Before you begin your application process, ideally you will have read widely across as many areas as possible. Wider Reading allows you to build knowledge earlier. It also allows you to read in depth across two subjects if you haven't chosen your subject yet.
Read advanced texts and papers in one or more subject areas
Evidence of wider reading in your chosen subject should begin from Year 10 onwards, if not before, and this programme leads into the Knowledge Building module. It is also suitable for students who have not yet decided which subject they want to study at university. Tutors can help students sample a range of wider reading across different disciplines to narrow down the choice of degree subject.
Although it is possible to cover the recommended breadth and depth of reading in the year before the application deadline, students starting earlier have a significant advantage. Exploring new ideas and concepts through in-depth analysis of academic papers, journals, and essays will only strength an application. It will also help students to understand if they will actually enjoy the subject at degree level. Often, this is a very different experience from studying a subject at school level, and a student needs to understand the reading required at this higher level. It may not be the perfect match for you, which will definitely impact your chance of success in the application process.
Reading texts and challenging or questioning key ideas is a vital academic skill, both during the application process and when you actually arrive at university.
Students can begin Wider Reading activities at any age, even before GCSEs for anyone paticularly keen! This extra level of breadth and depth of reading will only improve overall academic attainment.
Sometimes, your favourite subject at school may not be the right degree for you, or even the subject you have the best chance of succeeding in. Wider reading across multiple areas will help with this key decision.
Sessions are designed to be highly interactive and discursive, allowing you to develop the critical thinking skills needed to excel in an Oxford or Cambridge interview.
My tutor covered a very wide range of topics, across politics, economics and philosophy. She also helped me to discuss and vocalise my answers in an academic way and approach unfamiliar problems to get to the right answer.
Designed by expert admissions
Our courses have been developed by our team of world-class educationalists, who have spent years studying the Oxbridge application process, led by CEO Kieran Hammond.
London School of Economics
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Mathematics and Computer Science
Christ Church College, Oxford
Trinity College, Cambridge
About Kieran Hammond
Kieran Hammond is the co-founder of Leading Education and holds a BA and MA (Cantab) from Cambridge University. Over the course of 10 years, he has been helped over 500 students with their Oxbridge/Medicine applications.
Kieran started his career as Head of University Applications at Cardiff Sixth Form College, which at the time had been the UK’s No.1 ranked school in terms of A*-A A-level results for 6 years running.