Personal statement for oxbridge Watch

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Kalandraka
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Do you do a seperate personal statement for Oxbridge or is it the same as the one you send to all the other uni's thx (It's just i wish to apply for a different subject at oxbridge than other uni's as that particular course is more suited to me.)
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Lucy
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(Original post by Kalandraka)
Do you do a seperate personal statement for Oxbridge or is it the same as the one you send to all the other uni's thx (It's just i wish to apply for a different subject at oxbridge than other uni's as that particular course is more suited to me.)
You have the option of writing a mini personal statement on a separate oxbridge form (you can write a small paragraph) - if you decide to use the space they provide you shouldn't include anything you have included already in your personal statement. It is debatable whether or not to use it - some schools tell their students only to write something down if it's important whereas other schools advise all oxbridge applicants to use the space to talk about why they particularly want to study at oxbridge.

As you are applying for a different subject at oxbridge using the space to write about why you chose that particular course & oxbridge might be useful especially if you are gearing your personal statement towards a different course.
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Kalandraka
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Aw thanks for that it helps a bit. Heh, I think you should add your name to your "nice people" signature
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redcat
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(Original post by Lucy)
As you are applying for a different subject at oxbridge using the space to write about why you chose that particular course & oxbridge might be useful especially if you are gearing your personal statement towards a different course.
I would think that would be the ONLY reason to use the special Oxbridge box - eg you are applying for Anglo Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge, but obviously you're just applying for English at your other unis as they don't offer ASNAC - so in your ucas form you talk about your interest in English literature in general and say you especially hope to do modules in pre-Chaucerian etc, but in the special Cambridge box, you harp on about your ASNAC interests and how you are dying to read medieval Welsh poetry in the original.

Plenty of people don't fill in the special box and they get in. I'd say don't fill it in unless you really have something worthwhile to say.

What I wouldn't do is use the box to say how wonderful you think the uni and the collegial system is, and how you fell in love with the storied quads when you saw it on a snowy day blah blah, OR to say how you think you, with your sensitive nature, are so uniquely suited to the tutorial system.

I also don't believe it's necessary to say why you chose that college: if you chose it because it's gorgeous and famous for the subject they'll think 'well, naturally', and if you chose a less popular college because secretly you thought your odds might be improved, but you lie on the form and say how much you like the untraditional atmosphere and long distances from the tourists in the town centre, they'll probably just think you're a bad liar.

And, if you get interviewed or pooled to another college which ISN'T gorgeous and famous for the subject, the fact that you made a big deal about those aspects is going to worry you. Least said, soonest mended.
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Lucy
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(Original post by redcat)
I would think that would be the ONLY reason to use the special Oxbridge box - eg you are applying for Anglo Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge, but obviously you're just applying for English at your other unis as they don't offer ASNAC - so in your ucas form you talk about your interest in English literature in general and say you especially hope to do modules in pre-Chaucerian etc, but in the special Cambridge box, you harp on about your ASNAC interests and how you are dying to read medieval Welsh poetry in the original.

Plenty of people don't fill in the special box and they get in. I'd say don't fill it in unless you really have something worthwhile to say.

What I wouldn't do is use the box to say how wonderful you think the uni and the collegial system is, and how you fell in love with the storied quads when you saw it on a snowy day blah blah, OR to say how you think you, with your sensitive nature, are so uniquely suited to the tutorial system.

I also don't believe it's necessary to say why you chose that college: if you chose it because it's gorgeous and famous for the subject they'll think 'well, naturally', and if you chose a less popular college because secretly you thought your odds might be improved, but you lie on the form and say how much you like the untraditional atmosphere and long distances from the tourists in the town centre, they'll probably just think you're a bad liar.

And, if you get interviewed or pooled to another college which ISN'T gorgeous and famous for the subject, the fact that you made a big deal about those aspects is going to worry you. Least said, soonest mended.
As I said before, it's debatable whether or not to use it. However at my school the general consensus is that as the tutors will read both forms it looks better if they see that you've made the effort of using it. I personally wouldn't advise anyone against using it, after all from my experience the 30 people who got in from my year all wrote something extra about the course.

Other courses at oxbridge (i.e. not 'Oriental Studies' or 'ASNAC' etc.) still might be worthwhile writing about. Cambridge has the unique 'tripos system' whereas e.g. studying Medicine at oxbridge is extremely different from the integrated courses you find in majority of the other unis. To highlight the uniqueness of studying at oxbridge (e.g. how you feel that you are suited to the tutorial system) shows that you've done your research and understand what the basis of studying at oxbridge is all about. Of course applicants with any common sense aren't going to write silly things like 'I fell in love with the quads'

I wouldn't advise talking about why you chose a particular college or how you like the collegiate system. I think oxbridge would prefer you to emphasise how you want to study in a highly academic atmosphere. Plus you may want to talk about it at your interview
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kildare
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(Original post by redcat)
I also don't believe it's necessary to say why you chose that college: if you chose it because it's gorgeous and famous for the subject they'll think 'well, naturally', and if you chose a less popular college because secretly you thought your odds might be improved, but you lie on the form and say how much you like the untraditional atmosphere and long distances from the tourists in the town centre, they'll probably just think you're a bad liar.

And, if you get interviewed or pooled to another college which ISN'T gorgeous and famous for the subject, the fact that you made a big deal about those aspects is going to worry you. Least said, soonest mended.
I wrote almost exclusivly about why I applied to the college that I did and I still got an offer of the 2nd college which interviewed me :P
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Pollo Loco
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I used the Cam form to explain why I'd applied to Cam and a particular college.

Its open to debate if it actually made any difference as I think the interview was the deciding factor.
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Schmelen
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i didnt use it, and still got an offer. the concencus at our college seems to be to only use it if you really feel you need to (eg the anglosaxonnorseceltic idea), otherwise it would look like you hadn't crafted your personal statement very well. that was what my college sort of said... i personally was just so sick and tired of doing me ucas form that when the time came round to fill out the oxford box i was just so bored with the whole thing, i really felt i had spent long enough on my personal statement... i just felt anything else would be overkill.
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Nima
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(Original post by Schmelen)
i didnt use it, and still got an offer. the concencus at our college seems to be to only use it if you really feel you need to (eg the anglosaxonnorseceltic idea), otherwise it would look like you hadn't crafted your personal statement very well. that was what my college sort of said... i personally was just so sick and tired of doing me ucas form that when the time came round to fill out the oxford box i was just so bored with the whole thing, i really felt i had spent long enough on my personal statement... i just felt anything else would be overkill.
can i just ask, when u do your interview and they are deciding who to pick etc, does the personal statement get looked at again in judging, or is it merely to just get the interview, which 95% of people get anyway?
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Adhsur
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(Original post by bono)
can i just ask, when u do your interview and they are deciding who to pick etc, does the personal statement get looked at again in judging, or is it merely to just get the interview, which 95% of people get anyway?
That's a VERY good question. I thought my personal statement was great but i didn't get asked anything from it, and neither do i think it was read in the pool. That's upsetting because so many of the things in my statement I would have been able to discuss at length.
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Lucy
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(Original post by bono)
can i just ask, when u do your interview and they are deciding who to pick etc, does the personal statement get looked at again in judging, or is it merely to just get the interview, which 95% of people get anyway?
It honestly depends on how the tutors for that particular subject at that particular college want to go about it. They know which methods of choosing applicants work for them so they pretty much do it their own way which may include a larger emphasis on the PS or perhaps not. They will obviously read it when selecting people for interview and then it is likely that they read it briefly before (or maybe even during ) your interview (so do make a huge effort to create a 'dazzling' PS). Obviously the interview has the largest weighting but maybe if you are borderline they will read it again. Do not expect to be asked a lot of questions on your personal statement (unless if you receive a 'general' interview) - the tutors prefer to ask applicants about topics which are unknown to them to make it more fair. The only question referring to my personal statement which I got was "Do you like playing music then? (after my response) Hmm, that's nice, moving on..." which was blatantly just asked to try and calm me down

As for the Cambridge pool which Adhsur referred to, I guess they mainly look at the interview notes but I'm not too sure :confused:
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Minta
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I wasn't asked about anything on my PS in either the general or subject interview, although in the subject interview they said they were very impressed with it. I also wasn't asked about either of the essays I'd submitted. It was all on unfamiliar topics which were based around different approaches to literature and history, so reading around your subject ie historiography, literary theory is a good idea.
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Brown Patrick Bateman
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(Original post by Lucy)
You have the option of writing a mini personal statement on a separate oxbridge form (you can write a small paragraph) - if you decide to use the space they provide you shouldn't include anything you have included already in your personal statement. It is debatable whether or not to use it - some schools tell their students only to write something down if it's important whereas other schools advise all oxbridge applicants to use the space to talk about why they particularly want to study at oxbridge.

As you are applying for a different subject at oxbridge using the space to write about why you chose that particular course & oxbridge might be useful especially if you are gearing your personal statement towards a different course.
Or you can be very clever (/risque) like a friend of mine and attach a separate sheet to the Oxbridge form... http://www.geocities.com/musicplanet3k/ucas5.htm
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James_W
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^ Did they get in?
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