Oxbridge interview invitations are being sent out as we speak. Let's continue our series on practical tips on how to get prepared for them.
The "How To"
Interviewers will ask the applicants to explain the unfamiliar conditions using familiar concepts or the reasoning behind the seemingly outrage rules, and they will watch how the candidates respond to unknown scenarios as they have never encountered anything similar before.
The questions were meant to sound strange or maybe even ridiculous. And the questions could be a misdirection, so don't panic! You could try to set your own perimeter or boundaries for the given variables. If they are off, the interviewers will challenge or readjust them.
We recommend that applicants practice interacting with a professional coach or instructor during the preparation phase because the focus of the interview is on how the applicant works through the difficulties independently to arrive at the answer.
Sample Engineering Questions
1. A thin hoop of diameter d is thrown on to an infinitely large chessboard with squares of side L. What is the chance of the hoop enclosing two colours?
2. what is the volume of the largest cube that fits entirely within a sphere of unity volume?
3. What are the fundamental differences between Engineering and Physics?
4. Why do sausages split lengthways, rather than around the circumference?
5. How do you think you could calculate the number of calories that you have burnt after you have gone for a run?
6. Show the forces acting on a ladder.
Sample Maths Questions
1. What is the square root of i?
2. If I had a cube and six colours and painted each side a different colour, how many (different) ways could I paint the cube? What about if I had n colours instead of 6?
3. Is it possible to cover a chess-board with dominoes, when two corner squares have been removed from the chessboard and they are (a) adjacent corners, or conversely, (b) diagonally opposite
4. Write down 3 digits, and then write the number again next to itself, eg: 145145. Why is it divisible by 13?
5. What is the significance of prime numbers
6. If a cannon is pointed straight at a monkey in a tree, and the monkey lets go and falls towards the ground at the same instant the cannon is fired, will the monkey be hit? Describe any assumptions you make.