A BYT tutor applied to both Oxford and Cambridge in Classics. This was her experience:
Cambridge and Oxford 2004 and 2005 respectively
Head of Classics at Peterhouse, Cambridge; and Head of Classics at Jesus College, Oxford
At my Cambridge interview, whilst applying for Classics, I was given an unseen Latin translation which I had 10 minutes to prepare for. Two interviewers then went through my own verbal translation and corrected me as I went along. The second half of the interview was spent talking about the subject and the particular aspects which interested me. I then had a further interview at another college in Cambridge which generally revolved around competency based questions and interpersonal skills.
I had a total of five interviews and an exam at** Jesus College (Oxford)** the following year. The exam consisted of an unseen translation of Latin and Greek text, and comprehension questions afterwards. The following day I had an interview with the Head of Classics at Jesus. This interview was formulated around a four word Greek sentence which he gave me upon entrance. I had to decipher what it said, what it was about, and who may have written it.
After being pooled into an inter-college system whereby I could be interviewed by other colleges I was invited to St. Benet’s College on the next day. \ I had three interviews here; one based on Classics as a subject, another about my personal statement (focusing on a text which I had mentioned), and the final interview concerned the nature of the college and whether I thought that I would suit its environment.”
**Advice for future candidates for classics: **
Prepare more with regard to unseen translations (such as vocablary and grammar)and researched a bit more about the various colleges which I had applied to. I would have also taken more interview practice sessions at school by asking teachers to give me additional ‘mock’ sessions and advice.