bigben8
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I'm applying as a mature student this year to Oxford.

If I were applying through my school, of course I could get personal statement advice from the tutors etc. However, as a mature student I don't have access to this.

Therefore, I'm thinking of using a personal statement 'checking' service. The kind where you pay money to have it checked it by someone who will help you make it better etc.

Is this worth it? Can they provide anything on top of advice I could find for free on the internet?

Thanks
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Jinwon
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(Original post by bigben8)
I'm applying as a mature student this year to Oxford.

If I were applying through my school, of course I could get personal statement advice from the tutors etc. However, as a mature student I don't have access to this.

Therefore, I'm thinking of using a personal statement 'checking' service. The kind where you pay money to have it checked it by someone who will help you make it better etc.

Is this worth it? Can they provide anything on top of advice I could find for free on the internet?

Thanks
If you want someone to check it you can post it on here and people can rate it, but there will ofc be trolls. The thing about personal statements is that if someone checks it and gives you advice that makes you change it some way then it’s not really personal. Maybe just check it for plagiarism and spelling, grammar etc and keep it that way. You’re presenting yourself on a piece of paper in a unique way that no one else would think of, so just stick to that imo
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username1292215
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(Original post by Jinwon)
If you want someone to check it you can post it on here and people can rate it, but there will ofc be trolls. The thing about personal statements is that if someone checks it and gives you advice that makes you change it some way then it’s not really personal. Maybe just check it for plagiarism and spelling, grammar etc and keep it that way. You’re presenting yourself on a piece of paper in a unique way that no one else would think of, so just stick to that imo
That is horrible advice because if OP posts it online then it will be stored on the internet and therefore flagged for plagiarism.

In my opinion OP. Get PS advice from open days/ The Oxford account here think it’s Brasenose college that has an account here

PS is the least important aspect of your application when it comes to Oxford for most courses, a good one is fine doesn’t have to be spectacular. Pretty sure Oxford say they don’t reject/accept on the basis of PS. The PS service isn’t worth it, and there is lots of info on what makes an amazing PS on TSR
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Jinwon
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(Original post by SuperHuman98)
That is horrible advice because if OP posts it online then it will be stored on the internet and therefore flagged for plagiarism.

In my opinion OP. Get PS advice from open days/ The Oxford accounts here.

PS is the least important aspect of your application when it comes to Oxford for most courses, a good one is fine doesn’t have to be spectacular. Pretty sure Oxford say they don’t reject/accept on the basis of PS
True, it’s late lol. Oxbridge chat a lot of **** about what they value though so, who knows
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alleycat393
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Please do not post your statement on the public forums or send it to anyone you don't know. We have a load of PS resources through the 'applying to uni' tab and a PS help service which is free. This is through a private forum which is not going to get you into trouble for plagiarism.
(Original post by bigben8)
I'm applying as a mature student this year to Oxford.

If I were applying through my school, of course I could get personal statement advice from the tutors etc. However, as a mature student I don't have access to this.

Therefore, I'm thinking of using a personal statement 'checking' service. The kind where you pay money to have it checked it by someone who will help you make it better etc.

Is this worth it? Can they provide anything on top of advice I could find for free on the internet?

Thanks
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BrasenoseAdm
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(Original post by SuperHuman98)
That is horrible advice because if OP posts it online then it will be stored on the internet and therefore flagged for plagiarism.

In my opinion OP. Get PS advice from open days/ The Oxford account here think it’s Brasenose college that has an account here

PS is the least important aspect of your application when it comes to Oxford for most courses, a good one is fine doesn’t have to be spectacular. Pretty sure Oxford say they don’t reject/accept on the basis of PS. The PS service isn’t worth it, and there is lots of info on what makes an amazing PS on TSR
You mentioned Brasenose as so we are summoned. We are not able to recommend any professional service checkers. While it is true that mature applicants may not be able to access school advice, these individuals tend to have a wider range of life experiences to draw on. At Oxford, Harris Manchester College specialises in advising mature applicants and we do recommend getting in touch with Vicky Lill http://www.hmc.ox.ac.uk/people/ms-victoria-lill/

The PS should explain why you want to devote important years of your life to studying the programme applied for and a good way to do this is to cite some examples of how your interest extends beyond just revising to pass an exam. In passing, we've noted that some of the high profile Youtube vloggers focus very largely on exam revision and long hours of programmed study. Our view is that while of course you need to commit to your A-levels, it would be a better investment of time to find out more about things that intrigue you but that you are not going to be examined on. This might also be more enjoyable! The technical terms for this are co-curricular or super-curricular activities (for example, involvement in drama complements study of literature). The PS can also be used to outline any special circumstances that a referee might provide details about too. Bear in mind that the PS is certainly read and might inform some of the questions asked at interview - although the interviews are primarily teaching exercises. Lastly, bear in mind that other universities could use the PS to assess non-academic selection criteria (such as sports or music if you are not applying for Sports Science or a Music degree).
Last edited by BrasenoseAdm; 2 years ago
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Presence
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(Original post by BrasenoseAdm)
You mentioned Brasenose as so we are summoned. We are not able to recommend any professional service checkers. While it is true that mature applicants may not be able to access school advice, these individuals tend to have a wider range of life experiences to draw on. At Oxford, Harris Manchester College specialises in advising mature applicants and we do recommend getting in touch with Vicky Lill http://www.hmc.ox.ac.uk/people/ms-victoria-lill/

The PS should explain why you want to devote important years of your life to studying the programme applied for and a good way to do this is to cite some examples of how your interest extends beyond just revising to pass an exam. In passing, we've noted that some of the high profile Youtube vloggers focus very largely on exam revision and long hours of programmed study. Our view is that while of course you need to commit to your A-levels, it would be a better investment of time to find out more about things that intrigue you but that you are not going to be examined. This might also be more enjoyable! The technical terms for this are co-curricular or super-curricular activities (for example, involvement in drama complements study of literature). The PS can also be used to outline any special circumstances that a referee might provide details about too. Bear in mind that the PS is certainly read and might inform some of the questions asked at interview - although the interviews are primarily teaching exercises. Lastly, bear in mind that other universities could use the PS to assess non-academic selection criteria (such as sports or music if you are not applying for Sports Science or a Music degree).
may i ask how important is mentioning books? can my statement be more focused on my experience of certain events and summer schools?
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Interrobang
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Books are generally the easiest way to show interest as no one is disadvantaged (colleges/schools will have some, as will local libraries). Summer schools are fine to mention, as long as you talk about why what you learned was interesting. The events depend entirely on what sorts of events you are referring to, but the focus should always be on your academic interest in a subject (for non-vocational degrees anyway)
(Original post by Presence)
may i ask how important is mentioning books? can my statement be more focused on my experience of certain events and summer schools?
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by bigben8)
I'm applying as a mature student this year to Oxford.

If I were applying through my school, of course I could get personal statement advice from the tutors etc. However, as a mature student I don't have access to this.

Therefore, I'm thinking of using a personal statement 'checking' service. The kind where you pay money to have it checked it by someone who will help you make it better etc.

Is this worth it? Can they provide anything on top of advice I could find for free on the internet?

Thanks
Hello! You've had a lot of good advice already but I just wanted to mention that there are some Oxbridge alumni (myself included) who are part of the PS Review service on TSR. It's free and very detailed/thorough - obviously I'm biased but I'd highly recommend it over a paid service :yep:

What subject would you be applying for, out of interest?
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BrasenoseAdm
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(Original post by Presence)
may i ask how important is mentioning books? can my statement be more focused on my experience of certain events and summer schools?
You can refer to any of these things - explain in what ways they have changed/influenced/inspired your thinking/appreciation of what you wish to study.
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bigben8
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(Original post by BrasenoseAdm)
You mentioned Brasenose as so we are summoned. We are not able to recommend any professional service checkers. While it is true that mature applicants may not be able to access school advice, these individuals tend to have a wider range of life experiences to draw on. At Oxford, Harris Manchester College specialises in advising mature applicants and we do recommend getting in touch with Vicky Lill http://www.hmc.ox.ac.uk/people/ms-victoria-lill/

The PS should explain why you want to devote important years of your life to studying the programme applied for and a good way to do this is to cite some examples of how your interest extends beyond just revising to pass an exam. In passing, we've noted that some of the high profile Youtube vloggers focus very largely on exam revision and long hours of programmed study. Our view is that while of course you need to commit to your A-levels, it would be a better investment of time to find out more about things that intrigue you but that you are not going to be examined on. This might also be more enjoyable! The technical terms for this are co-curricular or super-curricular activities (for example, involvement in drama complements study of literature). The PS can also be used to outline any special circumstances that a referee might provide details about too. Bear in mind that the PS is certainly read and might inform some of the questions asked at interview - although the interviews are primarily teaching exercises. Lastly, bear in mind that other universities could use the PS to assess non-academic selection criteria (such as sports or music if you are not applying for Sports Science or a Music degree).
Thanks for the great advice!

In terms of a mature personal statement, obviously I want to talk about why I am a mature student, what I've been doing since school, etc..

But, with limited space, I'm wondering if I should still be minimal with mentioning why I am applying as a mature student so I have more room for subject related content? Or should I sacrifice some subject related content in order to fully explain my life experience etc.?
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Interrobang
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You definitely shouldn't spend too much time talking about why you are a mature student - focus on the subject related stuff
(Original post by bigben8)
Thanks for the great advice!

In terms of a mature personal statement, obviously I want to talk about why I am a mature student, what I've been doing since school, etc..

But, with limited space, I'm wondering if I should still be minimal with mentioning why I am applying as a mature student so I have more room for subject related content? Or should I sacrifice some subject related content in order to fully explain my life experience etc.?
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BrasenoseAdm
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(Original post by bigben8)
Thanks for the great advice!

In terms of a mature personal statement, obviously I want to talk about why I am a mature student, what I've been doing since school, etc..

But, with limited space, I'm wondering if I should still be minimal with mentioning why I am applying as a mature student so I have more room for subject related content? Or should I sacrifice some subject related content in order to fully explain my life experience etc.?
The selectors will know you are a mature student as your age will flag this. If this background has a bearing on any of your results (eg you had to study part-time and/or self-study), then give details. Otherwise, the key thing is as for all candidates - explain why you want to study the subject at degree level and what you find motivating/fascinating about it, illustrated with some examples of study beyond passing exams. If your life experience contributes to this, write about it.
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