Oriental Studies – Oxford Interview Questions
“How can I prepare when the interviewer could ask me absolutely anything about Oriental Studies?”
By understanding how the interview works and, crucially, what it is that the interviewer is looking for. The interviewer is not looking to catch you out, but rather for you to demonstrate your curiosity, knowledge and passion for Oriental Studies.
“How am I able to do that?”
Show that you enjoy studying Oriental Studies independently
The easiest way to demonstrate your enthusiasm for Oriental Studies is to show that you are self-motivated and have studied the subject in your free-time for enjoyment – for example through online lectures and independent reading. If you don’t know where to start, review our suggested reading list below.
Demonstrate your subject knowledge about and passion for Oriental Studies
The key to answering these questions is to always demonstrate your thought process aloud. The interviewer does not expect you to be able to answer every question immediately, but rather wants to determine that you are able to think about and work on unknown topics with confidence, intelligence and clarity – and they won’t be able to do that if you sit in silence! Use the list of questions below to prepare. Perhaps you can have a friend or relative ask you these questions so that you can develop your skills of thinking under time pressure and speaking out loud.
Subject Interview Guide – Oriental Studies
Our Subject Interview Guides help you to prepare and go into your interview with confidence.
Each guide discusses ten Oxford Interview Questions in depth with answers and approaches – along with possible points of discussion to further demonstrate your knowledge. They have been specially edited for applicants for each subject by a team of Oxford and Cambridge graduates.
Please Note: Currently “The Oxford Interview Guide” is available for Chemistry and Physics (available to download below). Other subjects will be available for download in November – please enter your email below to receive a notification when your subject guide is available for download.
Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Interview Questions
Do you think Chairman Mao would be proud of the China of today?
Why does the word ‘God’ and ‘I’ have a capital letter?
Give me a brief case study of an area of Middle Eastern politics that has interested you?
How many cultures are grouped together under the label “China?”
What is your favourite dictionary?
What can we learn from Pompeian excavations as to the quality of their life, especially their dietary habits?
Oriental Studies at Oxford
Among subjects in the humanities, Oriental Studies is unique in introducing students to civilisations that are radically different from the Western ones that form the basis of the curriculum in most British schools and colleges. The courses present both the major traditions of the regions studied and, in most cases, their modern developments. All courses include language, literature, history and culture, and there are a wide range of options in such fields as art and archaeology, history, literature, philosophy, religion and modern social studies