satsun
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I’m just beginning my personal statement and I need advice on how to really excel. I’m struggling where to start and don’t know how to divide it up so I can talk about all subjects equally. I’m applying for PPE and in my chosen unis it’s really competitive, so I need to stand out.
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Culver
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Hi, I’m also applying for some competitive unis! For mine, I’ve gone with the 80/20% method, where you talk 80% about your subject and 20% about extra curriculars you do that aren’t subject related (musical instruments, sports, etc.)

It’s often easiest to leave the introduction until last, and I would definitely recommend doing that as honestly there’s nothing worse than sitting there with a blank page, just waiting for a break through statement to come. That’s just unproductive. It doesn’t matter if you write it in order at this stage, just write what you can.

Furthermore, what you write now isn’t going to be your final version. Write whatever comes to mind, then change it up and formalise it later on to make it more impressive. It seems much more manageable when you’ve got something on that piece of paper, whether it’s amazing or not.

My approach to it was first to write down every single thing I’ve done under different subheadings. First, I wrote “introduction”, and under that I got down all of the things I wanted to say just in bullet points, and any key sentences that I wanted to save for later when I wrote it up. Secondly, I wrote the subheading “in school”, in which I put down my subjects plus my EPQ. Then, I put “out of school”, which was my most important section. That contained all of the extra reading and studying I’d done around my subjects, an online course I’d done and an essay competition I entered. You can also write about work experience you’ve done if you’ve done any relating directly your subjects. Basically just put all of the academic stuff you’ve done that relates to your subject here. Finally, I put down a few extra bullet points about what I’ve done outside of school that is nothing to do with my subject, such as my grade 8 violin, my participation in orchestras, and the fact that I’m a Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassador.

I also wrote down in bullet points extra things I wanted to do before I apply to uni so I can have more stuff of my personal statement. However make sure you’re very clear about ticking off things you haven’t done and not ticking things you haven’t done. You should never lie in your personal statement, and if you get interviewed they may ask you about something you say you’ve read or studied.

I hope this helped you! I’m happy to help you further if you have any questions. Obviously I’m no expert, but I’m also applying to competitive unis and that’s just how I’ve done mine.
Last edited by Culver; 1 month ago
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satsun
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(Original post by Culver)
Hi, I’m also applying for some competitive unis! For mine, I’ve gone with the 80/20% method, where you talk 80% about your subject and 20% about extra curriculars you do that aren’t subject related (musical instruments, sports, etc.)

It’s often easiest to leave the introduction until last, and I would definitely recommend doing that as honestly there’s nothing worse than sitting there with a blank page, just waiting for a break through statement to come. That’s just unproductive. It doesn’t matter if you write it in order at this stage, just write what you can.

Furthermore, what you write now isn’t going to be your final version. Write whatever comes to mind, then change it up and formalise it later on to make it more impressive. It seems much more manageable when you’ve got something on that piece of paper, whether it’s amazing or not.

My approach to it was first to write down every single thing I’ve done under different subheadings. First, I wrote “introduction”, and under that I got down all of the things I wanted to say just in bullet points, and any key sentences that I wanted to save for later when I wrote it up. Secondly, I wrote the subheading “in school”, in which I put down my subjects plus my EPQ. Then, I put “out of school”, which was my most important section. That contained all of the extra reading and studying I’d done around my subjects, an online course I’d done and an essay competition I entered. You can also write about work experience you’ve done if you’ve done any relating directly your subjects. Basically just put all of the academic stuff you’ve done that relates to your subject here. Finally, I put down a few extra bullet points about what I’ve done outside of school that is nothing to do with my subject, such as my grade 8 violin, my participation in orchestras, and the fact that I’m a Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassador.

I also wrote down in bullet points extra things I wanted to do before I apply to uni so I can have more stuff of my personal statement. However make sure you’re very clear about ticking off things you haven’t done and not ticking things you haven’t done. You should never lie in your personal statement, and if you get interviewed they may ask you about something you say you’ve read or studied.

I hope this helped you! I’m happy to help you further if you have any questions. Obviously I’m no expert, but I’m also applying to competitive unis and that’s just how I’ve done mine.
Thank you! I’m really going to need all these tips.

I’ve seen lots of statements and the first sentence starts with why they want to study the course and I personally don’t like that strategy. I wanted to talk about a situation that has sparked my interest and then in the final lines fo the intro talk about why. Is this an okay way to do it?
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Culver
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(Original post by satsun)
Thank you! I’m really going to need all these tips.

I’ve seen lots of statements and the first sentence starts with why they want to study the course and I personally don’t like that strategy. I wanted to talk about a situation that has sparked my interest and then in the final lines fo the intro talk about why. Is this an okay way to do it?
Hi, I’m glad I managed to help! I think starting with a small anecdote is the perfect way to start your introduction, as long as it’s original
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Interrobang
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(Original post by satsun)
Thank you! I’m really going to need all these tips.

I’ve seen lots of statements and the first sentence starts with why they want to study the course and I personally don’t like that strategy. I wanted to talk about a situation that has sparked my interest and then in the final lines fo the intro talk about why. Is this an okay way to do it?
It depends on what the situation was and how you talk about it - it's best not to say things like 'since I was 5...' - the admissions tutors want to know 'why now'. Avoid cliches!
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satsun
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(Original post by Interrobang)
It depends on what the situation was and how you talk about it - it's best not to say things like 'since I was 5...' - the admissions tutors want to know 'why now'. Avoid cliches!
I know this - of course! I mean starting with a recent event talking about how it relates to my degree followed by why.
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Interrobang
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(Original post by satsun)
I know this - of course! I mean starting with a recent event talking about how it relates to my degree followed by why.
There are a significant number of people who don't know, so well done!
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