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    OK, first of all, I have aaaagggeeeeeesssss before I need to start thinking about writing my PS, and I am well aware of that, but I've just been having a little think about it and there are a few things which I'm unsure whether or not to include (it's a history PS)
    *I play the electronic keyboard, have passed grade 1 with honours and played to grade 5 standard for GCSE
    *I speak some french (far from fluent but I can get by)
    *History Trips I've been on with school
    *Volunteer work at a children's book centre/museum type thing
    *I mentored a year 7 student when I was in year 9
    *Year 10 work experience at a primary school
    *Sports - I play badminton and rock climb, and have represented my house in netball and athletics (but I'm not very good at them)
    *School Exchange Visit to New York
    *History related books I have read (including two books called witch child and sorceress which I'm not sure whether they can be classed as history related or not - see here and here for more info on them)

    I am aware that I have listed alot of stuff here, and I'm sure that quite a bit of it is probably irrelevant and does not need mentioning, but I would greatly appreciate any advice.
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    What's gonna matter is how you make the stuff seem important and relevant - just saying, "and i went to New York, and it was fun, and i play badminton, and i...." isn't gonna be any use - they are interested in why it was an important experience for you. So you have to ********, and try to relate things to history, or to improving yourself, or to life experience, or something like that. It doesn't so much matter how impressive the activity is, so much as what you make of it. So you say something like "i play badminton because i am competitive and enjoy pushing myself physically to succeed". or "I choose a team sport because i think being able to work as a team and communicate and co-operate with others to achieve something is an important skill" or "i enjoyed my trip to New York mainly for the broadening of my horixons it offered, but also because it gave me a chance to see first hand how *something related to history here*" It's all (probably) gonna be complete ********, and you have to try not to be as trite as i have just been, but it's stuff along those lines you have to do. So include anything on that list that you think you can use like that. Even if some things you can't neccessarily put into that format, you can mention them still (if you want - if you think they are likely to impress by themselves) as asides in sentences, or whatever, just to get them in. If you go for interview, you may then get a chance to expound upon them a little

    EDIT: the ******* bits are supposed to say bullsh*t
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    Wow, talk about organised! You don't even have your GCSE results yet and you're already thinking about your personal statement! I didn't even know what one was until halfway through Year 12! As mentioned above, the important thing is not just stating what you've done, but relating it to your chosen subject. The most important thing is the books you've read, as they show dedication to history and the ability to read beyond your syllabus. Make sure you know them really well though because you might be asked about them at interview if you apply to Oxbridge. Also talk about the trips as you can say how they improved your understanding of the topic, and for the trip to New York you could say it allowed you to develop your interest in American history or something along those lines. You could then have a general hobbies and interests paragraph mentioning music, French and sport and a responsibilities paragraph talking about volunteering, mentoring and work experience.

    Oh, and you said you can speak a little French- would you say you were GCSE grade C standard? If so, you could maybe use that to get around the GCSE in a language requirement at Cambridge.
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    Yes, kellywood has put it a little more clearly than I did. Cam requires a GCSE MFL? Never knew that.
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    (Original post by TomD22)
    Yes, kellywood has put it a little more clearly than I did. Cam requires a GCSE MFL? Never knew that.
    Yep, it's one of their matriculation requirements; GCSE in a language other than English. People have got in without it though.
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    if you can relate it back to the app, and make it sound interesting put it in
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    Besides the stuff you said above in your personal statement and the other people said above, include something about your future plans, career, why you like the course, etc..

    For more details on what to include in a personal statement, refer to this site: http://www.ucas.com/apply/applying_online.pdf (scroll down until you see a section called 'personal statement'. It tells you what to include in it and a checklist)

    Examples of History personal statements: http://www.studential.com/personalst...se.asp?type=24

    You are very organised!
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    Wow, talk about organised! You don't even have your GCSE results yet and you're already thinking about your personal statement! I didn't even know what one was until halfway through Year 12! As mentioned above, the important thing is not just stating what you've done, but relating it to your chosen subject. The most important thing is the books you've read, as they show dedication to history and the ability to read beyond your syllabus. Make sure you know them really well though because you might be asked about them at interview if you apply to Oxbridge. Also talk about the trips as you can say how they improved your understanding of the topic, and for the trip to New York you could say it allowed you to develop your interest in American history or something along those lines. You could then have a general hobbies and interests paragraph mentioning music, French and sport and a responsibilities paragraph talking about volunteering, mentoring and work experience.

    Oh, and you said you can speak a little French- would you say you were GCSE grade C standard? If so, you could maybe use that to get around the GCSE in a language requirement at Cambridge.

    No, I'm not really organised, it's just that I spent about 5 minutes thinking about it and these questions started really bugging me, and I'm the sort of person where if a question is bugging me I cannot get it out of my head, so I figured the best thing to do would be to get the answers, then I can forget about it for a while! Thanks all.
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    Just got the shock of my life when realising Cambridge required a MFL I gave french up for Art! Im planning to study Maths/with physics and now im in a dither!
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    Just join a club or something to get you up to GCSE C standard. If you're planning to go to cambridge, should be able to do that without too much trouble, if you are already yr 9 standard.
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    Of course. The fact you have a coupleof years before your PS is needed gives you a whole lot of opportunity to go and do History things.

    But honestly, admissions tutors aren't going to care a whole lot about anything more than a couple of years old. What you did in year 7, however impressive, is utterly irrelevent unless you've done something similar recently. Most of the stuff you have up there except perhaps some volunteer work is irrelevent. Essentially your personal statement needs to demonstrate enthusiasm and ability as well as crucially providing evidence of your writing skills. If you can write a good PS you have a chance to write good essays, if your PS says 'my friends would describe me as bubbly' then you may as well stop now.

    Essentially, you'll mature a whole lot and very quickly over the next couple of years and I think you'll find the sort of stuff you've done in the past stops being relevent to the sort of attitude you're trying to communicate to an admissions tutor. You grow out of it and do new things. The work experience you did for two weeks at school becomes meaningless by the time you're 18. The stuff you've done, whilst excellent evidence of your enthusiasm now, is going to hopefully get eclipsed by the sorts of stuff you do in the next couple of years. The sorts of books you read, trips you take, your essay writing and so forth. You've obviously got a lot of potential to be an excellent candidate but at the moment that's all it is. You need to continue that kind of stuff through the next couple of years, to grow into the potential you've shown so far *shrug*
 
 
 

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