Oxford and Cambridge universities are struggling to differentiate between candidates' exam results and are asking offbeat questions such as "what would you do if you were a magpie?" and "would you rather be a seedless or a non-seedless grapefruit?"
Chloe Palfreman, managing director of Oxbridge Applications, revealed that mock interviews will be conducted in order to help applicants deal with odd lines of questioning.
"Students today are much more anxious," she said. "They are so committed to succeeding in their academic examinations that they sometimes lack the time and confidence to expand their knowledge outside of the classroom.
"We aim to give them the confidence to view the eccentric questions they may be asked as a great opportunity to display their powers of lateral thinking and show that their subject study has gone well beyond the A-Level syllabus."
Other interview questions include "why don't we let the managers of IKEA run the country?", "how many monkeys would you use in an experiment?" and "talk about a light bulb".