After you have chosen your subject (this is the most important choice!) then you have to decide whether you want to apply to Cambridge or Oxford; you can’t apply to both. Visit each university; many colleges are open to the public. It is also a really good idea to go to open days. There is the option of taking part in a university, college or subject open day where you will be able to get a real sense of what it might be like to study at the university and live at a college. See what the Cambridge student said about how she chose her college.
Both Oxford and Cambridge have about thirty colleges and the choice can be a bit overwhelming. Start by looking in their prospectus: Oxford and Cambridge You can order a hard copy from the university or read the main one and the alternative prospectus from Cambridge and Oxford (written by students) online.
Questions to consider when thinking about a college might be:
- Do I want a large or small college?
- Do I want to be in the centre of town or a little way out?
- Do I want an old college or a new one? (There are advantages to both)
- Do I want a single sex college ?(None at Oxford)
- Do I want a college with larger gardens?
The only way to answer these questions is to have a look around as many as possible.