Do You Think You're Clever? : The Oxbridge Questions, Hardback

Do You Think You're Clever? : The Oxbridge Questions Hardback

2.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


What happens if I drop an ant? What books are bad for you? What percentage of the world's water is contained in a cow?

The Oxbridge undergraduate interviews are infamous for their unique ways of assessing candidates, and from these peculiar enquiries, professors can tell just how smart you really are.

John Farndon has collected together 75 of the most intriguing questions taken from actual admission interviews and gives full answers to each, taking the reader through the fascinating histories, philosophies, sciences and arts that underlie each problem.

This is a book for everyone who likes to think they're clever, or who thinks they'd like to be clever. And cleverness is not just knowing stuff, it's how laterally, deeply and interestingly you can bend your brain.

Guesstimating the population of Croydon, for example, opens a chain of thought from which you can predict the strength of a nuclear bomb ...and that's just the start of it.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Humour
  • ISBN: 9781848310834



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Meh. The book purports to give answers to some of the trickier entrance exam questions at the UK's top universities. Initially I enjoyed seeing how the author tackles these questions, mapping potential directions, structuring his answers, larding them with a few historic quotes and dictionary definitions, and building up to the final flourish. After a while, though, the mechanism becomes repetitive, and the reader will start spotting flaws in the author's logic or glaring gaps when certain obvious aspects are not being addressed in his replies. The questions aren't all as titillating as the one that made it to the book cover (for which the answer, unsurprisingly, is: "It depends what you define by clever". Yawn). The exhilarating ride that was promised quickly turns into the view of a flat landscape whizzing by, its dull features merging into one blurred impression.

Review by

When entering either Cambridge or Oxford, a prospective student must have an oral interview where the examiners ask off-the-wall questions like "What percentage of the world's water is in cows?" or "How do you know I'm thinking thoughts?". This book is a listing of some questions with possible answers or ways of thinking about the question. I found it interesting, but only to a point. In a 2 to 3 page answer, I think he just barely scratched the surface most of the time. But still, entertaining and interesting.

Review by

There were some very interesting questions! I thoroughly enjoyed a large majority of the book. <br/><br/>Sometimes, however, the author came across as a pompous braggart.<br/><br/>(I feel a lot better after saying that)<br/><br/>To anyone who reads it, I recommend taking it in small doses...<br/><br/>I don't want to give the wrong impression though, it really is a very thought-provoking read. I recommend it.