicants.
Nearly all state school applicants allocated to Somerville – excluding candidates for medicine where applications are college-blind – were invited to attend.
Out of shortlisted candidates who attended this event, over half were made offers. The usual success rate for all shortlisted candidates from the UK is around one in three.
The preparation day included mock interviews with current students and a discussion of the style and purpose of Oxford admissions interviews.
Applicants learned that the aim of questions posed in Oxford admissions interviews is not generally to test knowledge they have already acquired but to demonstrate the ability to grapple with unfamiliar material.
“We are delighted with the progress that we have made so far. We look forward to working even harder to include the excluded” said Steve Rayner, Senior Tutor.
‘Demystifying Interviews’ will be held again in the next application cycle, and further details will be posted here and on our social media.