Discuss JK Rowling’s transition from Harry Potter to writing for adults.
Explain why many animals have stripes. Why do humans have two eyes?
Teenagers who can give convincing answers to these posers when they are interviewed for a place at Oxford could be just who the university is looking for, it was revealed yesterday.
Tutors at Oxford lifted the lid on the interview process to explode some of the myths about what is seen as the most nerve-racking aspect of admissions.
The university has increasingly come to rely on interviews to identify high-fliers because public exams fail to discriminate between the bright and the exceptional. It also considers other information, such as results in admissions tests, references and predicted grades.
Oxford said interviews give candidates the chance to show their ‘real ability and potential’.
One English literature don said pupils were more likely to be asked about Harry Potter than Shakespeare, at least in initial questioning.
‘Not all candidates might have the same access to a wide range of literature,’ said Lucinda Rumsey, of Mansfield College.