F3rnw3h
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I am struggling with knowing exactly what to put in my personal statement and which aspects to expand on and which to mention briefly. I want to apply to Russell Group unis and am considering Oxbridge. I have read 'Alex Through The Looking Glass', and have self taught further maths AS over summer, so will mention both of these.

However, my hobbies (e.g I play the violin) aren't directly related to the course, so do I still mention them? Or do I try and relate them back to Maths somehow?
I initially planned to study Mathematics with French, so I did work experience in France this year, and am doing A Level French. Would the work experience even be worth mentioning?
Thankyou!
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Tasha_140)
I am struggling with knowing exactly what to put in my personal statement and which aspects to expand on and which to mention briefly. I want to apply to Russell Group unis and am considering Oxbridge. I have read 'Alex Through The Looking Glass', and have self taught further maths AS over summer, so will mention both of these.

However, my hobbies (e.g I play the violin) aren't directly related to the course, so do I still mention them? Or do I try and relate them back to Maths somehow?
I initially planned to study Mathematics with French, so I did work experience in France this year, and am doing A Level French. Would the work experience even be worth mentioning?
Thankyou!
Frankly, you could cut and paste a section out of Othello for your PS for all they'll care. For straight mathematics, they don't really give a crap about all that - it's your raw mathematical ability and STEP which counts.

You can't do 'Maths and French' at Cambridge. Are you planning on applying for this elsewhere? If this is the case, yes, talk about the French connexion.
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F3rnw3h
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Frankly, you could cut and paste a section out of Othello for your PS for all they'll care. For straight mathematics, they don't really give a crap about all that - it's your raw mathematical ability and STEP which counts.

You can't do 'Maths and French' at Cambridge. Are you planning on applying for this elsewhere? If this is the case, yes, talk about the French connexion.
Thankyou, no I'm now just doing Maths - I just meant that because I'd planned to do French with Maths originally a lot of what I have done is language-based.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Tasha_140)
Thankyou, no I'm now just doing Maths - I just meant that because I'd planned to do French with Maths originally a lot of what I have done is language-based.
I see. Head over to the Personal Statement Advice section - there's loads of great support there.
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F3rnw3h
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(Original post by Reality Check)
I see. Head over to the Personal Statement Advice section - there's loads of great support there.
Thanks for the help! (:
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univ4464
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I think when applying to oxbridge, due to the competition, all the elements of your application are very important so putting a fair amount of effort into your personal statement is probably a good idea. You don't want to give the admissions tutors any excuse not to consider your application.

I play the piano, so when I was writing my personal statement I wanted to include that but not have it so cliché, like not putting 'my gran says that maths and music go together', so I talked about structure and how sort of there is a underlying mathematics in music.

The main way I got my interests into the statement was to link maths into them. I'm not sure about languages, perhaps your reasons for finding languages interesting are similar to why you find maths interesting?

Here is a link to my personal statement, got into oxford but I did alright on the MAT and don't know how the interviews went
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Frankly, you could cut and paste a section out of Othello for your PS for all they'll care. For straight mathematics, they don't really give a crap about all that - it's your raw mathematical ability and STEP which counts.

You can't do 'Maths and French' at Cambridge. Are you planning on applying for this elsewhere? If this is the case, yes, talk about the French connexion.
You are incorrect - Oxbridge care about more than exam results in maths. They will look for UKMT or BMO or MOG etc to show a real passion for maths.

Oxford set a MAT and don't worry about STEP.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Tasha_140)
Thankyou, no I'm now just doing Maths - I just meant that because I'd planned to do French with Maths originally a lot of what I have done is language-based.
Please ignore the advice about the PS being unimportant-
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(Original post by Muttley79)
You are incorrect - Oxbridge care about more than exam results in maths. They will look for UKMT or BMO or MOG etc to show a real passion for maths.

Oxford set a MAT and don't worry about STEP.
Sorry, what's your point?

I was talking about Cambridge - which is clear from the post. Cambridge uses STEP.

The OP has been directed to the PS support section where the experts are.
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Reality Check
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Tasha_140 - just to reiterate (given previous posts) - I was being slightly flippant. Obviously don't totally ignore the PS, and particularly because you'll be applying to more universities than just Cambridge and Oxford, and these might place more emphasis on the PS.

So yes, you should aim to do a good PS, like all other aspects of your application. I think what I"m trying to say to you is that the PS is less important for entry to read mathematics than for other subjects. However, I urge you to use the PS forum, because that's where TSR's experts in this reside!
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Sorry, what's your point?

I was talking about Cambridge - which is clear from the post. Cambridge uses STEP.

The OP has been directed to the PS support section where the experts are.
The OP said OXBRIDGE so your post was misleading and wrong. Yes, your second post was more constructive but please don't mislead posters.
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math42
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Oxbridge don't care about extracurricular stuff but some RG unis do. On my personal statement for maths I mentioned playing music in a band and playing chess, put some crap about creativity and logical thinking respectively. Looking back at it now my PS is on the whole laughably pretentious and verbose but it got me four offers and I would be flabbergasted if it had anything to do with my post-interview rejection from Cambridge (considering how the interview went).
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Farhan.Hanif93
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The idea is to express your desire to study maths. Talking about things that have improved your ability to think logically/mathematically and twisting this to your advantage helps. Nothing cheesy or over-the-top, but generally the aim is to show that you enjoy thinking in a mathematical way.

(Original post by Reality Check)
Play the ball, not the man.
Shortly followed by...

and if you spent a little time doing some research and less time spitting your dummy because you don't like me you'd find that out quickly. It's not helpful to anyone, this bad attitude.
The irony is painful.
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Muttley79
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OP - I urge you to listen to a Maths teacher and UCAS expert and not 'Reality check' when it comes to applying for a Maths degree,
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Farhan.Hanif93
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
Oxbridge don't care about extracurricular stuff but some RG unis do. On my personal statement for maths I mentioned playing music in a band and playing chess, put some crap about creativity and logical thinking respectively. Looking back at it now my PS is on the whole laughably pretentious and verbose but it got me four offers and I would be flabbergasted if it had anything to do with my post-interview rejection from Cambridge (considering how the interview went).
This.
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Reality Check
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Tasha_140


Let me point you towards this, which answers your question directly.

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...0#post73520240

This is from one of our most distinguished UCAS advisors which essentially says the same as my advice to you - don't ignore the PS, but it's not a deciding factor by any means.

You need to decide what might be motivating this advice, by reading carefully the posts above. I'm sure you're sophisticated enough to do this.

As I say, use the PS section to your heart's content. In the meantime, I recommend you use this thread I've given above to guide you - it's full of the best, up-to-date advice. Good luck with your application.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
Oxbridge don't care about extracurricular stuff but some RG unis do. On my personal statement for maths I mentioned playing music in a band and playing chess, put some crap about creativity and logical thinking respectively. Looking back at it now my PS is on the whole laughably pretentious and verbose but it got me four offers and I would be flabbergasted if it had anything to do with my post-interview rejection from Cambridge (considering how the interview went).
Was the interview that bad?
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math42
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Was the interview that bad?
Yes. There are other significant factors as well. I had not exactly proved myself mathematically at that point; I had a rather terrible 87 in C2, I still had A2 Maths and the whole of Further Maths to do in Year 13, and I had never done at all well on UKMT stuff or anything else outside of GCSE/A-level. As for the interview, it was combined with a pre-interview test consisting of two questions; there was an interview for each question. On the first question, I did literally nothing, and that side of the interview was absolutely abysmal, they were borderline telling me how to solve the problem with me only contributing via obvious conclusions from big hints. On the second question, I thought I had a full solution, but I had somehow modeled the falling of a ball under gravity as linear and consequently trivialized most of it. When that was pointed out any semblance of confidence was gone and I couldn't even answer basic queries for the rest of that portion.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
Yes. There are other significant factors as well. I had not exactly proved myself mathematically at that point; I had a rather terrible 87 in C2, I still had A2 Maths and the whole of Further Maths to do in Year 13, and I had never done at all well on UKMT stuff or anything else outside of GCSE/A-level. As for the interview, it was combined with a pre-interview test consisting of two questions; there was an interview for each question. On the first question, I did literally nothing, and that side of the interview was absolutely abysmal, they were borderline telling me how to solve the problem with me only contributing via obvious conclusions from big hints. On the second question, I thought I had a full solution, but I had somehow modeled the falling of a ball under gravity as linear and consequently trivialized most of it. When that was pointed out any semblance of confidence was gone and I couldn't even answer basic queries for the rest of that portion.
Crikey...and of course you knew that it was going badly as the thing unravelled. This must have been a bloody horrible feeling.
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RichE
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(Original post by Reality Check)
So yes, you should aim to do a good PS, like all other aspects of your application. I think what I"m trying to say to you is that the PS is less important for entry to read mathematics than for other subjects. However, I urge you to use the PS forum, because that's where TSR's experts in this reside!
Would endorse all this. Take some time over your PS, but don't overthink it. If you are thinking about any university with a pre-offer test (e.g. MAT or TMUA), then at this stage time would be more productively spent on those tests than worrying at your PS.
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