Keystone Tutors Blog

Harriet Blomefield, Keystone's Head of Consultancy, will be joined by Ed Richardson, our Director of Education and Jenny McGowan, our Director in Asia to discuss University Interviews. They will also provide some top tips to aid the process.

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Download our guide to Oxford and Cambridge interviews, featuring top tips from those who studied at Oxford and Cambridge.

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The Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) is a form of assessment used to measure aptitude in critical thinking and problem solving. The TSA can be a requirement for gaining entry to top universities (including Oxford, Cambridge and UCL), as well as a handful of independent schools, who produce their own modified version of the exam (sometimes called a Critical Thinking test) for 16+. Download our Guide to the Thinking Skills Assessment.

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Interviewing for a Place to Study at Cambridge University Cambridge University, founded over 800 years ago, supposedly by scholars fleeing from irate townsfolk in Oxford, is one of the world's greatest universities and a historic seat of learning. Graced by the stunning architecture of its colleges, and filled with keen minds from around the world, Cambridge is an amazing place to study your chosen subject.

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Interviews are often considered to be the most intimidating and mysterious elements of the Oxford admissions process. This guide is designed to demystify the Oxford interview process so that you can approach your interview as confidently as possible.

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And it had all seemed so simple. For the past several years, from 2016 to 2019, Cambridge had joined Oxford in setting all the candidates who applied to the university to read history, or joint honours degrees involving history, a written assessment that was taken at the same time as the Oxford HAT – about a month before the interview stage. This exam, known as the History Admissions Assessment (HAA), consisted of two one-hour papers.

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With A level Results day almost upon us, here is a helpful guide to ensure you are appropriately prepared. This is an exceptional year, what with the cancellation of examinations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is therefore very important that students are aware of what options are available to them.

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Places to study at medical schools in the UK are highly sought after, by both domestic and international students, and require a great degree of commitment from prospective applicants. Understanding just what medical school involves can really help you decide whether it’s right for you and, once you’re sure it is, give you the very best chance of securing a place at the school of your choice. You can also download our Applying to Medical school guide as a PDF.

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In this Keystone Insight, Harriet Blomefield is joined by Ed Richardson to discuss the TSA.

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Keystone Director of Education, Ed Richardson is joined by Andrew Mackenzie, Managing Director of Africa and Asia Venture – experts in GAP year travel for over 25 years and Dr Jonathan Burbidge, housemaster and teacher at St Edward's School. Here they will be discussing the possibilities of a gap year and how this might be different from the normal in the context of Coronavirus.

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For this webinar Keystone Consultant Harriet Blomefield is joined by former Westminster School Head of Sixth Form, David Hargreaves and Keystone Director of Asia, Jenny McGowan. They share their insights on applying to Oxford and Cambridge.

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In this webinar Keystone Education Consultant, Harriet Blomefield is joined by David Hawkins from The University Guys to discuss applying to universities outside the UK. They discuss a range of options including applying to universities across Europe, Asia and the US.

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In light of the Covid-19 school closures we thought it would be helpful to list some of our key recommendations when it comes to making home-schooling a success.

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This blog is based on information available at time of writing (27th February 2020). As the school closures in Hong Kong have been extended until April 20th it seemed a pertinent time to write with what we hope will be helpful information during this uncertain time.

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‘What shall I do when I leave school?’ is just one of several important questions students make during their final three years at school. But it is one that they shouldn’t feel daunted by as this is an exciting time and, typically, the final step in their formal education. The most salient point to remember is that there is a spider’s web of people from whom they can seek advice: teachers, parents, friends and even current university students.

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Unsure about how to monitor your child’s education, or keen to have an unbiased opinion regarding progress and future goals? .

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Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) is one of the most popular, and best-known, courses that you can read at Oxford. It has been offered since 1921, and it’s rooted in the view that it’s helpful to approach problems in society from the perspectives of several complementary disciplines and frameworks.

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Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) at Cambridge is a three-year BA Hons degree in politics, international relations, social anthropology and sociology. Although students can focus on one of these areas from the start, HSPS is also the broadest and most flexible political and/or social science degree at Oxbridge.

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Coaching4Careers deliver coaching for businesses, universities, schools, charities and committees in the UK and internationally. Their experienced consultants help people at all levels to identify their strengths, so that they can build a career based on their natural talents and passions. They also help schools and their students with career planning, including getting the most from work experience assignments. Find out more here.

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Coaching4Careers deliver coaching for businesses, universities, schools, charities and committees in the UK and internationally. Their experienced consultants help people at all levels to identify their strengths, so that they can build a career based on their natural talents and passions. They also help schools and their students with career planning, including getting the most from work experience assignments. Find out more here.

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Keystone's Director of Education, Ed Richardson and senior tutor Jon Gale discuss UK Engineering Degrees.

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The National Admissions Test for Law, or LNAT, can seem like a formidable hurdle for many students applying to read law at university; this is particularly the case when one considers the historically low average scores (usually around 50%) and the fact that many students do not know what to expect.

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This guide is for anyone applying to sit Classics or any combination involving Classics at the University of Oxford. In the sections below you can find out if you need to sit the test and how you go about doing that. There is also some advice on how best to prepare for the test and how important the test will be to your application to study at Oxford.

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What is the MAT? The Maths Admissions Test (MAT) is the admissions test used by Oxford for degrees in Mathematics. If you’re applying for a Maths or Computer Science degree at Oxford or a Maths degree at Imperial College London, you must sit the MAT just after beginning year 13 in late October/early November.

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Any candidate applying to study Modern Languages at Oxford or Cambridge will have to sit a written paper as part of the admissions process: The Modern Languages Aptitude Test (MLAT) at Oxford and the Modern and Medieval Languages Admissions Assessment (MMLAA) at Cambridge. There are big differences between the two tests, from the structure and what they are testing to when they are sat. This blog covers the Oxford MLAT. You can read our blog on the Cambridge MMLAA here.

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Any candidate applying to study Modern Languages at Oxford or Cambridge will have to sit a written paper as part of the admissions process: The Modern Languages Aptitude Test (MLAT) at Oxford and the Modern and Medieval Languages Admissions Assessment (MMLAA) at Cambridge. There are big differences between the two tests, from the structure and what they are testing to when they are sat. This blog covers the Cambridge MMLAA. You can read our blog on the Oxford MLAT here.

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Reading history at Oxford and Cambridge Candidates who are applying for a place to read history at either Oxford or Cambridge, and who take the time to look at the papers that the two universities offer their undergraduates, soon realise that the two courses are practically identical.

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All candidates for Oxford degree courses involving History must sit the History Aptitude Test (HAT).  Students can often feel a little uneasy about the test at first, because its format has changed over time, and it is very different from A-level exams.  To help make the test a less daunting prospect, I have created an introductory guide to what it entails and how best to prepare.

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Keystone's founder Will Orr-Ewing and Director of Education Ed Richardson share their insights into applying to university in the UK as an international student. If you are looking for support with your university application then contact us.

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‘What shall I do when I leave school?’ is just one of a number of important questions students make during their final three years at school. But, it is one that they shouldn’t feel daunted by as this is an exciting time and, typically, the final step in their formal education. The most salient point to remember is that there is a spider’s web of people from whom they can seek advice: teachers, parents, friends and even current university students.

Read more

WHY is the Personal Statement important?  The personal statement is a 4,000 character (one page) document in which you have the opportunity to show admissions tutors that you are ideally suited to study your chosen course at undergraduate level. The lion’s share of a UCAS application is formulaic (e.g.

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A brief summary of which subjects require aptitude tests is below but make sure to check on the Oxford and Cambridge University websites which will have the latest information as well as specific advice and recommendations.

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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal