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    Hello!
    I'm amazed by this thread! Who needs books if they can click through 21 pages of this?!
    I'm going to apply for PPE probably in Magdalen
    Reaaally excited that it's already May 2011!
    I want to write the first draft of my personal statement but I'm not sure about what I should include (I'm NOT from the Uk! And the ucas page doesn't help that much ) can somebody help me please?
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    (Original post by Phia7)
    Hello!
    I'm amazed by this thread! Who needs books if they can click through 21 pages of this?!
    I'm going to apply for PPE probably in Magdalen
    Reaaally excited that it's already May 2011!
    I want to write the first draft of my personal statement but I'm not sure about what I should include (I'm NOT from the Uk! And the ucas page doesn't help that much ) can somebody help me please?
    Hi!

    I use this:

    How do I prioritise my ideas?

    A simplistic approach is to include anything about the course towards the beginning of the statement, and anything that’s less relevant towards the end.

    A very simple structure might be:

    * Introduction: Why do you want to do the course, how did you make your decision, show your enthusiasm for the subject.

    * Relevant work experience [for vocational degrees only - for non vocational courses relevant work experience isn't necessary so can be left out of a PS if you haven't done any] and subject relevant extra curriculars : Anything that you’ve done which is relevant to the subject can go here. Also mention career aspirations.

    * Enthusiasm for current studies, and how they help with the degree.

    * Skills and qualities: What skills and qualities do you have, and that will you need to do this course. Don't just list skills though, give examples of circumstances when you've demonstrated skills.

    * Anything else: This paragraph usually contains hobbies/interests/sports/music/voluntary work. Try to link it with the course or at the least link it to how you manage to stay sane while studying. If you're deferring entry, an explanation of your gap year plans can go here.

    * Conclusion: Sum up why the university should take you, and what an offer would mean to you.


    Then you can go here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=134 and submit your personal statement and someone will read it and tell you if it's good or not.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by Phia7)
    Hello!
    I'm amazed by this thread! Who needs books if they can click through 21 pages of this?!
    I'm going to apply for PPE probably in Magdalen
    Reaaally excited that it's already May 2011!
    I want to write the first draft of my personal statement but I'm not sure about what I should include (I'm NOT from the Uk! And the ucas page doesn't help that much ) can somebody help me please?
    If you click through 21 pages, you probably won't find much useful information, but you will find a lot of random digressions about Scottish islands and tourists and stuff.

    Well, the personal statement is meant to explain why you want to do your subject, and why you should be admitted. Most people also put in a bit about any impressive extra-curriculars they do: for example, music exams, Duke of Edinburgh awards, for PPE maybe things like MUN conferences. This website's good if you want more detail.
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    UCAS course search 2012 is online... We're getting started... This feels so surreal. A few weeks back I e-mailed Oxford and I nearly hyperventilated after sending the message because it made this all seem so much more real. Before I was always thinking that at some point I'd be applying but after sending that message I felt like I'll actually be applying in half a year. In fact, half a year from now my application will be in... And I'll be sitting the TSA...

    Oh and @irina793 you asked for my grades. I got sixes in Bio SL, English SL and French SL, History HL something 5 or 6ish but then I took Math and Chem Higher where I git 4s and 5s which just isn't great... They just did stuff that I hadn't done yet and in the beginning I didn't realize how fast they go in those courses because we do things much slower here and then I was kind of behind. I sort of managed to catch up in Chem and did about 4 hours of homework every night and could therefore not study as much for Math and therefore just kept getting 4s which is a pity because I'm certainly not stupid and I could definitely have gotten 6s had I studied more...
    This seems like I'm a lazy person but that year meant so much more for me than just studying, I wanted to get to know a different culture and meet new people as well as seeing as much of the country as I could, so studying wasn't my priority... This obviously is different when I'm home, and it would (hopefully will) be different at Oxford since that would actually matter a lot (It's my university degree after all...)
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    (Original post by MeeMee)
    UCAS course search 2012 is online... We're getting started... This feels so surreal. A few weeks back I e-mailed Oxford and I nearly hyperventilated after sending the message because it made this all seem so much more real. Before I was always thinking that at some point I'd be applying but after sending that message I felt like I'll actually be applying in half a year. In fact, half a year from now my application will be in... And I'll be sitting the TSA...

    Oh and @irina793 you asked for my grades. I got sixes in Bio SL, English SL and French SL, History HL something 5 or 6ish but then I took Math and Chem Higher where I git 4s and 5s which just isn't great... They just did stuff that I hadn't done yet and in the beginning I didn't realize how fast they go in those courses because we do things much slower here and then I was kind of behind. I sort of managed to catch up in Chem and did about 4 hours of homework every night and could therefore not study as much for Math and therefore just kept getting 4s which is a pity because I'm certainly not stupid and I could definitely have gotten 6s had I studied more...
    This seems like I'm a lazy person but that year meant so much more for me than just studying, I wanted to get to know a different culture and meet new people as well as seeing as much of the country as I could, so studying wasn't my priority... This obviously is different when I'm home, and it would (hopefully will) be different at Oxford since that would actually matter a lot (It's my university degree after all...)
    :eek4: :eek4: :eek4: :eek4:
    Exciting times! I know what you mean about sending an email to Oxford - I had to post off the open day form to Merton College, Oxford the other day and it was the best thing I've ever posted. I've been vaguely thinking about uni for years and years (just in an 'ooh, this university has a course in X! Ooh, this one has a trampolining club!' kind of way, not seriously). But now it's actually happening! :eek4:
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    (Original post by MeeMee)
    I'm planning on applying for 2012 and I am a German student. My German grades should be good enough for an application, so should the grades I'm expecting to get on my Abitur.
    Great that you're from Germany! What do you expect to get on your Abitur? And what's the average of your grades right now? oh, and what are your Lks? :P
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    @irina793 and anyone_can_fly : thank you!
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    (Original post by irina793)
    Hi!

    I use this:

    How do I prioritise my ideas?

    A simplistic approach is to include anything about the course towards the beginning of the statement, and anything that’s less relevant towards the end.

    A very simple structure might be:

    * Introduction: Why do you want to do the course, how did you make your decision, show your enthusiasm for the subject.

    * Relevant work experience [for vocational degrees only - for non vocational courses relevant work experience isn't necessary so can be left out of a PS if you haven't done any] and subject relevant extra curriculars : Anything that you’ve done which is relevant to the subject can go here. Also mention career aspirations.

    * Enthusiasm for current studies, and how they help with the degree.

    * Skills and qualities: What skills and qualities do you have, and that will you need to do this course. Don't just list skills though, give examples of circumstances when you've demonstrated skills.

    * Anything else: This paragraph usually contains hobbies/interests/sports/music/voluntary work. Try to link it with the course or at the least link it to how you manage to stay sane while studying. If you're deferring entry, an explanation of your gap year plans can go here.

    * Conclusion: Sum up why the university should take you, and what an offer would mean to you.


    Then you can go here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=134 and submit your personal statement and someone will read it and tell you if it's good or not.

    Good luck!
    Just as a word of warning, Oxford admissions staff and tutors have said openly that they don't care a great deal about extra-curriculars. For Oxbridge generally, you should be looking to have much more in your PS about your interest in the subject, what brought you to it, what further reading you've done/courses you've attended etc

    Obviously it needs to be a balance since you'll be applying to other universities as well, but don't take up more than 25% of your statement on ECs for Oxbridge is the general rule I hear bandied about. Obviously this is different for a degree like medicine which requires a lot of work experience.

    As an example, I had 2 sentences on my gap year and 3 on otherwise relevant activities, e.g. volunteering at an MPs office, helping with organizing the local Yes to Fair Votes(now Yes to AV) campaign.
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    Does anyone have any opinions on the differences between the Cambridge English course and the Oxford English Literature and Language course? Oxford are only asking for AAA, while Cambridge want the A star, which kind of puts me off. However, I'm much more interested in literature than language, and I get the impression the Oxford course involves a more linguistic side (although I could be completely wrong.) Could anyone in the know enlighten me?
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    I am a current A2 student who is taking a gap year to apply for 2012 entry as there was a massive issue with the marking of English Lit at my college last year for AS (they are still appealing!!) so I didn't want to apply with a rubbish grade. If anyone has any tips for History applicants I would be glad to hear them I'm hoping to get AAA* this year but fingers crossed and I got 11A*'s and 1 A at GCSE so I think I'm in a good position from that point of view
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    (Original post by Phia7)
    Great that you're from Germany! What do you expect to get on your Abitur? And what's the average of your grades right now? oh, and what are your Lks? :P
    My average last term was slightly above 13 points with quite a bit of room for improvement. My LKs are History (in French), French and English, as well as Math and German which are compulsory where I live. Also, I'm doing the Abibac which is a combination of the German and the French Abitur (so I'll get both in the end), which makes my average somewhat worse than it'd be were I doing just the regular French and History courses. I'm expecting to get something between 1.0 and 1.3 (aiming for at least 1.2 though). What about you?
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    I'm from Melbourne, Australia and am hoping to apply to Oxford (Magdalen) for 2012 entry! It'll be awhile before I get any clear idea on how all my grades are - we've literally only been at school for a term - but I'm going to give it my best. Any other international kids hoping to get to Oxford?
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    PS Helper
    (Original post by Philosopher-of-sorts)
    Just as a word of warning, Oxford admissions staff and tutors have said openly that they don't care a great deal about extra-curriculars. For Oxbridge generally, you should be looking to have much more in your PS about your interest in the subject, what brought you to it, what further reading you've done/courses you've attended etc

    Obviously it needs to be a balance since you'll be applying to other universities as well, but don't take up more than 25% of your statement on ECs for Oxbridge is the general rule I hear bandied about. Obviously this is different for a degree like medicine which requires a lot of work experience.

    As an example, I had 2 sentences on my gap year and 3 on otherwise relevant activities, e.g. volunteering at an MPs office, helping with organizing the local Yes to Fair Votes(now Yes to AV) campaign.
    Although I agree with the advice about how much to put in about ECs, it might be worth mentioning that at an open day that I went to one of the admissions tutors said something along the lines of "you really write your personal statement for other universities", suggesting that due to the greater insight that Oxford's interviews allow (which is greater than even most other universities that interview - eg I had 1 at Imperial but 5 at Oxford) they don't consider personal statements as such a high priority. Obviously that doesn't mean that you shouldn't put a lot of effort into a good PS, but I think that it should mean that you don't write your PS for Oxford and what you think they'll want to see in particular.

    For those interested, my PS was formatted as follows (keep in mind that I was applying for a joint degree, which is obviously significant in terms of format):
    1) Short introduction about why I think that maths and computer science are significant, and why I think they're worth studying together
    2) Longer paragraph about my particular interests in computer science, mentioned CS-relevant reading, particular areas of interest and evidence that I've looked into those independently
    3) Similar to 2 but for maths
    4) Short (roughly same length as 1) conclusion paragraph. Here is where I mentioned ECs, but I stuck to relevant things (maths clubs etc)

    EDIT: In my PS, I kept referring to the links between maths and computer science (so in the maths paragraph I'd mention a particular interest and, with a sentence, tie it in to CS - and vice versa). This might be a helpful strategy for people applying for joint degrees, as it gives you something to focus on, and could make your personal statement more coherent. I seem to remember someone saying (at an open day) that you shouldn't just apply for this joint degree because you're unsure which of the two subjects you'd like to study more, but (at least partially) because you're interested in the areas of overlap.

    But yeah, about Oxford caring about extra-curriculars, on the first evening that I was up for interview, all the maths (and joint-maths) applicants had to go to a room where the head of maths admissions at that college said something like "we don't care at all about extra-curricular stuff you've done. We only care about how good you are at maths".

    I think that this attitude will vary in magnitude by department, though.
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    How reliable/current are the statistics on the website? On the Modern Languages faculty website, it said that approximately 1 in 2 ModLang applicants gets a place, which seems quite high... Can I trust this figure?
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    According to the prospectus it's 29.3% (91.2% interview rate)
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    (Original post by roxygirl)
    If anyone has any tips for History applicants I would be glad to hear them I'm hoping to get AAA* this year but fingers crossed and I got 11A*'s and 1 A at GCSE so I think I'm in a good position from that point of view
    Hi. You should obviously have nothing to worry about in terms of grades, but nobody gets a History interview unless they have clambered over the HAT hurdle, and it is an unusual test which even the most academically gifted can trip over. Conversely, it is an opportunity for candidates with less stellar grades than yourself to do some catching up on you in terms of pre-interview profile :eek: So well worth being on tip-top form for

    Check out the excellent advice and past papers here:

    http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/prosunde...troduction.htm

    http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/prosunde...nformation.htm

    IMO the 2008 paper is arguably the best one to chew over, because the opening extract (the one about Bolingbroke's profession of principle), illustrates how easy it could be in the heat of the exam to get confused about the point of view that the author is attacking.

    Also, make sure that your submitted written work not only fully reflects your ability but is on a topic that you feel comfortable discussing and analysing. It may end up being an important springboard for discussion in one of your interviews.

    Good luck
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    (Original post by qwertyuiop1993)
    According to the prospectus it's 29.3% (91.2% interview rate)
    See, that's what I thought! But apparently:

    How hard is it to get into Oxford to study Modern Languages?

    In recent years, about one out of every two applicants has got a place at Oxford to read Modern Languages; approximately one in three obtains a place for the Joint Degrees.
    This ratio varies from college to college, but a sophisticated scheme is in operation which allows good candidates who have applied to over-subscribed colleges to be interviewed and accepted by other colleges.


    :curious:
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    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    See, that's what I thought! But apparently:

    How hard is it to get into Oxford to study Modern Languages?

    In recent years, about one out of every two applicants has got a place at Oxford to read Modern Languages; approximately one in three obtains a place for the Joint Degrees.
    This ratio varies from college to college, but a sophisticated scheme is in operation which allows good candidates who have applied to over-subscribed colleges to be interviewed and accepted by other colleges.


    :curious:
    I remember reading that and taking comfort from it...
    They do say languages are falling out of favour, maybe less people are applying, but those who do are of a competitive level?
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    (Original post by qwertyuiop1993)
    I remember reading that and taking comfort from it...
    They do say languages are falling out of favour, maybe less people are applying, but those who do are of a competitive level?
    You're just like me :P What are you studying?
    And yes, I do reckon it's that. Hopefully my wild enthusiasm will win them over :P
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    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    You're just like me :P What are you studying?
    And yes, I do reckon it's that. Hopefully my wild enthusiasm will win them over :P
    For A level, French, English Lit. and Maths and, grades permitting, will be studying French (Sole) at Trinity this October.

    And to answer your question on the other thread, the pooling system assures that good candidates will get into the uni, regardless of college choice, so it is worth giving Magdalen a shot. I don't think they do discriminate against comprehensives - it's a self-fulfilling prophesy though. If state school kids think they don't have a chance at College X, they're less likely to apply there and then of course there will be less susscessful state school applicants at that college.
 
 
 
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