Excellent grades and reference letter, mediocre personal statement

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Lin_09
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I am an international applicant planning on reading physics at uni. I got all A* in my IGCSE's and my predicted grades are A*A*A* in A-level physics, maths, and chemistry.

However, as an international applicant, it is difficult to find somebody who is familiar with the structure of personal statements; meaning I have had very limited feedback on whatever I've wrote. And compared to other personal statements related to the courses I am applying to ( listed down below) , whatever I've wrote is rather average, nothing exceptional.

For the past month and a half, I tried my best to rack my brain cells for something minimally decent, but I failed miserably. It seems as though I have mentally given up, because I sit for hours crying hot acidic tears just trying to edit my personal statement and I still end up changing nothing. In addition, Cambridge's Oct 15 deadline is awfully close, and I feel as though I simply do not have the time nor skills to drastically rewrite my personal statement.

The question here is, I am afraid I have done my best trying to write my personal statement, although the result isn't the best. I am worried that dedicating any more time to it will start to jeopardize my grades. So do you think that good grades and a good reference letter can compensate for a relatively bad personal statement, taking into consideration that I am an international student and I am applying to rather competitive courses ? If not, do you think that applying to courses at relatively less prestigious universities help increase my chances of getting in ?

As a perfectionist, admitting that I can't do better is painful. But I seriously feel as though even if I write a better one, my personal statement will still not be of great importance. I pray that this is the case, cause otherwise, my chances of getting admitted will diminish and I am no where near ready to cry cold basic tears or to take a gap year.

Appreciative of any advice,
Lin


i) University of Birmingham (B32) - Physics with Particle Physics & Cosmology (4 years) (F373)
ii) University of Cambridge (C05) - Natural Sciences (BCF0)
iii) Durham University (D86) - Physics and Astronomy (FF3N)
iv) University of Manchester (M20) - Physics with Astrophysics (F3FA)
v) University of St Andrews (S36) - Astrophysics (F510)


tldr; Writing skills of a peanut. Can't write a good personal statement even if my life depended on it. How much will a bad personal statement hurt me ?
Last edited by Lin_09; 1 month ago
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Abu2020
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A personal statement is the first real impression a university has of you. If it is really bad then you don't stand a chance but it it is mediocre then the uni might take a chance with you and invite you to an interview. The interview will then help them decide if they will make you and offer so I would brush up on my interview skills unless your personal statement is exceptionally bad.
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Lin_09
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(Original post by Abu2020)
A personal statement is the first real impression a university has of you. If it is really bad then you don't stand a chance but it it is mediocre then the uni might take a chance with you and invite you to an interview. The interview will then help them decide if they will make you and offer so I would brush up on my interview skills unless your personal statement is exceptionally bad.
What do you define as a bad personal statement?
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historynerd47
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Interrobang
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Lin_09
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I am an international applicant planning on reading physics at uni. I got all A* in my IGCSE's and my predicted grades are A*A*A* in A-level physics, maths, and chemistry.

However, as an international applicant, it is difficult to find somebody who is familiar with the structure of personal statements; meaning I have had very limited feedback on whatever I've wrote. And compared to other personal statements related to the courses I am applying to ( listed down below) , whatever I've wrote is rather average, nothing exceptional.

For the past month and a half, I tried my best to rack my brain cells for something minimally decent, but I failed miserably. It seems as though I have mentally given up, because I sit for hours crying hot acidic tears just trying to edit my personal statement and I still end up changing nothing. In addition, Cambridge's Oct 15 deadline is awfully close, and I feel as though I simply do not have the time nor skills to drastically rewrite my personal statement.

The question here is, I am afraid I have done my best trying to write my personal statement, although the result isn't the best. I am worried that dedicating any more time to it will start to jeopardize my grades. So do you think that good grades and a good reference letter can compensate for a relatively bad personal statement, taking into consideration that I am an international student and I am applying to rather competitive courses ? If not, do you think that applying to courses at relatively less prestigious universities help increase my chances of getting in ?

As a perfectionist, admitting that I can't do better is painful. But I seriously feel as though even if I write a better one, my personal statement will still not be of great importance. I pray that this is the case, cause otherwise, my chances of getting admitted will diminish and I am no where near ready to cry cold basic tears or to take a gap year.

Appreciative of any advice,
Lin


i) University of Birmingham (B32) - Physics with Particle Physics & Cosmology (4 years) (F373)
ii) University of Cambridge (C05) - Natural Sciences (BCF0)
iii) Durham University (D86) - Physics and Astronomy (FF3N)
iv) University of Manchester (M20) - Physics with Astrophysics (F3FA)
v) University of St Andrews (S36) - Astrophysics (F510)


tldr; Writing skills of a peanut. Can't write a good personal statement even if my life depended on it. How much will a bad personal statement hurt me ?
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Interrobang
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(Original post by Lin_09)
I am an international applicant planning on reading physics at uni. I got all A* in my IGCSE's and my predicted grades are A*A*A* in A-level physics, maths, and chemistry.

However, as an international applicant, it is difficult to find somebody who is familiar with the structure of personal statements; meaning I have had very limited feedback on whatever I've wrote. And compared to other personal statements related to the courses I am applying to ( listed down below) , whatever I've wrote is rather average, nothing exceptional.

For the past month and a half, I tried my best to rack my brain cells for something minimally decent, but I failed miserably. It seems as though I have mentally given up, because I sit for hours crying hot acidic tears just trying to edit my personal statement and I still end up changing nothing. In addition, Cambridge's Oct 15 deadline is awfully close, and I feel as though I simply do not have the time nor skills to drastically rewrite my personal statement.

The question here is, I am afraid I have done my best trying to write my personal statement, although the result isn't the best. I am worried that dedicating any more time to it will start to jeopardize my grades. So do you think that good grades and a good reference letter can compensate for a relatively bad personal statement, taking into consideration that I am an international student and I am applying to rather competitive courses ? If not, do you think that applying to courses at relatively less prestigious universities help increase my chances of getting in ?

As a perfectionist, admitting that I can't do better is painful. But I seriously feel as though even if I write a better one, my personal statement will still not be of great importance. I pray that this is the case, cause otherwise, my chances of getting admitted will diminish and I am no where near ready to cry cold basic tears or to take a gap year.

Appreciative of any advice,
Lin


i) University of Birmingham (B32) - Physics with Particle Physics & Cosmology (4 years) (F373)
ii) University of Cambridge (C05) - Natural Sciences (BCF0)
iii) Durham University (D86) - Physics and Astronomy (FF3N)
iv) University of Manchester (M20) - Physics with Astrophysics (F3FA)
v) University of St Andrews (S36) - Astrophysics (F510)


tldr; Writing skills of a peanut. Can't write a good personal statement even if my life depended on it. How much will a bad personal statement hurt me ?
You've had feedback from the PS Review Service, which will help you improve your PS.

As for how much the PS is taken into account for unis, that entirely depends on the unis. It could be used to differentiate candidates who are otherwise incredibly similar
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