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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:55 pm
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Hi

Have just returned from school meeting re university applications and have been informed that the first draft be in by 15 July to be looked over and all university applications to be in by 15 November. My dd has started work on this and has just shown me her ps - it conveyed her interest in law and why she wishes to pursue it but not a lot about her and her outside achievements, etc. I pointed this out to dd but she said they were told not to put in the music, D of E, part time job, Y.E., drama, work experience, management shadowing, etc etc. Who do I believe? The school said at the meeting that they should include all this but dd adament she is not putting this in. Is she burning her bridges?

All advice gratefully received - I feel a stressful summer ahead.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:02 pm 
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We are just going through this as well so y0u have my sympathy but my dd has to have hers in by 1st of September . She has been told that the outside interests should occupy a few lines at the end. The bulk of the statement should be about her interest and enthusiasm for the subject including what she has read outside the syllabus. I imagine, though, it depends on what subject you are applying for .Vet and medicine usually require a lot of stuff about work experience and volunteering. Your dd is right- it's about the subject rather than all the extra curricula things .


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:05 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
"We" are also going through this. We have been advised at least 3/4 should be about subject, why you want to study it including what and why you have read around the subject. Also advised that work experience is only worth mentioning if it is directly relevant in particular medicine, law or vet. We were told that in your remaining 1/4 you can mention your other achievements/interests in the context of other qualities e.g. time management, leadership or team work. First draft due in Monday I haven't seen it and am not sure whether I ever will. However I am happy that DD is being advised and supported well by school (I think).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:32 pm 
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Don’t worry too much at this early stage. My twin son and daughter are at the end of Y13 and so we have just survived a year of going through the UCAS process with two at once. Just results day to wait for now! A year ago neither of mine had even finalised what subject they were going to apply for, which makes writing a personal statement impossible, so at least your daughter is one step ahead if she knows she wants to do law. Schools are, in my opinion, putting on totally unnecessary pressure to be demanding draft statements at this early stage. Even Oxford/Cambridge/medicine etc applicants don’t need a draft before September, and there will be lots of redrafting before final submission.
I think choice of subject and of university makes a big difference to what is expected here. The impression is sometimes given that high quality applicants for “top” universities must be “all rounders” in the sense of being both academically strong and offering a vast array of extra curricular stuff. I think this is a myth and can be damaging by giving the impression that people who do not have Gold DofE and Grade 8 flute, while playing sport for the county and being head boy/girl are somehow lacking. In fact so many people now do have at least some of these things that I suspect they barely merit a second glance from admissions tutors.
It is therefore necessary to find something to say which is distinctive and will make your application stand out – the emphasis being on how your extra curricular or enrichment activities are relevant to your choice of subject or have given you skills which will be of value in higher education. For example, my son applied to do chemistry and does not have many of the “standard” types of extra-curricular activities. He does however have some unusual interests which he has pursued on his own, such as local history. He is something of an expert on aspects of this in our local area and has done some independent research, purely for his own enjoyment, which he mentioned on his statement because of the independent learning and research skills which he has developed.
I think Oxford and Cambridge are not very interested at all in extra curricular stuff (apart from obvious exceptions such as medicine), they are purely concerned with interest in the chosen subject and academic potential. Both my children are studying sciences and here I was surprised to find that the (“good”) universities to which they applied almost invariably make 4 or 5 times as many offers as they have places – the key factor being whether they think you will meet their offer grades. So the detail of extra-curricular stuff is not that important.
Sorry if this is a bit of a ramble. Have not posted on here for a long time but have kept an eye on the site for years since my two did the 11+, and was very interested to see it has expanded to include those of us who are now at a much later stage.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:21 am
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Thanks WW, that's useful advice from one who has "been there"...I was a bit surprised when I opened this thread as it does seem terribly early to start asking for draft PSs - I don't think DD has given hers a second thought since finishing her AS exams, but it's at the top of her list of things to do in the summer break! Besides, much of the work experience she needs for a veterinary application is actually planned for late July and August so she won't be able to produce anything meaningful until she's actually completed the placements.

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Marylou


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:23 pm 
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Been through this twice as well.

Agree that extra curricular should only be small amount & related to relevant skills.
Work experience only stressed if directly relevant othewise included briefly with extra curricular.

The autumn term gets very hectic in y13 especially if doing course work or Jan modules so if DCs are in a position to draft PS then def. good idea. LIkely to be revised at least 4 times :)

Can also start filling in UCAS application on line. Lots of basic info required which they can start now & then AS results in August. Saves time once pressures of A2 kick in later.

Also worth noting that even if not applying for Oxbridge/Vet/Medicine/Dentistry its worth getting UCAS application in early as many other Universities will start interviewing/offering straight away & if its a tough year could be good to get in early!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:25 am
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wirral_wombat gives good advice . I should have said that if you are doing a choral or organ scholarship application to Oxfordand Cambridge you do have to have it in by 1st of September which is why my dd is tearing along with it before the end of term.
There will be a lot of emailing over the summer holidays I imagine.


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