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    Over the space of the past year I have received advice from numerous sources regarding how to write my personal statement. I have had the Connexions manager from my school give me advice, I attended the Warwick University Sutton Trust Summer School and signed up to OSCAR on the HE access network, and then I received advice from my local university.

    A lot of the advice I was given was conflicting, such as the use of quotations, the idea of a "lightbulb moment" or the discovery of your passion for the subject and various other things.

    With the help of my tutor on HEAN I was able to refine my personal statement. I then gave it to some of my subject tutors, who proceeded to assess the first two paragraphs and tell me that most of what I have done ought to be changed as it isn't what universities ask for when (whilst attending the summer school) I was told that what I had wrote is exactly what universities ask for.

    I am unsure on who to go with on this. I am aware my subject tutors have children who have all applied to university and got in, but at the same time I believe HEAN is normally a paid service (I think).

    The question I am asking is: What do universities really look for when it comes to personal statements? Is it all about you and your qualities and attributes, or is it your knowledge, talent and desire to learn that should be most apparent? Whilst I imagine the simple answer is "Both." I am told that I have spoken too much about my chosen subject and should remove some of it despite having 500 characters left over at the end of what I have written (I intended to ask what they believed I should fill the left over space with, but haven't got that far).
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    TSR Support Team
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    PS Reviewer
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Teachers have a lot of misconceptions around what should be in PSs. For example, you don't need to talk about your A Levels, your PS should mostly be focused on your academic interest in the subject. The PS builder and other links in my signature have the advice from the PS reviewers on TSR
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