Oxford Application Timeline

When applying to a place such as Oxford, there are so many moving parts that it can be hard to keep track of what to do, and when to do it. In this article, we will run through the ideal timeline for applications to Oxford.

October (Penultimate year of study/The year before you apply)

  • This is the point at which you should decide you are going to apply to Oxford. This gives you a whole year to put together a strong application and leave you with adequate time to prepare for things such as the interview.
  • By this point, you should have some sense of courses that you would study, and have checked the requirements.

October- December

  • This is when you need to have a strong sense of what subject you are going to apply for, after doing some additional reading and checking the requirements. If they align with your current academic trajectory, then you are good to go!

January- May

  • Completing activities that will bolster your CV. For a place such as Oxbridge, you really need to make sure that you are going above and beyond in this regard. This could include things such as internships or summer schools.
  • Equally as critical, students need to have written multiple drafts of their personal statement . They should have it be read by other people and plan to keep it updated with all future activities.
  • Students also need to ensure that during this time, they know who will be writing their reference for them. Once they know this, they need to reach out to that person as much as possible to keep them informed of the things that you are doing.
  • This is also the time period where predicted grades start to be locked in. So students need to ensure that they are performing as strongly as they can in the classroom
  • Students also need to start practing for the entrance exam at this point. I would recommend at least 2-3 hours a week.

May- August

  • Sutdents should be completing activities that boost their CV
  • This is the point where students need to dramatically ramp up practive for the entrance exams.
  • The personal statement needs to be near perfect at this point
  • This is also the time where the students should start to research what college they would like to study at. Some students get very wrapped up in this, so they need to make sure to not spend more than an hour every week or so focusing on this.
  • The most important thing they need to do during this time is to register to sit the entrance exam for the subject they plan to study. If they do not do this, then it doesn’t matter how strong a candidate is- their applications will be binned if the test is not sat.  Whilst the last day to register can be in September for several courses, leaving it that late is irresponsible.
  • The student needs to email their referee to keep them up to date.
  • If a student has good predicted grades, they don’t need to worry here. However, if they do not have good predictions then they need to reach out to their school and try to arrange some tests for when they get back to have their grades re-evaluated. They also need to work very hard to ensure their performance in these new exams is as strong as possible


  • Students need to intensively work on their personal statement, including have teachers review it and adding any final things that have been done over summer.
  • Students need to double down on their relationship with their referee.
  • Students need to start prepping for a potential Oxford interview. This includes asking teachers to run mock sessions with them.
  • By the end of the month the UCAS side of the application needs to be ready to send off


  • The deadline for Oxbridge Applications is the 15th of October. It is not advised to send it on this date, but rather send it at least one week before. So the start of October needs to exclusively focus on ensuring that all aspects of the UCAS application has been sent in.
  • After this, students need to focus on entrance exams for essentially the rest of the month. Revision should be very intense (6 hours a week at a minimum) as the entrance exam is not far away for most subjects ( there are some exceptions to this)
  • For subjects that require students to send in some of their school work, this is the month where the student needs to review what piece of work that should be submitted.


  • For the majority of students, the entrance exam takes place between the 5th and 15th of Novmember. So until then, they should focus on their exams
  • For the majority of students who are applying for essay based subjects, work needs to be submitted in the first 10 days of November.
  • It typically takes between 2-3.5 weeks for students to hear if they have been invited to interview. During this gap, students should assume they have been invited and spend the time prepping for interview. This is the only thing they have left to focus on.


  • If invited to interview, they tend to take place within the first week of December.
  • After this the university will make their decision about you


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