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Brainstorming various ways to get into university watch

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    Right well I'm thinking of applying for PPE at Oxford (+ related topics in other unis, eg Government and Eco) but also Chinese (at SOAS only). You probably think this is crazy, but hear me out.

    I'm allowed one personal statement only, and my main option is PPE. However, I doubt I will be accepted for PPE at Oxford, and I would be equally happy to do Chinese for three years. The way I'm going to craft my PS then will clearly have to focus mainly on philosophy, politics and economics, but I was thinking of adding in an extra paragraph about how interested I am in the political and economic situation in China and talk a little about that (bringing the two together in a sort of real-life example), how I would like to work in China when I'm older to be closer to that, and how I've written a prize-winning essay encompassing the politics and economics of China. I could also mention how at university I would look to study Chinese alongside my course, and talk about my involvement with the Chinese society at my school.

    Now I think one paragraph on China wouldn't put Oxford off me with regards to PPE, but would it be enough for SOAS? My first reaction was probably not, but then again SOAS have really low grade requirements which leads me to think that Chinese at SOAS is not highly sought after, and so they are looking for anyone who vaguely shows willingness and interest. I have done a variety of extracurriculars relating to China, have visited the country regularly, learn Chinese outside of the curriculum, and my predicted grades are AAA. So my first question is - would they accept me on the basis of a paragraph in a PS and strong ECs and grades, or not?

    Supposing the answer is no. I was wondering if there was any way I could get in contact with SOAS to let them know that as a result of the *stupidities* of the UCAS system where I am only allowed one PS, I felt the need to concentrate my official PS on PPE as I was applying to PPE-related courses for my other five options, BUT that the reason I was only applying to SOAS for Chinese was because I believe that SOAS is the only truly decent place to do Chinese in the country. If I explained to them that I would enjoy PPE or Chinese equally, would I stand a chance? Would they allow me to unofficially supplement my application with a letter (or extra PS) outside of the standard UCAS stuff?

    Any ideas?
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    What I would do is send in a PS revolving around PPE (you can mention China if you want to), but then send SOAS a completely different PS off UCAS's record. I think it'll do you a lot of good. Check with the uni undergrad departent if they accept this though.
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    Very difficult question to answer... Top universities seem to put much weight on your PS: I applied for PPE at most universities, exceeded their entrance requirements grade-wise, had many relevant ECs, but a crap PS.

    That said, it could be difficult to get in without a PS that is totally dedicated to the course. However, I agree with Knogle: Write one PPE PS and send SOAS (maybe only if you get rejected from Ox) a different PS. I know a guy who added five courses (related to Politics after he got rejected for PPE and send all of them a rewritten PS and got into most of them. But it could be a bit of a problem that the two courses are completely different.
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    To be honest, I think you will be fine doing what you plan to do on your original post: talk about P, P & E but tie each section in to China. Mention your passion for China, wanting to go there to work, Chinese soc. etc., and you'll be fine. Oxford don't really put much weight into Personal Statements as an admissions criteria, and SOAS should be appeased by China as the predominate theme of your statement. If I remember correctly, you got 10 A*s, and are headed for straight As at A-Level; I doubt SOAS would reject you for not having a personal statement geared 100% to Chinese.

    As long as it is well written and balanced, tbh I think you'll be fine. You could send an extra PS in if you want to, but I doubt you'd need to.
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    (Original post by tom391)
    To be honest, I think you will be fine doing what you plan to do on your original post: talk about P, P & E but tie each section in to China. Mention your passion for China, wanting to go there to work, Chinese soc. etc., and you'll be fine. Oxford don't really put much weight into Personal Statements as an admissions criteria, and SOAS should be appeased by China as the predominate theme of your statement. If I remember correctly, you got 10 A*s, and are headed for straight As at A-Level; I doubt SOAS would reject you for not having a personal statement geared 100% to Chinese.

    As long as it is well written and balanced, tbh I think you'll be fine. You could send an extra PS in if you want to, but I doubt you'd need to.
    :ditto:
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    You say you wish to apply to American Schools - for Politics or what?
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    Oxford do have a little extra space to add stuff to your PS on their application form. You might want to use that.
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    I applied for two different courses - Spanish & Portuguese and Spanish & Chinese - and wrote maybe a sentence about Portuguese and Chinese, got offers from all apart from Cambridge (tho that probably wasn't because of the PS!). I think especially with languages, as they're so undersubscribed, it doesn't matter that much about spending loads of time writing about your devotion to the language, they just want to see that you're well rounded (not a big fan of that phrase!). Your suggestion sounds fine to me
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    (Original post by ElWilson)
    You say you wish to apply to American Schools - for Politics or what?
    You don't apply 'for a subject' at US universities - you just apply to the institution.

    (Original post by YYYY)
    Oxford do have a little extra space to add stuff to your PS on their application form. You might want to use that.
    Yeah, that's an idea that hasn't been suggested before. Lots of people do use the form to explain why they are particularly interested by the Oxford course, but tbh I think they take less notice of that than they do of PSs in general. Might make you feel better about your application though, which would have an (indirect) positive effect.
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    (Original post by ElWilson)
    You say you wish to apply to American Schools - for Politics or what?
    As tom391 says you don't generally apply for a specific subject (although you might at certain schools), you just apply. Either way I'd be able to do PPE and Chinese

    Problem is I'm only willing to fork out the cash if it's a top top university, and it's extremely unlikely I'll get in.
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    Yeah, that's an idea that hasn't been suggested before. Lots of people do use the form to explain why they are particularly interested by the Oxford course, but tbh I think they take less notice of that than they do of PSs in general. Might make you feel better about your application though, which would have an (indirect) positive effect.
    I concur. I'm pretty sure that Oxford doesn't place a priority on this of the same weightage as the PS on your UCAS app form.
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    I had a similar problem with my uni application.

    I wanted to apply for French and Music Joint Honours, and chose Bristol (my now firm choice), Southampton, Royal Holloway and Birmingham. These were the only placed I could see myself studying that actually did my degree.

    I filled up my other two slots with French at Kings (4 year course) and then French and Italian at Newnham College, Cambridge.

    I got in everywhere except Cambridge, and I'm sure the reason they didn't want me was that I had a huge range of interests and passions displayed on my UCAS PS. At Cambridge you get an extra PS section (called Section Ten) and I waxed lyrical about how much I loved French and Italian and how dedicated I was to language learning. Despite this, Music still took up half my UCAS PS, which is why they turned me down (so they said).

    To be honest, I'm actually GLAD (yes, glad!) that I didn't get into Cambridge, as I've since realised that I really want a Joint Honours Degree involving Music, not just pure languages. In effect, they did me a favour, as I'm far too passionate about music (and my harping) to just let the academic side of my music making slide as soon as I get to uni.

    Maybe if you just say to Oxford that you'd like to do an exchange at a uni in China, Socrates or Erasmus stylee? They like that You could always do that if SOAS say no...

    Oxford offers extra language diplomas in your spare time, so maybe you could mention that too? Shows that you wanna develop in many different directions?

    My advice would be to not confuse your PS with too many subjects, especially if you're applying for a joint degree like PPE anyway.

    Hope it all goes ok, feel free to PM if you need any more advice!
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    i dunno how much weight exactly your personal statement in terms of the subject you write you're apply for is if that makes sense! my friend's personal statement was to do with medicine n she used her last two spaces to apply for law..one of those was for SOAS n they gave her a conditional offer so it depends on a variety of factors really i guess
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    Don't SOAS do Chinese and Economics? I'm sure my friend does it there?
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    Or why not PPE at another university?
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    They do Chinese and Economics, but I doubt their economics is very good. I will probably apply for PPE at a few other unis, and PPE-related courses.
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    risky, but i think you could pull it off!
 
 
 
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