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  • Personal Statement:Psychology 3

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Psychology Personal Statement

For the past thirteen years I've been living in Sweden, I am however originally from Denmark and I speak both languages fluently. My father who is an executive of the foreign department in an entrepreneur company has throughout his career been living in various countries.

This has given me the opportunity to visit many places around the world. The most interesting trip was when I visited Benin (West Africa). Seeing their customs which are indeed very different from the customs in this part of the world was truly amazing. The international experience I have gained through my travelling has been very useful to me, not merely because I have met new interesting people, cultures and customs, but also because it has allowed me to analyze and evaluate the conduct of people in this part of the world from a wider perspective. It will moreover be useful to me as a psychology student since it will allow me to compare people in different parts of the world.

In elementary school I never received the essential challenge and stimulation I needed to develop according to my full potential. The IB-program however, gave me this challenge and besides providing me with a top-quality, pre-university education, it has radically amplified my personal ambitions and my desire to study further. Due to a long-time illness before the final exams (was infected with Shigella and Malaria when I visited Africa), I wasn't able to repeat my subjects, and this affected my grades significantly. However, I will retake the subjects where I don't feel that the grade represents my ability. I am now eager to enter the undergraduate psychology programme where I can continue to strive towards reaching my ambitions and make use of my full intellectual potential. The past two years I have been very dedicated to my studies also during my spare time. I have however, always been very interested in sports and practised various (mainly soccer) throughout my life. Besides good physical health, my interest in sports has given me a unique insight into the psychology of sports My present job will be an invaluable complement to the theoretical skills achieved at university. I work at an institution for mentally handicapped children where I have responsibility for two children.

This means that I decide practically everything concerning their treatment within certain frames which are common to all children. I find the job very developing and stimulating and I have received positive criticism for my calmness and ability to make the children like me. Having worked with practical psychological issues is, I believe essential for a good understanding of psychology. When achieving new theoretical knowledge I will have something concrete to which I can relate it. Moreover my experience will be an asset to your department since I will contribute with concrete aspects of psychological issues in debates and discussions.

No other subject I have studied has caught my interest like psychology and that is the main reason I want to study it at university. To be sure that this really was what I desired, I applied for my present job which is to a high degree intervened with the theoretical knowledge which I have achieved during the psychology sessions in school.

Observing the concrete effects different psychological methods and treatments have, has strongly reinforced my desire to study the subject further and I cannot think of anything I would rather work with in the future.

Comments

Right, the main problem with this statement is that it has totally the wrong focus, although coming from an international applicant this can be forgiven (at least at first). It's best to get the statement as good as you can get it, with it containing the information that admissions tutors are looking for: academics. This includes what you have learned related to psychology from your A Levels (or equivalent qualification) and why you found it interesting. If at all possible, give some kind of evaluative comment. Also under the umbrella of academics is extra reading away from your A Levels related to psychology (same way of stating them applies to A Levels) and any work experience, e.g. working in a primary school (memory, development, special needs). Don't just name-drop things, expand and explain them.

On the grammar side of things, it's mostly OK, although contractions such as 'I've' should not be used in a formal document such as a personal statement.

Review

For the past thirteen years I've been living in Sweden, I am however originally from Denmark and I speak both languages fluently. My father who is an executive of the foreign department in an entrepreneur company has throughout his career been living in various countries. I've already mentioned the contraction. However, this intro doesn't tell us at all about what subject the applicant is applying for or why they are applying for it, which is what the admissions tutors are looking for! They aren't interested in what the father does for a living. If you want to mention different countries, then mention them right near the end of the statement, and relate it back to psychology.

This has given me the opportunity to visit many places around the world. The most interesting trip was when I visited Benin (West Africa). Seeing their customs which are indeed very different from the customs in this part of the world was truly amazing. The international experience I have gained through my travelling has been very useful to me, not merely because I have met new interesting people, cultures and customs, but also because it has allowed me to analyse British spelling please!and evaluate the conduct of people in this part of the world from a wider perspective. It will moreover be useful to me as a psychology student since it will allow me to compare people in different parts of the world. OK, this shouldn't be this far up the statement. What differences were observed? How has this affected their way of life, either positively or negatively? Can it be related back to theories? Would the customs/traditions work in other cultures? Comments like 'truly amazing' sound very cliched...

In elementary school I never received the essential challenge and stimulation I needed to develop according to my full potential. The IB-programme however, gave me this challenge and besides providing me with a top-quality, pre-university education, it has radically amplified my personal ambitions and my desire to study further. This is a waste of space. The admissions tutors will know about the IB programme, and see that you are taking it from elsewhere in the application Due to a long-time illness before the final exams (was infected with Shigella and Malaria when I visited Africa), avoid using brackets in a PS, as it's a formal document I wasn't able to repeat my subjects, and this affected my grades significantly. However, I will retake the subjects where I don't feel that the grade represents my ability. I am now eager to enter the undergraduate psychology programme, where I can continue to strive towards reaching my ambitions and make use of my full intellectual potential. The past two years I have been very dedicated to my studies also during my spare time. this bit about the illness is worded very negatively. It's better if things like this are mentioned by the referee, as otherwise it can appear to be going for the 'sympathy vote'. If you do mention it, word it positively I have however, always been very interested in sports and practised various (mainly soccer) throughout my life. Besides good physical health, my interest in sports has given me a unique insight into the psychology of sports. Missing a full stop My present job will be an invaluable complement to the theoretical skills achieved at university. I work at an institution for mentally handicapped children where I have responsibility for two children. The bit about sport doesn't relate to the rest of the paragraph before it. This paragraph is a bit of a mesh of random ideas. What things related to sport psychology? Mentioning the differences between these children and 'normal' children (but not calling them that) would be good as well, as it's not something that everyone would be saying

Why is the previous sentence not in the same paragraph as this? This means that I decide practically everything too informal concerning their treatment within certain frames which are common to all children. I find the job very developing developing what? This is very vague and doesn't add anything to the PS and stimulating and I have received positive criticism for my calmness and ability to make the children like me. the focus should be on what the applicant has gained/learned from the experience, not saying what other people thought of them, which could have easily been made up Having worked with practical psychological issues is, And practical psychological issues have not been explicitly mentioned, which they would need to be for a statement like that! I believe essential for a good understanding of psychology. When achieving new theoretical knowledge I will have something concrete to which I can relate it. this doesn't really add anything to the statement Moreover my experience will be an asset to your department since I will contribute with concrete aspects of psychological issues in debates and discussions. this is a very bold statement to make! The admissions tutors should not be addressed as 'you', unless you are only applying to one university. This whole sentence should just be deleted really

No other subject I have studied has caught my interest like psychology and that is the main reason I want to study it at university. To be sure that this really was what I desired, I applied for my present job which is to a high degree intervened with the theoretical knowledge which I have achieved during the psychology sessions in school. the beginning of this sounds like a conclusion, then... It's not. If this was to be mentioned, it should not be a separate paragraphs and specifics are needed! What knowledge was applied and how did it help?

Observing the concrete effects different psychological methods and treatments have, has strongly reinforced my desire to study the subject further and I cannot think of anything I would rather work with in the future. this sounds like the only reason the applicant has applied for psychology is cos of their job at the school. While this is good experience - it's not all psychology is about and admissions tutors will question whether the applicant has done their research into their degree choice. A conclusion should be used to sum up why the applicant is good and why they want to study this subject

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