Oxford Geography: Tips & Questions for Interview

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Oxford Geography interview tips advice

In this article we will guide you on how to best prepare for your Oxford Geography interview, with guides on past Oxford Geography questions, interview tips, mock examples and real experiences from students who have sat the Oxford Geography Interview.

This article is from a collection of accounts from Oxbridge applicants.

Here is a link about what to expect about the Geography course at Oxford

What is the Oxford Geography interview structure?

All candidates get interviewed by tutors in their ‘first choice’ college. You will take two interviews:

  • Interview 1: Assesses your knowledge in physical geography 
  • Interview 2: Assesses your knowledge in human geography 

Oxford Geography interviews usually last from 20-30 minutes. In your Oxford Geography interview, tutors will ask you to comment on a variety of pictorial, cartographic or tabulated data that is presented to you. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about studying Geography at Oxford. 

For candidates applying in 2024, all candidates for Oxford Geography are required to sit the Thinking Skills Assessment.

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Still not sure what to expect for your interview?
Here’s an Insider Oxford Geography Mock Interview

Oxford Geography mock interview

What are the Oxford Geography Interview dates?

While exact dates have not yet been published, it is expected that Geography Interviews for 2025 intake will take place in the first two weeks of December.

Example Past Questions from Oxford Geography Interview

Visual Aid Questions 

  • Presented with a graph on Spanish Flu rates over a decade and asked to describe what one could observe in the graph with a focus on why cases peaked at certain times
  • Look at a picture of a desert landscape and talk about it 
  • Talk about field work and geographical patterns in your hometown
  • Shown a map and asked to predict what might happen if there was a change in the environment
  • Analyse graphs and suggest the reasons behind patterns, inequalities and development
  • Presented with several pictures and asked to pick out a common theme running through them
  • Discussion of news articles relevant to my hometown 

General Questions

  • ‘If I were to go to your secondary school and speak to your geography teacher, what would he/she say about you?’
  • Do you think the Green Deal is an effective policy?
  • What do you think about people who regard global warming as nonsense?
  • What is the relevance of physical geography to human geography?
  • Compare avian influenza to hurricanes
  • Are there any articles you’ve read in the paper recently that are relevant to physical geography? 
  • Give and explain some environmental impacts of industrial agriculture? 
  • Questions on EPQ related to human geography 
  • Questions about your desire to study geography further in higher education
  • Questions on climate change and conservation of species 

Insider Guides: Oxford Geography Interview

What happened on the day of your Oxford Geography Interview?

My interview was online and I was able to do it from the comfort of my own home. I was emailed a time with a link to a Teams Meeting for my Interview. After I received my offer, I was also sent further links to join other meetings that had a mix of offer holders and current students. Furthermore, this gave me the opportunity to ask questions about life at the college I was looking to join. 

What do you have to bring to your Interview?

As my Oxford Geography Interview took place online, I was not required to bring anything.
I wore smart casual clothes which included a knitted sweater and trousers but my interviewers could only see me from the waist up. 

What is the Oxford Geography Interview setting and how long is it?

My Oxford Geography Interview was online so I sat both parts of the interview in my dad’s office. The interviews were all in different rooms that appeared to be their offices. The overall vibe was very casual and I felt comfortable throughout so it personally did not feel like a formal interview to me.
Both my interviews lasted roughly between 15-30 minutes each. 

What are the interviewers like?

The interviewers were very friendly and comforting. One of the interviewers made a few jokes and laughed when I attempted to tell a joke. I had a total of 4 interviewers of which all of them were really nice and did not make me feel pressured to answer questions quickly or in a certain way. 

They did however ask a lot of follow-up questions and these were based on what I had said, with the aim being to get me to expand on my point or to think more critically. On some occasions, they would also ask follow-up questions that would redirect my line of argument if I was starting to stray off topic. 

Are there any academic or challenging Geography questions at the Oxford Interview?

The challenging questions in my interview were more tabular or graph based which were presented to me during the interview. Once presenting the image to me, I would get a few seconds to look at it and think about it before being asked a series of questions. 

Are there any personality, work experience or extracurricular based Geography questions at the Oxford Interview?

In my Oxford Geography Interview, I did get asked about what my hobbies were to allow my interviewers to get a better understanding of me as a person. They were also keen to know how other people would describe me. 

Top Tips for the Oxford Geography Interview 

  • Re-read your personal statement: It is very valuable to be aware of the topics/books/articles related to Geography that you have talked about in your personal statement as you can get asked questions relating to them
  • Be up to date with current affairs: Read the news regularly in the months prior to your interview in case you get asked questions about current affairs. It is also a useful tool so that when you answer interview questions, you can reference real life examples.
  • Do a practice interview: Get someone to do a mock interview with you where you are asked general questions but also several follow-up questions based on your response 
  • Focus on resting the night before: Try not to do much preparation the night before your Oxford Geography Interview. Focus on remaining calm as the interviewers are looking for individuals that are confident rather than perfect. 

Top Tips for the “Why Oxford” interview question

  1. Research Oxford and think about why you really want to go there – this cannot be simply because it is one of the world’s top universities. You should find something unique or rare about Oxford that makes you want to study there.
  2. You must also think about your specific subject. For Geography, you should research the various courses on offer, making sure to have a few in mind which you would love to come to Oxford to study.

My Favourite Things about Studying Oxford Geography

My favourite thing about studying Geography at Oxford University is the variety that comes with the course. Within Geography, there are so many different disciplines that you get to get involved in such as ecology, politics and feminism. The course as a whole is one that not just includes science but also includes society.

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