Hackney youngsters were told to aim for Oxford and Cambridge when they were visited by students from the top universities.
The Oxbridge representatives paid a visit to the borough to try to encourage young people from the region to apply for places at the universities.
More than 160 young people attended the event, which was organised by The Learning Trust at the City Academy, E9.
Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said: “The borough has a large pool of young talent and we want our brightest pupils to know that a place at a top university is a genuine option for them.
“I hope that this event has encouraged pupils to aim high and to achieve their full potential wherever their ambitions may lie.”
Clapton Girls’ Academy student Le My Dang, who achieved the best GCSE results in Hackney last year, was one of those who were inspired by the event.
She said: “It’s been great to learn more about the courses as it’s sometimes hard to get a good idea from just reading course information.”
Stoke Newington School student Jake Morgan Stead added: “None of my family have been to Oxford or Cambridge so I’m unsure about what they are looking for.
“You hear a lot about the interview process, so it’s good to hear more about all of that, to know what I’m aiming for.”
Sir Neil Chalmers, an Oxford warden, said: “We’ve some great success stories from Hackney’s state schools at Oxford, and we hope through events like this, and our continuing partnership with local schools, that we will get even more.”