Want a place in Oxford University? Try these questions first

Students walking near the Radcliffe Camera, a famous library building at Oxford University.
Students walking near the Radcliffe Camera, a famous library building at Oxford University.PHOTO: OXFORD SUMMER COLLEGE

Do bankers deserve the pay they receive? Can archaeology "prove" or "disprove" the Bible? Place a 30cm ruler on top of one finger from each hand - what happens when you bring your fingers together?

If you've got the answers to these questions down pat, you just might qualify for a place at Oxford University.

They are part of a sample selection released by the famous British university, just days before the application deadline for entry into its 2016 cohort.

Releasing the questions and answers was to dispel false rumours about its entry process, the university's education and outreach director, Samina Khan, told the BBC.

Dr Khan said: "We know there are still lots of myths about the Oxford interview, so we put as much information as possible out there to allow students to see the reality of the process," said Dr Khan.

"Tutors simply want to see how students think and respond to new ideas."

More than 24,000 interviews for 10,000 applicants will be conducted over two weeks in December, but the questions are but just one part of the selection process.

Candidates' exam results, academic references, personal statements and predicted grades are also taken into account, reported The Guardian.

Questions run the gamut over a range of topics - for instance, the one about whether bankers deserve their pay is related to economics and management.

According to admissions tutor Brian Bell, it is a "topical question in light of the recent financial crisis", and a good candidate would be able to point out why is it that people who appear equally talented can earn more in banking than in another industry.

The ruler poser, on the other hand, is engineering-based and "would never be the opening question in an interview". Candidates will be able to get comfortable by discussing something familiar before having to tackle the question.

Professor Steve Collins, an engineering tutor with the Oxford University College, explained: "Almost everyone in this example will expect the ruler to topple off the side where the finger is closest to the centre of the ruler, because they expect this finger to reach the centre of the ruler first.

"They then complete the 'experiment' and find both fingers reach the centre of the ruler at the same time and the ruler remains balanced on two fingers.

"We like to see how candidates react to what is usually an unexpected result and then encourage them to repeat the experiment slowly. With prompting to consider moments and friction, the candidate will come to the conclusion there is a larger force on the finger that is closest to the centre of the ruler."

Check out the rest of the questions here.