Are personal statements really that important?

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rubyxxx
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Is a PS that doesn't stand out really that bad? What if they have the required grades?

Obviously for courses like medicine and oxbridge applications, PS's are important. But what about everything else?
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moonkatt
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Put yourself in the place of an admissions tutor. you have several applicants applying for the same course all with the same expected grades. how do you select the person who you think should have a place? Flip a coin? Or read through their personal statements and see who really wants to do the course, who's done some research about the course, maybe gained some relevant experience and knows what to reasonably expect on that course?

In the end, if you want to do a certain course and give yourself every chance possible to get on it, then it makes sense to write a good PS.
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Plantagenet Crown
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Yes, the PS is important, if you don't stand out you're needlessly putting yourself at a more disadvantaged position than other applicants.
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Gibber96
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Actually not as important in medicine as you might expect. There are probably about 8-12 medical schools where you can get interviews without your personal statement being seen or with little more than a cursory glance to check that you've done some work experience.

I think they are becoming less important in some places because they can be so done by someone other than the candidate, and because some kids get way more help than others.
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paradoxicalme
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​Yes.

Little anecdote: My close friend's boyfriend got something ridiculous at AS like CCEE, but had an amazing personal statement (according to his school) and now has offers from ABB-BBC universities.

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User995789
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Its important, but make sure your stuff is related to the subject you want to study. No point rubber stamping it with DOFE like every other person. do something related.
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Casprules
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Yes. More people apply for the course than places so having a good ps really increases your chances of getting an offer cos lots of people applying will be predicted te grades so those alone won't definitely get you the offer. Also if you mess up the ps you could be rejected on the basis of that. The more competitive the university and course obviously the more important it is. But if you nail it and get 5 offers then you can go where you want


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Lyla_Mikaeal
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YES. It's the only document admissions tutors have to distinguish between candidates who are really passionate about the subject and those who are just applying for that course because it's 'convenient'. Admissions tutors want to choose candidates who have the non-academic requirements they are looking for in a potential student e.g. enthusiasm about the course and career path, good written communication and a well-rounded student who has a healthy lifestyle (e.g. they do sports, play an instrument, volunteer etc.). Remember, there will be many students applying for the same course with the same predicted/achieved grades and admissions tutors are going to use your personal statement to see if you are the kind of student they would like to teach.
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Ceri_Anne
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(Original post by rubyxxx)
Is a PS that doesn't stand out really that bad? What if they have the required grades?

Obviously for courses like medicine and oxbridge applications, PS's are important. But what about everything else?
I believe personal statements are always important. Specifically, like you said, to "stand out". Of course, this is more important for super-competitive courses, as you have mentioned, but there is almost always some competition, and if these applicants have the same grades, wouldn't you want to stand out? It's definitely worth your time; if nothing else, you will gain skills in written communication, and a greater understanding of your passion for your subject, your ambitions, and why you want to go to university. This would help you in an interview.
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rubyxxx
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(Original post by moonkatt)
Put yourself in the place of an admissions tutor. you have several applicants applying for the same course all with the same expected grades. how do you select the person who you think should have a place? Flip a coin? Or read through their personal statements and see who really wants to do the course, who's done some research about the course, maybe gained some relevant experience and knows what to reasonably expect on that course?

In the end, if you want to do a certain course and give yourself every chance possible to get on it, then it makes sense to write a good PS.
(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
Yes, the PS is important, if you don't stand out you're needlessly putting yourself at a more disadvantaged position than other applicants.
But won't the majority of PS's be average?
I wouldn't say my PS is bad. It's written well, I've researched the course and hopefully I've been able to express why I want to do the course. But I'd still say mine is pretty average. Not bad, but not anything special. Will I be at a major disadvantage?
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Casprules
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(Original post by rubyxxx)
But won't the majority of PS's be average?
I wouldn't say my PS is bad. It's written well, I've researched the course and hopefully I've been able to express why I want to do the course. But I'd still say mine is pretty average. Not bad, but not anything special. Will I be at a major disadvantage?
What course are you applying for?


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moonkatt
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(Original post by rubyxxx)
But won't the majority of PS's be average?
I wouldn't say my PS is bad. It's written well, I've researched the course and hopefully I've been able to express why I want to do the course. But I'd still say mine is pretty average. Not bad, but not anything special. Will I be at a major disadvantage?
Do you want to make yourself stand out as a candidate or are you not particularly bothered if you get a place or not? What are you applying for btw?
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rubyxxx
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(Original post by Casprules)
What course are you applying for?


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(Original post by moonkatt)
Do you want to make yourself stand out as a candidate or are you not particularly bothered if you get a place or not? What are you applying for btw?
Biomedical engineering.
Of course, I want to get a place. After reading a ton of sample PS's, I'd say a few are amazing, some are terrible, and the rest are pretty much on the same level. Sadly, I don't think mine is amazing. I didn't have a lot of work experience to talk about. Not much I can do about it now that I've already sent it off - except worry!
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moonkatt
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(Original post by rubyxxx)
Biomedical engineering.
Of course, I want to get a place. After reading a ton of sample PS's, I'd say a few are amazing, some are terrible, and the rest are pretty much on the same level. Sadly, I don't think mine is amazing. I didn't have a lot of work experience to talk about. Not much I can do about it now that I've already sent it off - except worry!
If it's already sent then there's not a lot that can be done now. Fingers crossed for you
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Casprules
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(Original post by rubyxxx)
Biomedical engineering.
Of course, I want to get a place. After reading a ton of sample PS's, I'd say a few are amazing, some are terrible, and the rest are pretty much on the same level. Sadly, I don't think mine is amazing. I didn't have a lot of work experience to talk about. Not much I can do about it now that I've already sent it off - except worry!
Hopefully you'll be ok then someone at my school got an offer at imperial with a medicine ps so I'm sure you will be fine if you're actually passionate about the subject. Good luck!


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Arieisit
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No. Not to Cambridge and the like

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jelly1000
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(Original post by rubyxxx)
Is a PS that doesn't stand out really that bad? What if they have the required grades?

Obviously for courses like medicine and oxbridge applications, PS's are important. But what about everything else?
In short it depends.

Some universities won't look at them as they know that some children get loads of help writing them and even pay to have them written for them. However others do, including LSE who have rejected candidates with the right grades on here soley because of the PS. So in short you need a good PS because you can never be sure.
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Kutta
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xxvine
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hmm isn't the most important thing the grades....

loads of people in my college got offers but most didnt get the grades and therefore had to go to lower uni's

my friend didnt apply for uni(was going to take a gap year but she did really well and decided to call SOAS who were in clearing for law. They took her on the spot even though she never applied for uni!
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xxvine
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(Original post by Gibber96)
Actually not as important in medicine as you might expect. There are probably about 8-12 medical schools where you can get interviews without your personal statement being seen or with little more than a cursory glance to check that you've done some work experience.

I think they are becoming less important in some places because they can be so done by someone other than the candidate, and because some kids get way more help than others.
that's a good point

i know a girl who paid someone to write her statement, plus some schools are much better than others therefore the students receive more help///
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