What's inside?

Getting into a competitive and prestigious university like Oxford or Cambridge is hard at the best of times. And unfortunately, much the advice out there isn't applicable directly  to mathematicians, scientists, engineers or economists. That is, until now.

The Oxbridge Formula is jam-packed with advice from Oxbridge students and graduates, specifically aimed at STEM/Economics applicants and A-Level Maths students.

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534 pages. A complete guide.

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THE OXBRIDGE FORMULA

The only Oxbridge guide tailored to students wanting to study: Maths, Computer Science, Physics, Engineering, Natural Sciences, Economics, PPE or a related subject!

Paarul Shah graduated from Balliol College, Oxford with one of the highest Firsts in her year. Wanting to bring her love of maths to the next generation, she trained as a maths teacher and spent 10 years teaching in some of London's leading grammar and independent schools. Her additional responsibilities included teaching critical thinking and being Oxbridge STEM mentor. Realising that support for Oxbridge admissions tests was inaccessible to many students, she founded The Oxbridge Formula Academy (formerly STEPMaths), which has helped nearly 3000 students with their Oxbridge applications.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

FULL CHAPTER LIST

WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING

I WANT TO READ IT!

Here's the complete chapter list.

Maths

04

Computer Science

26

Maths/Computer Science Joint Courses

40

Maths/Computer Science Personal Statements

53

STEP/MAT/TMUA/CSAT

69

Maths/Computer Science Interviews

105

Skills to bring to your degree

138

What should you do the summer before?

140

PAT/ENGAA/NSAA

240

Physical Science Interviews

268

Skills to bring to your Physical Science Degree

316

The Summer Before your Degree

318

Economics at Cambridge

324

Land Economy

331

Economics and Management

334

Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

341

Copyright 2020  The Oxbridge Formula

Olivia H

Aspiring Cambridge Computer Scientist

As a student studying Maths, Further Maths, Computer Science, and ICT at A-Level, I have intentions to go on and study Computer Science. I purchased this book in hope that it would help me explore the Oxbridge pathway that could be offered to me further. The Oxbridge Formula book did exactly that! 

From the book I was able to learn how more heavily weighted Cambridge was on solely studying Computer Science alone, whereas Oxford allowed for this subject to be studied with the addition of Maths or Philosophy. In addition, the book provided various details about the style of the courses, and what stood out to me were Saturday morning lectures in the Cambridge course– as I find myself constantly thriving on challenges, this confirmed my previous aspirations of having Cambridge be the University I eventually hope to attend.

This book has been hugely beneficial to me and I believe it would really help others who are in the same predicament (researching but feeling the need to obtain more information before completing their choices). The book has a great logical layout, that’s easy to follow. The book not only provided me with information, but also huge levels of motivation to be able to achieve these initial goals I had set in place for myself – meaning it is also great for encouragement! The book helped to calm any nerves I had around Cambridge and view the process (particularly the interviews) more open-mindedly. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and found the details provided within it to be very helpful towards my future application. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about tests, application processes or details on the Maths and Computer Science courses offered at Oxbridge!

143

Physics

165

Physics and Philosophy

Engineering

169

Materials Science

187

Chemistry

193

Physical Natural Sciences

205

Chemical Engineering

213

Physical Science Personal Statements

217

349

History and Economics

354

Economics Applicant Profiles

Economics Personal Statements

359

ECAA/TSA

373

Economics / Politics Interviews

406

Skills to bring to your degree

436

Philosophy (Bonus chapter!)

441

How to prepare wisely

469

Jessica Gindlay is studying Maths and Philosophy at St. Hlida's College, Oxford. A past student of the Oxbridge Formula Academy and the daughter of an English teacher, she is a keen writer who has put her talent to excellent use in creating The Oxbridge Formula. Her on-the-ground experience means that the book contains the latest, up-to-date information, which has been gathered through her hundreds of conversations with current students at both Cambridge and Oxford.

Chris Parker holds a first class master's degree in Maths and Philosophy from Merton College, Oxford and studied for an additional masters in Philosophy at Groningen University. Chris has a deep understanding of mathematics, physics and critical thinking and has been a specialist Oxbridge admissions tutor for the last 7 years. With an uncanny ability to simplify complex concepts and understand where students' misconceptions lie, Chris is the lead tutor at the Oxbridge Formula Academy.

NEW BOOK: THE OXBRIDGE FORMULA



The Oxbridge Formula is a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide, decoding the notoriously complex process of applying for STEM courses at Oxford and Cambridge. Defying the one-size-fits-all approach of other Oxbridge guides, the book hones in on the unique requirements of applying for quantitative courses such as Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, Natural Sciences, Economics and PPE.


In writing this book, Paarul Shah, Oxford graduate and experienced maths teacher, draws on the experiences of recent Oxbridge graduates, admissions tutors and current students. She explains, “The vague and generic advice I’ve seen given to STEM applicants is often extrapolated from advice aimed at arts or humanities applicants—and is therefore often inappropriate and confusing. 


“Through The Oxbridge Formula, I wanted to give STEM applicants to Oxford and Cambridge a single, comprehensive resource that they could turn to at any point in the application process to get concrete advice specific to their needs. What’s more, I hope the fact that two women co-authored this book inspires and motivates other women to make a STEM application to Oxbridge.”


The Oxbridge Formula couldn’t come at a better time. In the current climate, ambitious students are time-rich and looking to get ahead with their university applications, but, stuck at home, are unsure where to start. 


In The Oxbridge Formula, readers can expect 476 pages brimming with comprehensive yet digestible advice, including annotated personal statements and interview transcripts, detailed information on how to approach admissions tests, wider reading recommendations, statistics on application success, and character profiles that analyse different preparation techniques, traps to avoid and what makes for a successful candidate. 


But it doesn’t stop there: the book covers everything from course choice, to insight into workload and content, to a day-in-the-life of an Oxbridge undergraduate.

Demystifies applying to STEM and economics courses at Oxford & Cambridge

Emily

Aspiring Natural Sciences applicant

Before reading the book, I thought I had seen most of the resources there was to see for Cambridge admissions but to say I was wrong was an understatement! From the exact pass mark for the admissions tests to example interview scripts, the Oxbridge formula covers every aspect of the Oxbridge admissions there is to know. 

What’s more, as well as using this book for admissions, I also found that the book gave information about physics and maths beyond the syllabus that is included in a natural science degree at Cambridge, allowing me to use this as a footstep for further super-curricular research. For example, I do not take further maths but after being provided information about polar coordinates I could complete further independent research on the topic. 

Another aspect of the book I liked was the reading list. It describes the relevance of each book to the course with a brief description of what it includes, which I found beneficial as often science books can be quite heavy and usually have to be deciphered while reading them, so knowing which books are of the correct level for me was great. I also found the level of knowledge expected for interviews quite eye-opening and so I am very grateful that I read this book sooner rather than later, giving me time to improve my skills and memorise the relevant equations.

Although I was surprised at the difficulty of the interview questions, the book also gave reassuring advice about interviews while “myth busting” common misconceptions. I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone considering an Oxbridge application, and to those who like definite dates and numbers of when and where to start with revision and preparation as I certainly found this encouraging! 

WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING

I WANT TO READ IT!

Vignesh

Aspiring Economics applicant

I really like this book. It's really everything I wanted in a book giving advice for Oxbridge applications. What makes 'The Oxbridge Formula' stand out is that it doesn't just offer generic advice applicable to all subjects, but gives detailed information on the specific course you're interested in. It was really nice to see the tips and tricks section at the end of the Economics chapter with advice on how to manage the time allotted for both the TSA and ECAA. The subject-specific details are above all good inspiration for me to look further into the subject. Overall, if you want to apply for a maths-based course at Oxbridge, buy this book! 

WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING

FOREWORD BY

KATHARINE BIRBALSINGH

Katharine Birbalsingh, Oxford graduate, renowned educationalist and winner of the Contrarian Prize 2019, is the pioneering headmistress and co-founder of 'Britain's most notorious school', Michaela Community School in Wembley, London. Having interviewed many Oxbridge admissions tutors over the years, she has twenty years of experience supporting inner-city sixth form students in applying to Oxford and Cambridge. 

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