The weirdest admission interview questions you get asked at Oxford University

They are designed to give candidates a chance to show their real ability and potential

Questions often move past the norm
At Oxford University, one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world, admission interview questions often move past the norm.

"Interviews are not about reciting what you already know," Samina Khan, director of undergraduate admissions said in statement. "They are designed to give candidates a chance to show their real ability and potential, which means candidates will be encouraged to use their knowledge and apply their thinking to new problems in ways that will both challenge them and allow them to shine."

In answering them, it's not about what's "right", Khan explains, but "responding to new ideas." There are loads of example questions — many of them straight-lined — but we selected some of the wackier ones for you to test yourselves on. Remember, there's no perfect response.

Question: Is it easier for organisms to live in the sea or on land?

Q: What makes a short story different from a novel?

Q: Imagine we had no records about the past at all, except everything to do with sport – how much of the past could we find out about?

Q: Why do human beings have two eyes?

Q: Should poetry be difficult to understand?

Q: Is violence always political? Does 'political' mean something different in different contexts?

Q: Ladybirds are red. So are strawberries. Why?

Q: If the punishment for parking on double yellow lines were death, and therefore nobody did it, would that be a just and effective law?

Q: Why do you think an English student might be interested in the fact that Coronation Street has been running for 50 years?

Q: What is 'normal' for humans?

Q: Would it matter if tigers became extinct?

Q: If you could invent a new musical instrument, what kind of sound would it make?

Q: Here’s a cactus. Tell me about it.


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