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Personal Statements

Personal statements
by

Dominic Davis

on 10 June 2014

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Transcript of Personal Statements

Volunteers?
Interactive Guide to writing your statement...




Discussion/ Questions
The UCAS application process will open on the 15th September 2013. For any students wanting to apply for Oxbridge, or to medicine and dentistry, you will need to submit your application by the 15th October 2013.

Researching is key for both your personal statement and your application as a whole.

How/where to research?

Read
Talk
Think


Common Trends:
Business - Rich dad poor dad
Economics - Freakonomics
Engineering - Lego!
Law/Psychology - To kill a mockingbird
Law - "The law is reason free from passion." (Aristotle/Legally Blonde)
Researching for your statement
It should be your own work

It should introduce your academic history, your choices and your motivations, to ultimately justify your UCAS application choices.

It should demonstrate why your skills and experiences make you feel confident that you will meet the entry requirements the university has set, enjoy the course you are applying to and will succeed in your studies.

You have one statement and five choices: Make sure that your statement is directly relevant to all of your choices.

If the institution to which you are applying operate using interviews, it is very likely that you will be asked a question on the basis of your statement. (If you say you’ve read a certain back, make sure you have!)
Key points to consider
- Don't feel that you need to use elaborate language. If you try too hard to impress with long words that you are not confident using, the focus of your writing may be lost.
- Don't say too much about things that are not relevant - if you think that you are starting to, take a break and come back to your statement when you feel more focused.
- Don't lie - if you exaggerate you may get caught out at interview when asked to elaborate on an interesting achievement.
- Don't rely on a spellchecker as it will not pick up everything - proof read as many times as possible.
- Don't leave it to the last minute - your statement will seem rushed and important information could be left out.
- Don't expect to be able to write your personal statement whilst watching TV or surfing the internet - this is your future, so make the most of the opportunity to succeed.
The “don’ts”
The personal statement is your opportunity to explain why you are the
best candidate for the course you are applying to. Therefore, make
sure it is your work and make sure you that you feel it accurately
reflects who you are as a person and as an applicant.

Do not copy the statement.
Do not feel the need to quote famous people in that area.
Do not regret not putting in the work required.
The “don’ts”
- Do create a list of your ideas before attempting to write the real thing.
- Do expect to produce several drafts before being totally happy.
- Do ask people you trust for their feedback.
- Do check university and college prospectuses, websites and entry profiles.
- Do use your best English and don't let spelling and grammatical errors spoil your statement.
- Do be enthusiastic - if you show your interest in the course, it may help you get a place.
The “do’s”
Structure your statement in your own words to show:

- Why you have chosen the course and the reasons why that subject interests you.

- Evidence that you understand what is required to study the course.

- How any previous studies or work experience relate to the course you have chosen.

- What you expect to do with your studies when you leave (?)
The “do’s”
Is it important?
The importance of the personal statement
The UCAS personal statement is one aspect of your UCAS application.
Other aspects would include your personal details, the grades you have
achieved to date, your predicted grades and a reference.

The personal statement is one of your only initial opportunities to really
introduce you as a person and as an applicant.

The statement is an applicant’s opportunity to explain in no
more than 4000 characters why they feel they are the best candidate for the
course. (more to follow).
Introducing the personal statement
Introducing myself
Introduction University
What is a personal statement?
The importance of the personal statement
The “do’s”
The “don’ts”
Points to consider
Researching for your personal statement
Discussion
Build Dom's personal statement

Contents
Dominic Davis
Student Recruitment, City University London
Writing your personal statement
Similarity Detection - Plagiarism reports
"Do's" / "Don'ts"
Useful sources
www.ucas.com/students
Any Questions?
"Do's"
"Don'ts"
"The basis of any democratic society is the opinion of the people. Surely one of the biggest influences on these opinions is mass media, how it portrays world events and what comment it makes on them. It is in this light that I have set my sights on becoming a journalist; I believe it to be a career that can propel me to a platform where my views and opinions genuinely have the means to make a difference."
BA Journalism 2013
"Do's"
'Whoever controls the media; controls the mind' - Jim Morrison. A world without media is unimaginable, unthinkable, unknown. Its ever-growing, ever-changing influence shapes and sculpts the society in which we live today and quenches our thirst for knowledge. We subconsciously allow journalists to control our every thought and action. It is for these reasons why working within the diverse, expanding world of journalism offers endless opportunities for a media student such as myself. Ever since beginning A Level Media I was instantly hooked on the idea of being part of such a new and unpredictable phenomenon, and feel a deeper interrogation into Journalism will develop my passion and open up a future for me within the field. "
BA Journalism 2013
"Don'ts"
“The experiment and plausibility of public spaces allowed for the diminishing of Laws to be realised not only in architecture but also in urban societies. Though this, 'certainty' became more the radical probability of Other Laws that allowed self-empowered enactment to be realised. In other words permanent values of knowledge where able to be replaced with critical forms of judgement. Because of this I regard my first connection with Law as a Hume guillotine is-ought problem as space seemed as indeterminable as Law."
LLB Law 2010
www.thestudentroom.co.uk
Your teachers
Your friends
Universities
Careers advisers
“My two main passions in life are law - and its concepts - and American football. These interests have often coincided and I managed to find information on various cases and trials pertaining to both law and American football.”

Acceptable – if they weren’t applying for International Politics!
Building my statement
Dominic
I chose Philosophy
William Paley's Teleological argument
Head Boy
Football captain
Nottingham
'The Philosophy Gym' by S. Law
I want to be a journalist
English
RS
Geography
Work experience at the paper
I enjoy writing
I believe I am a good candidate because..
Correct order
- I chose Philosophy
- I believe I am a good candidate because
- RS at 'A' level
- Paley's Teleological Argument
- Stephen law's Philosophy Gym
- I enjoy writing/ I want to be a journalist
- Work experience
- Head boy, football captain etc.

Sir George Monoux 25.06.2013
Yes.
Why?


For highly competitive courses which attract applications from many more candidates than there are places, comparing all applicants' personal statements helps universities identify the most committed and suitable candidates.
Is that the case for everybody?


The vast majority of course tutors find personal statements crucial when making decisions. Whilst it is important, an outstanding statement will not guarantee you an offer – it is one important component of your overall application.

Introducing University
Why is it important?
Benefits to society
Benefits to individuals
Research/ pursuit of knowledge

Educating the people of the future

Economic input
Intellectual challenge

Social development

Prospects

Choosing which university you would like to study at can
be a life defining decision. In order to make sure you make
the most informed decision possible you should do the
following:

Research (websites/prospectuses/forums)
Talk
Think
Applying to University
Applying to University
Applications open from mid September 2013

Key deadlines are in October 2013 and January 2014.

October: Medicine (and related subjects) and Oxbridge

January 15th 2014 for all UK/HEU applicants
All applications are made via UCAS at www.ucas.com
Questions?
dominic.davis.1@city.ac.uk
Full transcript