The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

7 curious questions Cambridge University asks candidates during interviews

Those among the 16,000 applying to the exclusive university this year may want to start revising these questions 

Mollie Goodfellow
Friday 02 October 2015 12:58 BST
The University of Cambridge joins Oxford in having tricky interview questions
The University of Cambridge joins Oxford in having tricky interview questions (Getty)

It’s university application season again, with the 21 October deadline to applying to the prestigious Cambridge University fast approaching.

But if you were to get an interview at Cambridge, which last year saw 16,000 applications, how would you handle the interview process? Much like Oxford, interviewers will be looking out for ways to test your wits, so here are a few example questions to get your brain ticking.​

1. Instead of politicians, why don't we let the managers of Ikea run the country?

You may have to answer this if you’re interested in studying Social and Political Science.

2. If a wife had expressed distaste for it previously, would her husband's habit of putting marmalade in his egg at breakfast be grounds for divorce?

Could marmalade be grounds for divorce? (Rex)

Potential Law students may have to tackle this conundrum if they want a place on the course.

3. At what point is a person “dead”?

Those wanting to study Medicine better have an insight into this question.

4. Put a monetary value on this teapot.

How much would you say a teapot was worth?

Not so much a question, but an answer will be expected from Economics candidates.

5. What would you do if I were a magpie?

This is an Australian magpie Picture: Getty Images (PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Budding Natural Scientists will have to get their head around this question.

6. If my friend locks me in a room, and says I am free to come out whenever I like so long as I pay £5, is this a deprivation of liberty?

If you want to study Law, you’ll have to come up with an answer to this.

7. How would you poison someone without the police finding out?

This is a question for Medicine applicants – not budding serial killers.

Sources: Questions are from former Cambridge professor John Fardon's Do You Think You’re Clever?, Oxbridge Applications,

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in