My Thoughts on the Cambridge Economics Interview

It is the dream of so many students, myself included, to be offered a spot at the prestigious Cambridge University. It is undoubtedly one of the top universities in the United Kingdom and the world, currently ranking second in the United Kingdom and third in the globe. With its stellar academic reputation, it’s no surprise that admission is exceedingly hard.

Although the average admission rate at Cambridge is 15.7%, it is unavoidably lower for the most competitive courses. Medicine, Computer Science, Architecture, Economics, Engineering, and Law are among the subjects that fall into this group. Being a prospective international applicant to Cambridge Economics at the time, it felt like a huge jump for me, but I took up the challenge without knowing how to get in.

Why Economics?

To be honest, my initial options weren’t a pinch close to Finances. I bounced through Mathematics, Engineering, and even Physics between my 7th to 10th years, but none of them worked out for me until I settled for Economics. I enjoyed studying it, compared to the other subjects. 

We truly do not know what we want to do that early on because of the sea of options we have to choose from. However, give yourself the time to find what you truly enjoy and what would help you stand out.

Was the application process difficult?

Being an international applicant, I had very little support, not just from my science-oriented family but also from my high school, which didn’t have any applicants to Oxbridge. So, I figured I was going to be as aggressive as anyone could be, also embracing any help possible to scale through the application and admissions processes. 

Speaking plainly, Oxbridge courses and tutors helped a huge deal in giving me the needed boost through the entire process. One could have amazing grades and still not get into Oxbridge. I so did not want to take that chance on myself.


My GCSEs were looking good, and this gave me some confidence to pursue Economics. I offered Mathematics, Further Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Economics, History, Spanish, and Music. I was lucky to have scored a 9 in 10 of the 11. 

One common question students have “what are the GCSE requirements for Oxbridge?” There are no clear specifications from Oxbridge for what is needed to be offered an interview, but the usual advice is to have at least a 7 in all your subjects.

The A-Level phase

For my A-Level, I offered Mathematics, Further Mathematics, and Economics. Mathematics is the only subject that is required for your application, so you have to do it and do it well. Although Further Mathematics is not a requirement, it is necessary if you wish to get into any of the ivy league universities.

Things were heating up for me at this point. The assignments had become challenging and the past papers I had weren’t doing it for me. I was almost convinced that I wasn’t going to make the cutoff till my cousin Diana introduced me to Oxbridge mind tutoring. I asked myself, “what do I have to lose if I try?”. I reached out and gave Mathematics and Economics a shot with them and scored A*s in both. My outlook on the possibility of getting into Cambridge changed for the better.

Handling the Personal Statement

Starting this very early in your application process would go a very long way in helping your composure and efficiency. I started mine at the beginning of the summer with a lot of ideas for my personal statement, but I figured I was missing the main point when my write-ups were becoming too lengthy. 

Evidently, I needed guidance in developing it right. I not only had to reach out to students of Economics already in Cambridge, but I also sorted out the services of experts at Oxbridge mind. They helped me blend all my interests in Economics and extracurriculars into my statement, and everything made sense afterward. 

The Admissions Test – Economics Admissions Assessment (ECAA)

I had to sit for the ECAA as one of the requirements to secure an interview. The format of the exam was in two sections: the first was more math-related, and the second was more essay-related. I didn’t see this as much of a problem with my good foundation in mathematics, but to my surprise, I came out of the exam feeling a little scared and unsure about what I had done. These tips might be of help to you:

  1. Practice in timed conditions: The exam is time sensitive and is to be done under a lot of pressure. Attempting questions under strict timing would help you in the long run.
  2. Ration the past questions: It is a relatively new exam, so there aren’t any papers before the year 2020. So, you could stimulate yourself with them at the beginning of your practice and towards the end.
  3. Use other resources: Books and other materials that could be gotten from other students or tutors who have taken the exam could also prove useful. Questions from TMUA and MAT papers are also essential additions to the mix.
  4. Create your own mock papers.
  5. Identify your weak areas from the math specifications online.
  6. Read “The Economist”: This would give you a lot of facts and figures which you can throw into your ECAA essay. In addition, the language and tone used in The Economist would be similar to the extracts you might see in the exam. Practicing mock essays with random articles is also a helpful strategy. I can testify to that.

The Cambridge Economics Interview

Getting an interview invite at Cambridge was an overwhelming experience for me. I can remember shedding a tear down the side of my face even, but I knew the job wasn’t done yet.

The interview is divided into two imaginary parts; the first is where you will be asked about your conceptual understanding of economics, while the second is more applied, with questions incorporating applied math and problem-solving. Having this information from my research still left me clueless as to how I could take this on by myself.

I implemented the following strategy in my Economics Interview preparation:

  1. Practice questions: These have proven invaluable in preparing for the Cambridge interview economics questions.
  2. Mock interviews: Ask a teacher, colleague, or even a professional tutor to help you with this. Oxbridge Mind organized brilliant interviews for me and also provided me with practice questions. You can find more information about Cambridge Economics Interview Tutoring here.
  3. Discuss economics as often as possible.
  4. Research interviewers and pasts interviewers.