Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm finding it very difficult to get a good flow in my writing. This is one of the most important pieces of writing I will send off this year and, I must say, i'm not the best writer. I have a lot to talk about but I don't want to sound too pretentious or like i'm just listing things that expresses my passion for maths. I can't seem to get comfortable with my writing, my opening sentence etc. it either sounds extremely boring and broken-up or a complete mouthful to read! This is the most difficult and tiring thing I have done yet! In three weeks I have redrafted countless times and yet still the minimal piece I have scribed on my laptop is not what I want! Why is this so difficult for me? Has anyone got any tips? Thank you.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'd figure out how to structure your personal statement, then once you've done that, write drafts and send it into the TSR ps help service, then once thats done send it to your UCAS coordinator/PS expert at school to further tweak it.

    How I did it:
    Introduction - my passion for mathematics and areas of mathematics I am interested in, why maths in general interests me

    Paragraph 2 - Books I've read, I mentioned two, lectures I've attended and what it taught me and why it was interesting

    Paragraph 3 - Relevant work experience and explanations of what I did and why it furthered my passion for mathematics and applied mathematics in general, and then a bit of academic info about stuff I've done to strengthen my mathematical ability outside the a-level syllabus

    Paragraph 4 - Teaching a maths class and what I liked about it plus helping people on online forums with maths and what that did for me and others

    Conclusion - summarised why I wanted to pursue mathematics at university and stating it clearly

    hope that helps a bit for a rough structure

    I got an interview from Cambridge so my personal statement structure seemed to do the trick, but please personalise it if you feel you can improve it or it will aid your personal flow of ideas more.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Tell them why you like mathematics and also focus on what you want to do with your mathematics degree, do you want to teach or do research etc. What do you hope to learn in your mathematics degree? etc etc.

    But yeah, regarding these sort of things, the best policy is honesty. They may ask you about things you've mentioned on your personal statement in an interview so if you lie or exaggerate anything, it'll be more difficult to explain, whereas if you're honest, you're more than likely feel comfortable to talk about it and even show enthusiasm etc.

    Also:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...onal_Statement
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    in a mathematics personal statement, when referring to the subject, should i refrain from shortening it to 'maths' even though it's a perfectly used term or does it make no difference?
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by plusC)
    x
    You seem to be under the impression a tutor read your personal statement before you got invited to interview...

    (Original post by haras)
    in a mathematics personal statement, when referring to the subject, should i refrain from shortening it to 'maths' even though it's a perfectly used term or does it make no difference?
    No, using "maths" in your personal statement is fine
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Noble.)
    You seem to be under the impression a tutor read your personal statement before you got invited to interview...



    No, using "maths" in your personal statement is fine
    What about the qualification?

    Can I say 'Maths and Further Maths' as opposed to Mathematics twice because that saves 12 characters :lol:
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    What about the qualification?

    Can I say 'Maths and Further Maths' as opposed to Mathematics twice because that saves 12 characters :lol:
    Yes, maths and mathematics are interchangeable for pretty much anything on a personal statement.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Noble.)
    Yes, maths and mathematics are interchangeable for pretty much anything on a personal statement.
    Thanks
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by plusC)
    I'd figure out how to structure your personal statement, then once you've done that, write drafts and send it into the TSR ps help service, then once thats done send it to your UCAS coordinator/PS expert at school to further tweak it.

    How I did it:
    Introduction - my passion for mathematics and areas of mathematics I am interested in, why maths in general interests me

    Paragraph 2 - Books I've read, I mentioned two, lectures I've attended and what it taught me and why it was interesting

    Paragraph 3 - Relevant work experience and explanations of what I did and why it furthered my passion for mathematics and applied mathematics in general, and then a bit of academic info about stuff I've done to strengthen my mathematical ability outside the a-level syllabus

    Paragraph 4 - Teaching a maths class and what I liked about it plus helping people on online forums with maths and what that did for me and others

    Conclusion - summarised why I wanted to pursue mathematics at university and stating it clearly

    hope that helps a bit for a rough structure

    I got an interview from Cambridge so my personal statement structure seemed to do the trick, but please personalise it if you feel you can improve it or it will aid your personal flow of ideas more.
    This is a clear structure, i'm going to try and plan my own structure and then take it from there. Thank you!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by djpailo)
    Tell them why you like mathematics and also focus on what you want to do with your mathematics degree, do you want to teach or do research etc. What do you hope to learn in your mathematics degree? etc etc.

    But yeah, regarding these sort of things, the best policy is honesty. They may ask you about things you've mentioned on your personal statement in an interview so if you lie or exaggerate anything, it'll be more difficult to explain, whereas if you're honest, you're more than likely feel comfortable to talk about it and even show enthusiasm etc.

    Also:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...onal_Statement
    Very true, do you think if I express my future ambition they'll care? Probably not as much as why i'm interested in the course, but maybe it would help them see that mathematics is the right course for me to choose; if I have ambitions to be, for example, a maths teacher. I'm assuming they just want to see passion and dedication (grades, too!).


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by chayg)
    Very true, do you think if I express my future ambition they'll care? Probably not as much as why i'm interested in the course, but maybe it would help them see that mathematics is the right course for me to choose; if I have ambitions to be, for example, a maths teacher. I'm assuming they just want to see passion and dedication (grades, too!).


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    There isn't a need to mention that you want to become a maths teacher if you want to show that you enjoy the subject. Your statement literally needs to talk about the academics and concepts that you enjoy regarding mathematics. Also, don't mention your grades on your statement - that's what the grade requirements on your UCAS form is for!

    (P.S. and please please please don't use the word passion! )
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Slowbro93)
    There isn't a need to mention that you want to become a maths teacher if you want to show that you enjoy the subject. Your statement literally needs to talk about the academics and concepts that you enjoy regarding mathematics. Also, don't mention your grades on your statement - that's what the grade requirements on your UCAS form is for!

    (P.S. and please please please don't use the word passion! )
    I wouldn't use that forbidden word. Fortunately, I have a few ideas on what to include/what not to include. The thing I'm struggling with is how to start- I have ideas etc I just cannot write!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Slowbro93)
    There isn't a need to mention that you want to become a maths teacher if you want to show that you enjoy the subject. Your statement literally needs to talk about the academics and concepts that you enjoy regarding mathematics. Also, don't mention your grades on your statement - that's what the grade requirements on your UCAS form is for!

    (P.S. and please please please don't use the word passion! )
    I would say that you can use the idea of becoming a teacher in the personal statement. I think this points out the fact that the candidate has already decided on a career which involves that subject, making them clearly serious about their choice. It's good for universities to know that you've already thought about what you are going to be doing with the degree in future.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by chayg)
    I wouldn't use that forbidden word. Fortunately, I have a few ideas on what to include/what not to include. The thing I'm struggling with is how to start- I have ideas etc I just cannot write!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    :rofl:

    Regarding writing it, have you considered the PS Help Tool? https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/per...ement_builder/ It will allow you to at least have a clear structure as to what you should include in your statement


    (Original post by hattiemcbinky)
    I would say that you can use the idea of becoming a teacher in the personal statement. I think this points out the fact that the candidate has already decided on a career which involves that subject, making them clearly serious about their choice. It's good for universities to know that you've already thought about what you are going to be doing with the degree in future.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    True, although the reason why I always recommend leaving it out is because it doesn't really make you stand out. If for example you were a tutor and you mentioned that on your statement (saying what you learnt regarding teach kids mathematics) that's a good thing to have in the ECs/work experience paragraph. However, if it's just a line saying "after university I want to become a maths teacher" that doesn't really give me a reason to give you a place on my course :no:
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by chayg)
    Very true, do you think if I express my future ambition they'll care? Probably not as much as why i'm interested in the course, but maybe it would help them see that mathematics is the right course for me to choose; if I have ambitions to be, for example, a maths teacher. I'm assuming they just want to see passion and dedication (grades, too!).


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Yeah, I think its more important than even to express your ambition and to have a clear idea what you intend to use the degree for. During university, always have your career in mind, always have that CV in front of you and question what recent things you could put on it.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    I think a lot of you are over-thinking this. Fortunately for maths, the personal statement doesn't matter a great deal. In fact, no tutor is going to appreciate a beautifully crafted statement more so than one which is less eloquent, so I wouldn't worry about it massively. It certainly didn't when I was applying for courses (although I didn't know that at the time), and at least Imperial confirmed that when I emailed the admissions tutor a couple of years ago.

    Incidentally, his advice is that its more useful to have one or two concrete examples of things you have done to understand what maths is about, than to list a load of books you've claimed to read but not really got all the way through. Those examples may be:

    - Reading books (my advice: only talk about a couple, and include a brief sentence or two explaining what you got out of reading the book). If you're struggling for choices, my favourite is "What is Mathematics?" by Robbins and Courant, but it's a little heavy going compared to most. URL="http://maths.cam.ac.uk/undergrad/admissions/readinglist.pdf"]Here[/URL] is a comprehensive booklist.

    - If you had to self-teach further maths, definitely highlight that

    - Participate in competitions (this most likely means the Senior Maths Challenge). Don't worry if you haven't done well (the Imperial tutor was very optimistic in saying that "he'd be impressed if someone got to the last stages of their national competition... as if such a person wouldn't opt for Cambridge over Imperial!). If you have been part of the mentoring scheme, or did well in more junior competitions, that's good too.

    - If you are planning on taking MAT, AEA or STEP, mention that too. Beware though that some universities (such as Imperial or Bath) may give you a higher offer including STEP if they know you're taking it and are not sure whether to make you an offer

    Additional examples, which I expect are very rare include the following. Don't freak out if you don't have any of these examples. I doubt very many people can say the following

    - If you were selected for any "Masterclasses" (I went to some from the Royal Institute, don't know if they still exist).

    - If you have attended any additional courses from a university, or even if you went to talks from a university lecturer. If you live near a university, you might want to get your school to email them to see if you can attend a course if you're dead keen. Courses start in September / October and will likely clash with college so this is not going to be an option for most of you. See however if they have talks or the occasional lecture that you can attend.

    Put in all the stuff about career aspirations and why you're interested in mathematics (I don't see anything wrong with the word "passion" but maybe listen to Slowbro as he's probably more clued up than me). But honestly, the examples is the thing they'll note and move on. It's hard to convey genuine enthusiasm in an arbitrary setting like a personal statement, so don't worry about it too much. When we had a results party for graduation, my Imperial tutors read out examples of personal statements and all were shocking. A Cambridge tutor whilst drunk took the mick out of peoples personal statements. They know these things are crap; I wouldn't waste too much time trying to get it perfect.

    I would however make sure that the spelling and grammar are perfect though, there's no excuse for getting that wrong in the statement.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.