Official LSE 2020 Undergraduate Applicants' Thread Watch

LeapingLucy
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LSE 2020 Undergraduate Applicants' Thread

Hello! I know it's very early, but given that Year 12s are already starting to ask questions about applying to LSE over on the current thread, I thought it might help to start a specific thread.

If you're thinking of applying to LSE this autumn, then introduce yourself! Reply with...

Course(s) you're applying for at LSE
Other universities you're applying for
GCSE grades
Predicted A-level grades & subjects
Any extra-curriculars?
Home/EU/International student



I'm Lucy, and I'm currently a second year at LSE studying Government and History - I'm happy to help with any questions you might have about LSE or the application process. I'll post below some advice for the application process.

NB - I do not work for LSE admissions, and have no access to their data or methods, so I cannot tell you how likely you are to gain an offer.
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LeapingLucy
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The Application Process

1) Be patient - the LSE application process can take a very long time. I applied at the end of September and didn't get my offer for almost 6 months - it arrived at the end of March. LSE will definitely respond to you by the 31st March, but there's no way of knowing, before that, when you will hear back. It is likely that you will be waiting a lot longer for LSE than for your other universities. Try not to check your emails every single minute of every single day. Instead, focus on getting the A-level grades that you will need to fulfil an offer should you get one.

2) Only apply for one course - you can apply to more than one course, but you can only be accepted to one. They will look at your applications for two or more courses, decide which one your personal statement is best suited to, and reject you from the other courses instantly. So it doesn't increase your chances of getting an offer in any way - in fact, it's a bit of a waste of one of your 5 choices. Furthermore, LSE really like it when you tailor your personal statement directly to their course, and if you have tried to make your PS relevant to two different courses, it may end up being not good/similar enough for either of them.
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LeapingLucy
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Personal statements

Personal statements are extremely important for LSE admissions - LSE receive applications from far more highly qualified applicants than they have places available, and they don't interview, so your personal statement is a key factor on which your application will be judged. Every year people with straight A*s get rejected on the basis of a personal statement that isn't quite what LSE is looking for. With that in mind, this is my advice for writing a strong personal statement:

1) Quality not quantity, analysis not listing - A personal statement is not a list of all your achievements, extra-curriculars and every book you've ever read. Don't namedrop a book you read or a talk you went just for the sake of mentioning it - instead, find an aspect or fact from it that you find really interesting, and talk about it. Try to draw connections with your other reading/extra-curriculars. Where possible, show how one talk sparked your interest in - e.g. decolonisation/American politics/global financial markets - and so you developed that interest by reading more about it, or listening to a podcast/watching a documentary about it. Show your learning process, and the way your mind draws connections between things.

3) Explain WHY something interested you - DON'T say "attending maths sessions after school furthered my interest in mathematics." DO say "in after-school maths sessions, I first learnt about *theory/phenomenon X* - this inspired me to explore it further by reading Author Y's book on *topic X*; what most stood out to me from this book was *fact Z*."

4) As far as possible, tailor your personal statement to the LSE course - LSE like personal statements that are written about the LSE course. They are not impressed when your personal statement talks about subjects that you have not applied to study at LSE.
For example, you may be planning on applying to Politics and International Relations at 4 unis, and Government at LSE, because it has a higher acceptance rate than LSE Politics & IR. However, as the Government course contains *no IR*, if your Personal Statement is half-focused on why you love IR, this will not please the Government academics who will be assessing your application.
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LeapingLucy
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BSc Economics and Further Maths...

Every year I get asked this question many times, so I'm going to post an answer at the start of this thread.

The LSE website does not explicitly state that Further Maths is a required subject for the BSc Economics course, but in reality, if your school offers it, it is.

From the 2017 data for BSc Economics:
- there were 605 applicants with FM A-level, of which 262, or 43%, got an offer
- there were 165 applicants with FM AS-level, of which 65, or 38%, got an offer
- there were 477 applicants who didn't have FM A-level or AS-level, of which just 24, or 5%, got an offer

Data from this FOI request: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._further_maths

LSE do not discriminate against students who didn't have the option to study Further Maths at A-level - I would therefore hazard a guess that the 5% of applicants without FM A-level or AS-level fall into this category. If this is your position, then make sure your school state explicitly on your reference that you did not have the opportunity to study Further Maths, so that LSE know it wasn't your choice not to take it.

If your school offer Further Maths but you had a very good reason for not taking it, then you might still have a chance. One person on the 2019 thread stated that they got into LSE for BSc Economics in this situation. Make sure you explain your reasoning for not taking FM clearly on your personal statement.

Overall though, if you chose not to take FM A-level or AS-level, then I wouldn't recommend applying to BSc Economics at LSE - your chances are exceedingly slim. Instead, I would apply either for a related course that does not require Further Maths - e.g. Management - or for a joint honours course that combines Economics with another subject e.g. Politics and Economics, International Social and Public Policy and Economics, Philosophy and Economics etc.
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LeapingLucy
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Offer rates

Another common question is how competitive each course is. If you want to compare the offer rates of different LSE courses before applying, so that you can make an informed decision, then the website WhichUniversity provides a list:

https://university.which.co.uk/searc...e?c%5Bq%5D=lse

NB - courses that are new this year do not have data yet. Hopefully that will become available over the summer once the application cycle is complete.
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LeapingLucy
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(Original post by Ting Liu)
Hi,I am Tina, I am in yr12 now and taking Math , Further maths , Physics and Economics as my a level subjects, I want to apply for Econ in LSE .
I have not got any predict grade yet, but according to the previous stage tests I have done in my school, the grade will be A*A*A*A or A*A*AA.

For GCSE, My course was IGCSE for 1 yr so I am not sure whether it is valid for LSE to take in account. And the result is A* in Maths,chemistry and physics,A in Economics and Business studies.
I am a international student who is from China and currently studying in UK now.
I want to ask that whether it is okay for me to drop physics after I got my predict grade for it, or I have to keep it for the whole 2 years? As I am really not sure whether LSE takes Maths and Further maths as seperate subjects or not.
And if I want to apply to it, do you have any recommendation about what kind of summer-internship should I go for(I know LSE quite fancy that one)?
Many thanks!

Ting Liu

Hello!

Regarding your GCSEs, I believe all IGCSEs are the same regardless of how long you studied them before. If the qualification is called IGCSE then it should be perfectly valid.

Regarding your A-levels - LSE state that for BSc Economics, three A-levels including Maths and Further Maths is perfectly acceptable, as long as your third subject indicates some measure of writing ability. And Economics is a subject they include as a writing subject. Maths, Further Maths and Economics would therefore be an acceptable combination.

You should be aware though, that for applicants with four A-levels, the typical offer is A*AAE - in other words, you only have to pass your fourth subject.

Finally, you really don't have to have a summer internship in order to get into LSE - that might be true at the postgraduate level but it certainly isn't at the undergraduate level. All British universities, LSE included, are well aware that work experience at your age is far more a measure of the contacts your family has than of any special ability of your own. In addition, you're not applying to be a banker - you're applying to study economics. You need to demonstrate an academic interest in the subject & show that you'll be someone who is interesting to teach - that is far more important. An internship isn't going to hurt your chances - if you can demonstrate how it is relevant to the course - but it isn't going to privilege you above other applicants either.
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Ting Liu
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(Original post by LeapingLucy)
Ting Liu

Hello!

Regarding your GCSEs, I believe all IGCSEs are the same regardless of how long you studied them before. If the qualification is called IGCSE then it should be perfectly valid.

Regarding your A-levels - LSE state that for BSc Economics, three A-level including Maths and Further Maths is perfectly acceptable, as long as your third subject indicates some measure of writing ability. And Economics is a subject they include as a writing subject. Maths, Further Maths and Economics would therefore be an acceptable combination.

You should be aware though, that for applicants with four A-levels, the typical offer is A*AAE - in other words, you only have to pass your fourth subject.

Finally, you really don't have to have a summer internship in order to get into LSE - that might be true at the postgraduate level but it certainly isn't at the undergraduate level. All British universities, LSE included, are well aware that work experience at your age is far more a measure of the contacts your family has than of any special ability of your own. In addition, you're not applying to be a banker - you're applying to study economics. You need to demonstrate an academic interest in the subject & show that you'll be someone who is interesting to teach - that is far more important. An internship isn't going to hurt your chances - if you can demonstrate how it is relevant to the course - but it isn't going to privilege you above other applicants either.
Thank you so much for the very detailed answer! And there is one more thing I want to ask about is that do you have any recommandation for me to do to show the interest or passion to the subject I am going to apply for, espeally some activities I need to join in out of class?
I know the wide range of reading related to that subject and an involvement in economics essay competition might be really helpful to this, but anything else I can do? (Also I want to ask it is okay even I did not get a outstanding result in the essay competition?)
Thanks!
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LeapingLucy
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(Original post by Ting Liu)
Thank you so much for the very detailed answer! And there is one more thing I want to ask about is that do you have any recommandation for me to do to show the interest or passion to the subject I am going to apply for, espeally some activities I need to join in out of class?
I know the wide range of reading related to that subject and an involvement in economics essay competition might be really helpful to this, but anything else I can do? (Also I want to ask it is okay even I did not get a outstanding result in the essay competition?)
Thanks!
Reading books, articles (e.g. in the Economist/Financial Times), watching documentaries, listening to podcasts - anything that develops your interest in and knowledge of the subject.

Just FYI, LSE holds lots of public lecture events with leading politicians, economists, academics etc. and they release them all as podcasts. They're available for free, so if you were to find one on an economics-related topic that particularly interests you, it would be a good thing to reference.

Essay competitions are great - and you don't have to win. I mentioned two essay competitions on my personal statement (as I was applying for a joint honours, two-subject degree) - in one my essay was commended (so top 40 but not one of the winners), in the other I didn't get any special prize. I still got an offer. What is important is that you show your learning process.

Also, just remember not to list these things - draw connections between them. Show how listening to a podcast sparked your interest in Topic X, so you went away and read Book Y to learn more. Mention specific things you found interesting rather than making vague generalisations. (Check out the advice I've posted further up the thread).

Overall, it's quality rather than quantity. By all means read widely, but don't feel you have to mention every single economics book you've ever read on your personal statement. It would be far better to only mention 2 or 3 but to make detailed, insightful comments about them (that show you've actually read the book...)
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Ting Liu
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(Original post by LeapingLucy)
Reading books, articles (e.g. in the Economist/Financial Times), watching documentaries, listening to podcasts - anything that develops your interest in and knowledge of the subject.

Just FYI, LSE holds lots of public lecture events with leading politicians, economists, academics etc. and they release them all as podcasts. They're available for free, so if you were to find one on an economics-related topic that particularly interests you, it would be a good thing to reference.

Essay competitions are great - and you don't have to win. I mentioned two essay competitions on my personal statement (as I was applying for a joint honours, two-subject degree) - in one my essay was commended (so top 40 but not one of the winners), in the other I didn't get any special prize. I still got an offer.

Also, just remember not to list these things - draw connections between them. Show how listening to a podcast sparked your interest in Topic X, so you went away and read Book Y to learn more. Mention specific things you found interesting rather than making vague generalisations. (Check out the advice I've posted further up the thread).

Overall, it's quality rather than quantity. By all means read widely, but don't feel you have to mention every single economics book you've ever read on your personal statement. It would be far better to only mention 2 or 3 but to make detailed, insightful comments about them (that show you've actually read the book...)
okay,I think I gotcha your point! Really appreciate for that! If I have any good news by then, I will definitely let you know!
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dinah.m
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LeapingLucy I want to do Politics and Economics, and I’m grappling with whether or not I should do AS Further Math alongside 3 A Level subjects next year - since I’m not doing straight Econ, will it give me any significant advantage?
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ACherry
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Course(s) you're applying for at LSE:
Politice and International Relations
Other universities you're applying for:
Cambridge, Durham, UCL, KCL
GCSE grades:
2x9s, 2xA*s, 2xAs, 1x7, 3xBs (not great :/)
Predicted A-level grades & subjects:
Government & Politics: A*
Philosophy: A*
History: A
Any extra-curriculars?
Play the bass as well as wider music production
Home/EU/International student:

Home

LSE is my second choice as I absolutely adore the course, so any advice would be amazing <3
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LeapingLucy
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(Original post by dinah.m)
LeapingLucy I want to do Politics and Economics, and I’m grappling with whether or not I should do AS Further Math alongside 3 A Level subjects next year - since I’m not doing straight Econ, will it give me any significant advantage?
I'm afraid I have no idea whether it would give you an advantage. I only know that it's not essential - I have several friends on that course none of whom did AS Further Maths. Thinking about it, one of them didn't do Econ A-level either, so it's clearly possible to get onto the course without Econ or AS FM.
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carpediem5
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So I want to apply to LSE for financial mathematics and statistics...here's my profile -->

IGCSE grades - 7A* and and A
A level prediction - 3A* in physics, chemistry and mathematics (further maths is NOT offered at my school)
Extracurriculars - 3 years as a senior student council member (house captain, student co-ordinator etc.), Co-founder and chief editor of my school's student magazine, photography enthusiast!
I've also won multiple academic awards and scored high (top 10% in my country) in aptitude tests in various subjects...Planning to take an edx course in stats as well

Also, if someone could give me personal statement advice or other application advice that would be great!!

PS: Special shoutout to Leaping Lucy! You're doing an AMAZING job both here and on the 2019 thread, kudos to you!!!
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leahbedwin
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Applying for: International Social and Public Policy and Economics
Other unis: UCL, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester.
GCSE grades: 4*9s, 5*8s, 1*7, 1*6, 1*A

Predicted A-Level grades: Economics (A*), Maths (A), Computer Science (A)
Extra-curriculars: Do a few that are economics related and also on the netball team
Home student


Would really appreciate any advice on personal statements, specifically towards Social Policy etc.

Thankyou
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teni2001
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Course(s) you're applying for at LSE
Economics
Other universities you're applying for
Oxford or Cambridge, UCL, Warwick (I'm not absolutely sure yet about the others)
IGCSE grades
10 A*s 1A 1B
Predicted A-level grades & subjects
My school hasn't told us our predicted grades yet but I think it will probably be at least A*A*A
I do Economics, Maths and English Literature and I am hoping to do AS level further maths next year
My school does A level further maths but unfortunately I didn't take it as I didn't know that I needed it
I'm also doing an EPQ which is on economics
Any extra-curriculars?
Not really sure if this counts but I'm on the student council
Home/EU/International student

Home student
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teni2001
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Do you have the names of any essay competitions that would be good for economics?
(Original post by LeapingLucy)
Reading books, articles (e.g. in the Economist/Financial Times), watching documentaries, listening to podcasts - anything that develops your interest in and knowledge of the subject.

Just FYI, LSE holds lots of public lecture events with leading politicians, economists, academics etc. and they release them all as podcasts. They're available for free, so if you were to find one on an economics-related topic that particularly interests you, it would be a good thing to reference.

Essay competitions are great - and you don't have to win. I mentioned two essay competitions on my personal statement (as I was applying for a joint honours, two-subject degree) - in one my essay was commended (so top 40 but not one of the winners), in the other I didn't get any special prize. I still got an offer. What is important is that you show your learning process.

Also, just remember not to list these things - draw connections between them. Show how listening to a podcast sparked your interest in Topic X, so you went away and read Book Y to learn more. Mention specific things you found interesting rather than making vague generalisations. (Check out the advice I've posted further up the thread).

Overall, it's quality rather than quantity. By all means read widely, but don't feel you have to mention every single economics book you've ever read on your personal statement. It would be far better to only mention 2 or 3 but to make detailed, insightful comments about them (that show you've actually read the book...)
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yuki1201
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Hey there I'm an international student in yr 13 and yes I'm taking a gap year, so I'll apply after I get back my ALevel grades this summer.

Course(s) you're applying for at LSE: Maths, stats and business
Other universities you're applying for: not decided yet but probably UCL,Warwick,Durham...
GCSE grades:3A*3A (sadly we were only allowed to take 6 IGCSE subjects in my school)
Predicted A-level grades & subjects: A* Maths (already got last summer) and hopefully another AAA-A*A*A this year (chem,econ,bio)?
Planning to take FM during my gap year cuz my school didn't offer it.
Any extra-curriculars?: Senior student, maths+chemistry tutoring for two years at school, ASMA maths competition, drawing, a bank intern for three weeks coming up this July.
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tadiwa92
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(Original post by LeapingLucy)
LSE 2020 Undergraduate Applicants' Thread

Hello! I know it's very early, but given that Year 12s are already starting to ask questions about applying to LSE over on the current thread, I thought it might help to start a specific thread.

If you're thinking of applying to LSE this autumn, then introduce yourself! Reply with...

Course(s) you're applying for at LSE
Other universities you're applying for
GCSE grades
Predicted A-level grades & subjects
Any extra-curriculars?
Home/EU/International student



I'm Lucy, and I'm currently a second year at LSE studying Government and History - I'm happy to help with any questions you might have about LSE or the application process. I'll post below some advice for the application process.

NB - I do not work for LSE admissions, and have no access to their data or methods, so I cannot tell you how likely you are to gain an offer.
I would like to know how difficult it is to get into the university as well as the standard requirements?
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LeapingLucy
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(Original post by tadiwa92)
I would like to know how difficult it is to get into the university as well as the standard requirements?
Depends on the course - what course will you be applying for?
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tadiwa92
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Do they offer any sports scholarships?
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