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.