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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:52 pm 
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I thought I knew, but after DD's first couple of drafts now I'm not so sure. Her school said that, once completed, it was going to be an amazing piece of writing that would do all her achievements justice etc that no uni could resist, I thought. I hear on the open days it should be 80% academic, yet it appears her grades shouldn't even be mentioned, and we are left trying to explain a journey from a love of all things space as a 9 year old (can't mention that - "From a young age, I dreamt of travelling in space" - no, although true, too whimsical, to the point where we now know that what she wants to study is at the cross over points of Geography, Physics and Geology - Geophysics, Astrophysics, Earth Sciences - or ideally a mixture of the whole lot. And there are indeed courses she can apply for but they have different emphases - so she must tailor the statement to explain how researching all these areas, going on open days and lectures has led her to this point - and it's not easy. It's a story of wrestling with the difference between Geoscience and Geophysics, and attending lectures all over the country, and what she learned at each stage and how this affected her next step - and it's not about this amazing girl who teaches little ones gymnastics, got straight top grades for all her GCSEs after 8 months of solid work, and who has never stopped loving space and wondering how everything came to be in the first place. Anyone else suffering or can offer some hope of a structure to this piece of text as she feels lost trying to write it and I'm finding it hard to resist the temptation to take over the task......


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:00 pm 
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Have school offered any guidance? My son's school have given a booklet about UCAS applications and it has a section on personal statements. Sorry we don't gphave any experience yet, hopefully someone can help you.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:01 pm 
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The school writes an academic reference with predicted grades and all grades achieved are entered elsewhere on the form. The PS is her opportunity to write about why she is looking to study the degree she is applying for and the skills she has developed from extra curricular activities.

There are examples here: https://www.studential.com/university/a ... statements

However it should be her words as they do check for plagiarism.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:11 pm 
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If you link on the sixth form section there are these two links.

viewtopic.php?f=57&t=40307

viewtopic.php?f=57&t=42891

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:15 pm 
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WOTMum wrote:
I thought I knew, but after DD's first couple of drafts now I'm not so sure. Her school said that, once completed, it was going to be an amazing piece of writing that would do all her achievements justice etc that no uni could resist, I thought. I hear on the open days it should be 80% academic, yet it appears her grades shouldn't even be mentioned, and we are left trying to explain a journey from a love of all things space as a 9 year old (can't mention that - "From a young age, I dreamt of travelling in space" - no, although true, too whimsical, to the point where we now know that what she wants to study is at the cross over points of Geography, Physics and Geology - Geophysics, Astrophysics, Earth Sciences - or ideally a mixture of the whole lot. And there are indeed courses she can apply for but they have different emphases - so she must tailor the statement to explain how researching all these areas, going on open days and lectures has led her to this point - and it's not easy. It's a story of wrestling with the difference between Geoscience and Geophysics, and attending lectures all over the country, and what she learned at each stage and how this affected her next step - and it's not about this amazing girl who teaches little ones gymnastics, got straight top grades for all her GCSEs after 8 months of solid work, and who has never stopped loving space and wondering how everything came to be in the first place. Anyone else suffering or can offer some hope of a structure to this piece of text as she feels lost trying to write it and I'm finding it hard to resist the temptation to take over the task......


We have had one DC in through the process and are about to have the next apply but I can safely say that DS's Personal Statement was a thing kept entirely between him and his tutor at school and I am rather hoping that DD's will be the same. I certainly have no intention of writing it for her but an quite happy to advise on wording etc if she really feels it would help, of course. The most important piece of advice being, don't share your PS with your friends and definitely don't share it on social media where it can be accessed by anyone tempted to copy any of it; all PSs are run through plagiarism detecting software.

Lots of good advice over on The Student Room, e.g.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=4973716

And no, it's not about grades - that kind of thing will be part of the school's input into the process.

Another good place for your DD to look is on the website of any university in which she is interested. Most of the ones DD is looking at have something about writing a PS, I think

(X-posted with several quicker typists :lol: ).

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:29 pm 
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There is a website called The Student Room which has this section; https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/conten ... statements

Some of the rest is best avoided ...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:56 am 
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OP, we were in your shoes last year. What you have described is exactly the same, except it’s a different subject. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Don’t despair! It’s a process, it’s not likely to be a breeze for any teen, and it takes time and several drafts to get it right. She should show drafts, once she’s somewhat happy, to other sensible people such as yourself, and teachers. My dd’s headteacher kindly read all the PS final drafts and she told dd hers was one of the best (probably said that to all of them, but it still went down well!). Dd got offers or interviews from all 4 unis. Hers mostly consisted of describing each work experience she had done (required for her subject) and what she had learned from each, and also things that were not subject-specific but gave her skills such as resilience (horrible DoE expedition), dealing with people (kids petting farm and their parents), persistence (competitive sport she does), playing instrument in orchestra (teamwork, cooperation)- so you can see, your dd has got so much to write about, it’s more a matter of fitting it in and making a story of it.

It’s a way to present who she is, which is clearly more than a transcript of grades. I’m sure she will do well!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:18 am 
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I would suggest vshe writes out the purpose of the PS and keeps it in view as she writes to help stay on track. Seems simple but have found it a useful 'trick ' in the past. It should be something along the lines of 'why do I want to study this subject & why will I do well at it'.

Treat it like an essay and come up with a plan keeping in mind the strict word count. I'd have a general point about how she has progressed from starting point to finish then use a few major turning points to illustrate rather than ending up with a list of everything but no depth.

Extra curricular should should always be minimal and in this case I wouldn't bother with anything non subject related as she seems to have masses of subject related to cull as it is. Her tutor may however still want a few sentences to demonstrate a range of interest outside the subject. I'm still not convincef it's necessary if they have lots of subject related extra curricular.

A PS is different from a CV - it's much less about personal attributes than demonstrating a passion for and ability in a subject ( outside of GCSE and A level exams which will be covered elsewhere).

Extra curricular like music and D of E should only be included where you can relate them directly to the skills required for the course being applied for. In some cases this may include time management, self motivation etc.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:40 am 
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Just popped back to see if I had had any replies - so thank you all for such useful comments and links so quickly. She has already had one draft reviewed by her class tutor and subject mentor, who wants to see another draft over the summer. School support being offered is all fantastic, I just think she has taken her eyes off the reason for writing it, and got bogged down in the process. I am going to cautiously advise a rethink/restart save 2 good paragraphs keeping a clearer purpose in mind this time round.... thanks again everyone for your invaluable help.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:55 pm 
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I am really confused. We are a few years away from University but reading on here about personal statements, volunteering, working, DofE I am just wondering if you have to do these things to get into University (sorry if this isn't the right thread but didn't know whether to start a new one).

Does a student have to do all/any of those things to get a university place? I will admit that I think my DS is a slow developer so it worries me that he needs all of this and not just good grades to get into university. Do they have to be the "full package" to be allowed to continue their studies (which he is keen to do)?


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