It is one of the world's most prestigious universities whose alumni – from the physicist Stephen Hawking to Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi – are among the world's most influential people.
Hardly surprising, then, that competition for places at the University of Oxford is fierce, with thousands of candidates applying to study there each year.
Now, the University has shone a little light on how they choose their students by releasing sample questions from its admissions interviews.
The questions were for the subjects of modern languages (French), medicine, PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics), maths and experimental psychology. They are designed to probe a host of selection criteria – from problem solving to communication skills and intellectual curiosity.
"We emphasize in all our outreach activity that the interview is primarily an academic conversation based on a passage of text, a problem set or a series of technical discussions related to the content of the course students have applied for," Samina Khan, director of admissions and outreach at Oxford, said in a news release on Tuesday.
Khan went on to explain that every question interviewers asked had a purpose to "assess how students think about their subject and respond to new information or unfamiliar ideas."