Do universities actually look at our personal statements?

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    (Original post by PQ)
    Very few universities/courses use the PS in deciding who to give offers to (LSE, med/dent/vet/healthcare/Teacher training/social work) - because most universities/courses make offers to the vast majority of applications
    ^^This.

    But I was asked direct questions from my PS in the two interviews I had, so at least one person read it 5 minutes before they met me.
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    (Original post by alevelssuck_)
    Soo I'm ready to send off my personal statement at some point this week and I spoke to one of my teachers and he told me that they don't really look at our personal statements. What they really look at is the teacher references. Obviously this is no excuse for your personal statement to be bad but I just thought our personal statements were one of the most important things.. What do you guys think?
    Yes they do.

    To what extent it will matter will depend upon the University and the course.
    They asked me about my Chopin at my interview at Cam. I was taken aback at first and had to think about what piece I said was my favourite.
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    (Original post by Blackstarr)
    For nursing don't they look at Ps to give out interviews ?
    it really depends , also in the not that distant past , when although nominally under HEIs it was still the hospital school of nursing, the sister tutors with new names badges etc ... they would still recruit as they always had done looking for pliable, mouldable local girls who would be easy to indoctinate into their ways ... Which can ber a bit of a shock when these people either meet people who have had a proper pre-reg education or move to an area where the majority of staff have had such an education ... lots of places swere still going through the motions of pre-reg education vs training until really quite recently ( i.e. the move to level 3 entry and level 6 exit - sometimes 15 years behind other HEIs were level 2 entratns were the exception and funding/ course design was played to the Max with 300 credit diplomas)
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    (Original post by Kvothe the Arcane)
    Yes they do.

    To what extent it will matter will depend upon the University and the course.
    They asked me about my Chopin at my interview at Cam. I was taken aback at first and had to think about what piece I said was my favourite.
    I trust you were applying for music and not Natural Sciences!
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    I trust you were applying for music and not Natural Sciences!
    I applied for natural sciences. It was at the end of the interview as almost a throwaway. It didn't count, I won't have thought. I just mentioned it as it showed they at least scanned through my PS prior to the interview.
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    (Original post by Kvothe the Arcane)
    I applied for natural sciences. It was at the end of the interview as almost a throwaway. It didn't count, I won't have thought. I just mentioned it as it showed they at least scanned through my PS prior to the interview.
    Wow, I was being facetious! And I thought I was asked some random questions in my Cambridge interview. Just goes to show that they'll ask anything, really.
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    (Original post by alevelssuck_)
    Soo I'm ready to send off my personal statement at some point this week and I spoke to one of my teachers and he told me that they don't really look at our personal statements. What they really look at is the teacher references. Obviously this is no excuse for your personal statement to be bad but I just thought our personal statements were one of the most important things.. What do you guys think?
    YES, top universities especially if they don't use interviews look at personal statements. I know this because I have met the person in charge of admissions at my university who 1. said so 2. commented on something I said in my personal statement at a later date.

    However our class sizes here are small and its a very competitive course with lots of people applying with similar qualifications (20 to 1) so I guess here at least its the only way they can distinguish between applicants.
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    (Original post by mb293)
    YES, top universities especially if they don't use interviews look at personal statements. I know this because I have met the person in charge of admissions at my university who 1. said so 2. commented on something I said in my personal statement at a later date.

    However our class sizes here are small and its a very competitive course with lots of people applying with similar qualifications (20 to 1) so I guess here at least its the only way they can distinguish between applicants.
    What university do you go and what course are you doing?
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    (Original post by alevelssuck_)
    What university do you go and what course are you doing?
    University of St Andrews, studying biology.
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    It really depends on the university and/or course you apply to.
    For Bristol's Veterinary Medicine applicants to gain an interview the put weight on the importance of everything you apply with. 15% GCSE grades, 15% A2 grades/predicted and 70% your personal statement. So you could apply with straight A*'s across the board but if your PS wasn't really up to scratch it is unlikely you would even get an interview.
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    I think it depends.
    My course (Politics) isn't one that needs an interview unless it's at Oxford or Cambridge. However, some of the unis I applied to, including the one I am attending, did mention what I've said in my PS correspondence- 'I particularly liked the fact that you have done x and y.'
    Some people I know had interviews so I'd imagine they would ask about it then.

    I do think they will look at grades more, however, I don't think they'll discount PS. If they are choosing between two candidates with the same grades and predicted grades, they will choose the one with the better PS I'd imagine. Grammar is extremely important, and they will know who has and hasn't put effort into it. You need to show how involved you are. An admissions officer wants to know that you are more than just As. They want to know why you've volunteered, what you are interested in, why you care about your subject. THAT is why they look at your personal statement.

    Good luck with it anyway, I know how much of a pain it is and I wish you all the best.
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    (Original post by alevelssuck_)
    Soo I'm ready to send off my personal statement at some point this week and I spoke to one of my teachers and he told me that they don't really look at our personal statements. What they really look at is the teacher references. Obviously this is no excuse for your personal statement to be bad but I just thought our personal statements were one of the most important things.. What do you guys think?
    Hi,

    I have taken some info off of Oxford Brookes' website that may be useful for when you are planning your personal
    statement.

    "Your personal statement is your chance to sell yourself, and we recommend that you:
    • write 50% about your course, 50% about you and your interests
    • talk about relevant work experience, both paid and voluntary
    • mention your career aims
    • research your course and justify your choice. "
    Hope this helps!

    Sophie
    Oxford Brookes
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    Remember that other unis may prefer a different split. The PS helpers on TSR normally suggest a split of 75/25 with the 75 being academic interests and 25 being hobbies
 
 
 
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