How to secure a place in Oxford & Cambridge

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Meet the Speakers

Emeline Yong

Kolej Yayasan UEM class of 2022, will attend New College, University of Oxford.

Lim Qi Shean

Kolej Yayasan UEM class of 2022, will attend Newnham College, University of Cambridge.

Bonus Feature, Cambridge Alumni

Amzar Muzani

Kolej Yayasan UEM class of 2014, attended Churchill College, University of Cambridge.


Arianna Saiful

KYS class of 2021, will attend Kolej Yayasan UEM and is a Yayasan Khazanah scholar.

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Motivational Factors

  • Amzar talked about his “100 Days to SPM”, a yearly event held by Kolej Yayasan Saad (KYS) to give motivation to their students. He had to make a cardboard cutout that included his picture and dreams and even back then, he already put Cambridge in the finished work.
  • Amzar credited his teachers in KYS and KYUEM for pushing him to attend Cambridge.

Application Process

  • Oxbridge applications are significantly earlier than other university deadlines and your college should be able to give assistance and would probably set an easier deadline for you. Must plan carefully. 
  • During the interview, you are asked about the fundamentals of the course and questions that will help them understand your thought process.
  • For Cambridge, there are two interviews, international team interview and college interview. International team interviews are done before the entrance exams and vice versa for college interview.
  • Amzar was interviewed in Cambridge and the interviewers were from the college he applied to. For applicants interviewed in Malaysia, the interviewers are a team of Cambridge lecturers who may or may not be from your applied college.
  • Amzar was not required to do his entrance exam as he was interviewed in Cambridge.
  • Emeline, for her entrance exam, she did the Thinking Skills Assessment or TSA. She describes it as an “elevated” IQ test.
  • Qi Shean, had to take a specific test since she is pursuing engineering, without a calculator. The big challenge was the mental calculations and racing against time.
  • Advisable to practice with past years admission tests and to do mock interviews especially with Oxbridge alumni.

Personal Statement

  • For personal statements, it is important to keep giving reasons or proof that you are passionate about the course you are applying and that your writing is very focused on that specific course.
  • Add extracurriculars that directly correlate with the course.
  • Oxbridge and other research heavy universities would weigh academic factors much more than other factors.

The KYUEM support system 

  • The speakers highlighted the supporting lecturers that go above and beyond  and camaraderie you get by studying at a residential college such as KYUEM. The sense of community was one of the reasons that helped get through A-Levels.
  • Amzar highlighted the environment which helped him focus more on such a difficult programme. KYUEM is situated far from a major town and it being a boarding school with other talented academics, it pushes you to put more effort and focus on your studies.
  • The environment also pushes you to be more independent, a skill very crucial when you start university especially when studying overseas.

Becoming an ideal Oxbridge candidate 

  • Thinking outside the box, being open to new ideas or rethinking your ideas are one of the things, Oxbridge tutors look for in an applicant.
  • Amzar was very active in his extracurriculars in Cambridge, but to handle the academic stress, he changed his extrovert self from going to activities to being in study groups.
  • Remember to always reach out, there is always someone to lend a helping hand. This goes the same for studying, you and your friends can always learn something from each other.
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