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Responsibilities and achievements... Are they really that important? watch

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    My head of sixth form has been drumming it into our heads since the beginning of Year 12 that universities don't even consider you if you don't have a number of responsibilities on your personal statement. However, I think that admission tutors are probably more interested in a personal statement that demonstrates high enthusiasm for the subject in question, and obviously a reference that presents the required predicted grades. What does everyone else think? Is it better to fill 47 lines with reasons for wishing to study a subject and a little about responsibilites and achievements, or just going on about how many responsibilites you carry out for a large portion of the statement? What did everyone else put?
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    Responsibilities like what? I didn't have any and still managed to get offers from 5 places. I didn't go on about achievements either and I think you're right in saying it's more important to have a PS that shows that you're enthusiastic.
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    Well at my school we were given the opportunity to mentor year 7's during their first term or so at the school, and help out year 8's in their schoolwork. There's also stuff like Young Enterprise, prefect responsibilities and generally helping out in school activities, such as plays.
    I tried to link my work with year 8's and 9's to the subject I'm wanting to study... Psychology... So it was fairly easy to do. I don't know how I would've done it if I wanted to study computer science or something along those lines!
    But yeah, if you've got none of that stuff and have still had five offers it suggests that my claim might be true. It's probably more important if you're an Oxbridge applicant though.
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    Ah, we didn't have stuff like that at college really. Only opportunities to help out were on things like open days. They told us that for Oxbridge, it was more than just grades and stuff.. they want to see you're "well-rounded", so yeah, things like that would count I guess.
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    It's probably good to have some responsibilities - but I don't think you should do anything just to get it on the UCAS form. For example when I did Young Enterprise it was a complete waste of time and I didn't learn anything, it went down on my UCAS form and no one ever asked or even seemed to care about it.

    I would think most admissions tutors are looking for people who are dedicated and interested in their subject and are likely to benefit from a university education. responsabilties and achivements show this, but so do lots of other things like grades, choice of course and references.
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    The general consensus is to write 2/3 of your personal statement about academia/why you want to study XYZ/relevant work experience etc. and then 1/3 about responsibilities/extra-curricular activites. Hope this helps
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    (Original post by Lucy)
    The general consensus is to write 2/3 of your personal statement about academia/why you want to study XYZ/relevant work experience etc. and then 1/3 about responsibilities/extra-curricular activites. Hope this helps
    Yeh that's what I did. I wrote 3 paragraphs.

    First one.. Why Law? I wrote about work experience and my ambitions, what I wanted to be etc.. my motivation.

    Second one: Academic. I wrote about my scholarships to study in other countries.. how I've been in boarding school... the strength of my subjects and how much I enjoy them.. how useful they are.

    Third: Dumped everything else I could. Stuff like school responsibilities. Head Girl, Ball Council, Year Book, Newspaper... Model United Nations, School Sports Teams, Orchestra. EVERYTHING! Lolz. It was a carpet bomb job.

    Last 2 lines.. closed it off and prayed.
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    Sorry, I thought I ought to make it clear that I have already submitted my UCAS form... I was just wondering what everyone's opinions were on the matter for future advice... For my younger sister and so on.
    I did 2/3 on my interest in psychology and responsibilities that related to the subject. I've had four offers so far, and if I get rejected from the other two (which is very likely) the main reason will probably be that I only did three AS levels.
    Everyone else's that I read briefly were pretty much the opposite... 2/3 on achievements, responsibilities, hobbies etc that had nothing to do with the subject. Still, they've got some places I guess, I just thought it made them seem less interested in the subject and more interested in just getting a place at university... If that makes sense.
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    (Original post by Leaby)
    Sorry, I thought I ought to make it clear that I have already submitted my UCAS form... I was just wondering what everyone's opinions were on the matter for future advice... For my younger sister and so on.
    I did 2/3 on my interest in psychology and responsibilities that related to the subject. I've had four offers so far, and if I get rejected from the other two (which is very likely) the main reason will probably be that I only did three AS levels.
    Everyone else's that I read briefly were pretty much the opposite... 2/3 on achievements, responsibilities, hobbies etc that had nothing to do with the subject. Still, they've got some places I guess, I just thought it made them seem less interested in the subject and more interested in just getting a place at university... If that makes sense.
    Mine was probably about half and half, wrote quite a lot about the engineering education scheme which is obviously v relevant when applying for engineering, it seemed to work as I got six offers.
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    I had the glorious task of writing not one but two personal statements!

    I left Uni. of Leicester after 2 months (not de Monfort, not that I'm knocking it!) and had to reapply in the space of two weeks or something crazy like that.

    Apparently both statements were of the best my personal tutor had seen (not sure if that's to do with where I went to college or that they actualy were really good) but I managed to get into Durham even though I had to explain that I'd left Leicester.

    In both cases I talked about team sports I was involved in and any responsibilities I'd had (e.g. being captain) but I also mentioned slightly odd things (e.g. bell-ringing) which was more to catch their attention and see if anyone was actually reading the damn things or just checking them down the stairs to find which one landed on top! I think showing responsibilities shows a sense of commitment to a cause and seeing the job through, whilst other hobbies show you to be a well-rounded person. I'm not sure what bell-ringing implies...!

    I'd tell your sister to get a punchy first couple of lines in. Mine read (1st time round) I have chosen to study English at University because it is in this subject that my real strengths and interests lie. In their works, all authors (whether consciously or subconsciouly) take their reader on a journey of emotion. I enjoy experiencing the journey and then deconstructing by critical analysis the way in which writers achieve their effects. (2nd time round) Classics and Theology excite my interest because these disciplines offer the opportunity to explore paths new to me, including the foundational tenets of western civilisation. I am also keen to investigate the bases and out-workings of my Christian faith.

    I know they also sound a bit poncy but I reckon that it works - if you sound like you know what you're talking about it has to be a good thing.

    Anyways
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    No offence intended but some unis don't even read a PS espescially when the best chance to judge someone is at the interview. It's best to stop piddling and revise for the results, they're what show the unis how good you are.
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    (Original post by Kimochi Warui)
    No offence intended but some unis don't even read a PS espescially when the best chance to judge someone is at the interview. It's best to stop piddling and revise for the results, they're what show the unis how good you are.
    Thats utter rubbish most unis dont interview anymore they make offers based on predicted grades, your personal statement and your reference. The PS on your UCAS form is very important because there are so many people getting great grades, without interviews the unis need ways to whittle the numbers down which they do by weeding out bad UCAS forms.
    Theres nothing more frustrating than getting fantastic grades and then not getting in anywhere because you made a crap job of the form.
 
 
 
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