Whether candidates are selected for interview will depend in the first instance on a firm belief on the part of the college handling the application that that candidate would be well-suited to the course; minimally, that they would not find the course too demanding and too difficult for it to be of value to them, and, thinking more positively, that they would be likely to gain a good degree result. Beyond these considerations, selection for interview is competitive, and on some degrees there are many more candidates meeting these criteria than could be interviewed, so that some very well qualified candidates will each year be deselected (that is, not invited for interview). Selection occurs after assessment looking at the following areas:
- Results in official examinations, especially GCSE, A level and equivalent;
- Results predicted for A level, or other impending examinations (looking particularly at candidates who would not meet the ‘standard offer’ for their chosen course);
- A school reference (including whether there are aspects of a candidates performance that need to be placed in a particular context);
- Written work (submitted school work, or work written as part of an aptitude test);
- Results on the relevant assessment test for the degree in question.
Those without UK qualifications, and mature applicants, will be assessed according to their situation, for example by looking for an equivalent level of attainment in official examinations, and by assessing current potential for the course rather than relying solely on school results from some years earlier.
If after assessing the candidate against these criteria the college handling the application proposes not to select a candidate for interview, there will be an opportunity for other colleges to call the candidate for interview before the deselection is confirmed.