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Thinking about an Oxbridge application? We can help

Are you an Oxbridge candidate (or wondering whether you should be)?

You’re not the first straight A* student to feel intimidated by the prospect of an Oxbridge application. The thought of an interview might already make your mind blank and send your stomach sideways. The prospect of drafting your personal statement might be overwhelming to the point of brain freeze.

There is help. You’re not alone. Shyer and more chaotic folk than you have won Nobel prizes. Self-consciousness, nerves or fear of failure needn’t be deal breakers. So if you know you have the right qualities to succeed at a top university*, but are worried about whether you can convey this in your application, we can help….

*And if you’re not sure you even want to go to Oxbridge, we can help with that too


Are you the parent of an Oxbridge applicant?

Parents of high achieving students often wonder how best to support their child, without piling on more pressure. Everyone wants them to both do their best, and be happy. But the stakes are high as the family prepares to make a significant financial investment in university fees.

You might have concerns about whether your child should apply to Oxbridge, or whether they would fit in if they’re successful. Or perhaps you’re unsure how to help them draft their UCAS personal statement or prepare for aptitude tests.

The prospect of an interview might be the sticking point, if you’re unsure how your child would perform under pressure. And whether or not your family is familiar with the Oxbridge application process, even the most well meaning advice can be received badly by a teenager with high standards.

Here’s how we can help…


Are you a teacher or school with Oxbridge applicants?

It’s frustrating when a pupil you know would thrive at a top university, fails to shine at interview. Knowing how best to support them can be a challenge, especially where specific expertise and time are limited in a busy academic environment.

These best and brightest minds are also teenagers, and often the best advice about background reading or personal statements can be actively resisted when offered by familiar sources, however tactfully presented. For some candidates, the desire to impress breeds arrogance and a lack of sophisticated thinking. For others, nerves leave them completely ineffective when under pressure.

This is where we can help.

There is no big mystery about the application process for Oxford, Cambridge and other leading institutions. These top universities want enthusiastic students with a natural aptitude for the kind of learning they will experience as an undergraduate, and the knowledge to back it up.

For some students, years spent focusing on exceptional exam results can bury that natural aptitude.

This is why we have worked with hundreds of straight A* pupils who have sailed through school, yet still felt uncomfortable when challenged hard in the context of an academic interview. Used to knowing the right answer, when invited to stray outside their familiar intellectual territory to demonstrate their suitability, they can feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed. That discomfort can be enough to mess up their chance to win a place.

What Impetus Coaching does isn’t only about preparing exceptional students for interview. We’re preparing them for the kind of mental rough and tumble that’s just normal at top universities. Adapting and feeling comfortable with this sets them up well for a strong application, positive interview experience and a stable foundation for university and beyond.

Here’s how we can help.

Learn More

“An excellent part of preparation for interviews, dealing with stress and confidence building, whether for specific applications or more general personal development.”

Careers and Higher Education Adviser, St Clare’s, Oxford


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