There are usually 2 interviews [often 3 for Cambridge] which take place at the individual colleges and last about 30 min. Additional written tasks may be given. It is customary to stay overnight at the college and have the interviews on different days.
One interview is usually quite science based with 2 interviewers with questions to do with your subject syllabus that test your ability to make deductions and think aloud in a clear logical fashion and summarise your answer. You score most marks from your working out rather than the answer. Your interviewer will often try to guide you as you answer so make the most of their hints. Interviewers are looking for students who have insight into basic concepts. They may be teaching you in small groups for a number of years and want to make sure that you are a likeable enthusiastic student.
The other interview may be more typical of other medical schools with questions about your Personal Statement and books and articles you mentioned
[more information in my book – Medical School Interviews The Knowledge [P101/102]
Video of a mock interview http://www.emma.cam.ac.uk/admissions/videos/interviews/?showvideo=46
what Cambridge say they are looking for http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kujK0W-K0qc#t=60
They are famous for ‘out of the box’ challenging questions such as:
Why don’t most herbivores have green fur?
What percentage of the world’s water is in a cow?
Why are there so few large predators?
They are not looking for an answer necessarily, what they are looking for is seeing how you respond to these tricky questions-whether you are able to think logically and how you use the information given to you by the interviewers
Make sure your A level/equivalent knowledge is up to scratch
Amongst the top 5 Universities in the world with top research institutions and an amazing history of Nobel prize winners and other alumni.
They are both beautiful University cities. You have small tutor groups and some well endowed colleges give grants for travel and trips abroad. The college system means that you socialise with students doing other courses to a greater extent than in other medical schools.
Oxford is a bigger town than Cambridge. Oxford class sizes are smaller but Cambridge offers more places to study medicine.
Learning is mainly lecture based and there is not much patient contact in the pre-clinical years.