uns11
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Hi,
I am starting to write my personal statement and I don't know how to start and what to include. I have no work experience related to psychology. I am reading books about psychology. I want to be accepted to University of Surrey. Some people say to start with a quote and some say not to. So I am confused about what to do and don't do. I would be grateful if someone can help me.


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PythianLegume
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Don't start with a quote - the admissions tutors want to read your words, not someone else's.

No-one cares about work experience for Psychology - it's only relevant for (some) vocational subjects.

Write about why you like Psychology and want to study it. You can start your personal statement 'I want to study Psychology because' and still write an exceptional statement.
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Interrobang
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To add to the above, check out the wiki on here for personal statements. There's a guide for writing psychology PSs and a new ps helper building tool to guide you through the process
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uns11
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Thank you for your help and can you send me a link of the guide please!


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Interrobang
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I'm on my tablet without access to a computer at the moment but also check the links in my signature probably at the bottom of my first post
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uns11
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Thank you


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nicatre
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Write honestly and freely about your interests, experiences, and ambitions. Quotes are fine despite what people say as long as you're not excessive with them and they are in context (I used one to illustrate my love of learning about life for example).

Don't feel that you must restrict yourself to the particular subject you're applying to either. Learning includes being broad and it's good to know that people are interested in wider topics and broader contexts
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Interrobang
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(Original post by nicatre)
Write honestly and freely about your interests, experiences, and ambitions. Quotes are fine despite what people say as long as you're not excessive with them and they are in context (I used one to illustrate my love of learning about life for example).

Don't feel that you must restrict yourself to the particular subject you're applying to either. Learning includes being broad and it's good to know that people are interested in wider topics and broader contexts
Having reviewed hundreds of PSs on here quotes rarely work well, they're a waste of characters.

And the vast majority of a PS should focus on the subject being applied for. A small amount of space on extra curricular is fine, but the focus should be on why the subject interests you cos the people reading it will be from that subject
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nicatre
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(Original post by *Interrobang*)
Having reviewed hundreds of PSs on here quotes rarely work well, they're a waste of characters.

And the vast majority of a PS should focus on the subject being applied for. A small amount of space on extra curricular is fine, but the focus should be on why the subject interests you cos the people reading it will be from that subject
I disagree but mine worked so who knows. Obviously if unstructured it won't work but a very narrow-focused PS isn't going to sell an individual as anything.

The point I was making was that "don't use quotes" is too hard a rule as they can work when integrated with a point you're making. Mine came from a book I read which contributed to my overall drive to continue being in education so it fit. Obviously outlandish and pretentious quotes for the sake of intellectual flag-waving will be caught out but it's all about doing it well.
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Interrobang
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(Original post by nicatre)
I disagree but mine worked so who knows. Obviously if unstructured it won't work but a very narrow-focused PS isn't going to sell an individual as anything.

The point I was making was that "don't use quotes" is too hard a rule as they can work when integrated with a point you're making. Mine came from a book I read which contributed to my overall drive to continue being in education so it fit. Obviously outlandish and pretentious quotes for the sake of intellectual flag-waving will be caught out but it's all about doing it well.
In all the PSs I've read I can count on one hand the number of times it's added anything useful beyond what you could say in your own words. I'm not saying that it would mean a rejection but it's better to write stuff yourself. And with the narrowness, two or three interests in the subject area is good and you won't have much more space if you talk about those properly
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nicatre
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(Original post by *Interrobang*)
In all the PSs I've read I can count on one hand the number of times it's added anything useful beyond what you could say in your own words. I'm not saying that it would mean a rejection but it's better to write stuff yourself. And with the narrowness, two or three interests in the subject area is good and you won't have much more space if you talk about those properly
I spent about a third of mine talking about a different subject.

I'm not looking for advice nor criticism here as I've past this stage a while ago. The OP asked for personal tips and I provided this based on my experiences both directly and indirectly.
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susanalbumparty
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(Original post by nicatre)
I spent about a third of mine talking about a different subject.

I'm not looking for advice nor criticism here as I've past this stage a while ago. The OP asked for personal tips and I provided this based on my experiences both directly and indirectly.
I think its fair to say that to not use quotes and to actually spend most of your PS actually talking about your subject are two very good, but general, tips. Of course there are rare exceptions...

Out of interest, why did you talk about a different subject, did you apply for different degrees?
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jimbo007
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Don't use quotes unnecessarily- don't use a quote for the sake of using a quote. Certainly a good personnel statement doesn't have to contain a quote. ONLY use a quote if it is absolutely relevant and you feel it is a good use of valuable characters to express your love for the subject
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Dijonnay
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I used zero quotes in my ps. I didn't really have much help with mine but managed to get all my offers. I started off with how I knew I wanted to do my course gave a personal experience that was related to it. I also mentioned my passion for it. Then my skills, a bit of my personality, uni life, how good the uni is (kissed butt a little) and finished off with I have a lot to offer and I know I'll gain a lot blah blah blah. Hope I helped
:ahee:

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nicatre
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(Original post by susanalbumparty)
I think its fair to say that to not use quotes and to actually spend most of your PS actually talking about your subject are two very good, but general, tips. Of course there are rare exceptions...

Out of interest, why did you talk about a different subject, did you apply for different degrees?
No not at all.

I talked about another subject to demonstrate my broad interest in nature and how it wasn't restricted to the degrees I was applying for. I applied for Biology but I'm interested in everything from particles to the universe so I talk about physics and the books I've read there and how they contributed to my want to continue learning about nature.

I think uni is a lot more than turning up, learning your exam material, and leaving with a bit of paper and the way I see it is that were I reading a personal statement I would personally want to see that a potential student has more far reaching interests than just their chosen discipline.
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susanalbumparty
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(Original post by nicatre)
No not at all.

I talked about another subject to demonstrate my broad interest in nature and how it wasn't restricted to the degrees I was applying for. I applied for Biology but I'm interested in everything from particles to the universe so I talk about physics and the books I've read there and how they contributed to my want to continue learning about nature.

I think uni is a lot more than turning up, learning your exam material, and leaving with a bit of paper and the way I see it is that were I reading a personal statement I would personally want to see that a potential student has more far reaching interests than just their chosen discipline.
Well everyone talks about their other interests, and how it relates to the subject they are applying for and psychology does have lots of links to the social, political and biological sciences, so it can work, although there are lots of degrees where you can mix and match different subjects if you truly have a broad range of interests-- so they might be thinking "why is this person applying for biology/psychology rather than natural sciences or human sciences degree...".
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