do you talk about a-levels in your personal statement

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rxrx2004
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hi everyone, question in the title, thanks
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chloenix
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Yes. You mention each A Level and how it has prepared you for the degree you want to study, or how it has sparked your fascination for the degree

Eg. The study of History has enabled me to use my research skills to conduct historical investigations and structure a balanced argument, which is relevant to the study of Law.
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rxrx2004
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(Original post by chloenix)
Yes. You mention each A Level and how it has prepared you for the degree you want to study, or how it has sparked your fascination for the degree
But for engineering, I haven't seen many Personal statements which include their A-levels?

I don't have much space for it, is it a must?
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chloenix
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(Original post by rxrx2004)
But for engineering, I haven't seen many Personal statements which include their A-levels?

I don't have much space for it, is it a must?
It may be different for engineering, hopefully some users on here will know better than me.
If you have little space, you could always write one general sentence like 'The study of maths, physics etc. has prepared me for Engineering because...'
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rxrx2004
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(Original post by chloenix)
It may be different for engineering, hopefully some users on here will know better than me.
If you have little space, you could always write one general sentence like 'The study of maths, physics etc. has prepared me for Engineering because...'
thanks

if anyone has advice specific to engineering do let me know
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rxrx2004
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bump thanks
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PQ
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(Original post by rxrx2004)
hi everyone, question in the title, thanks
You can talk about specific topics or pieces of work you enjoyed that are relevant to your subject.

Please PLEASE don’t waste space listing each subject and “why it is helpful/how it relates” to your chosen degree. This is a dreadful waste of space stating the obvious. Admissions staff KNOW which subjects are useful - don’t lecture them on something they know. It’s also NOT personal - especially for courses like engineering where most applicants all have the same A levels. Reading the same ******** about maths and physics 50 times in a day isn’t going to help your application.

Talk about specifics, give details, explain what you did etc etc. THAT is personal and unique. Explaining your syllabus to someone who knows that as part of their job is stupid.

It’s something that teachers tell students to do because they don’t understand university admissions.
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PQ
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(Original post by chloenix)
Yes. You mention each A Level and how it has prepared you for the degree you want to study, or how it has sparked your fascination for the degree

Eg. The study of History has enabled me to use my research skills to conduct historical investigations and structure a balanced argument, which is relevant to the study of Law.
Don’t you think law admissions staff know the benefits of history A level?

Just because a lot of applicants do this doesn’t mean it’s something that improves a PS.

Edit: neither history or law are proper nouns btw. Neither should be capitalised in a PS.
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rxrx2004
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(Original post by PQ)
You can talk about specific topics or pieces of work you enjoyed that are relevant to your subject.

Please PLEASE don’t waste space listing each subject and “why it is helpful/how it relates” to your chosen degree. This is a dreadful waste of space stating the obvious. Admissions staff KNOW which subjects are useful - don’t lecture them on something they know. It’s also NOT personal - especially for courses like engineering where most applicants all have the same A levels. Reading the same ******** about maths and physics 50 times in a day isn’t going to help your application.

Talk about specifics, give details, explain what you did etc etc. THAT is personal and unique. Explaining your syllabus to someone who knows that as part of their job is stupid.

It’s something that teachers tell students to do because they don’t understand university admissions.
PQ thanks man
im already over my word limit, is this a must?
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PQ
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(Original post by rxrx2004)
PQ thanks man
im already over my word limit, is this a must?
Listing off A levels and their relevance should only go in your ps if you can’t think of anything better to include. In which case you probably shouldn’t be applying for that degree.

If you have super curriculars filling up your ps then don’t waste space on your a levels.

You SHOULD include details on everything you do include though. One super curricular with details is more personal and compelling than 3 “I read this. I went to this lecture. I did this work experience” without any details.

NB: I’m not a man
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rxrx2004
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(Original post by PQ)
Listing off A levels and their relevance should only go in your ps if you can’t think of anything better to include. In which case you probably shouldn’t be applying for that degree.

If you have super curriculars filling up your ps then don’t waste space on your a levels.

You SHOULD include details on everything you do include though. One super curricular with details is more personal and compelling than 3 “I read this. I went to this lecture. I did this work experience” without any details.

NB: I’m not a man
oh sorry, I didn't literally mean 'man'. apologies
thank you !
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Driving_Mad
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(Original post by PQ)
Don’t you think law admissions staff know the benefits of history A level?

Just because a lot of applicants do this doesn’t mean it’s something that improves a PS.

Edit: neither history or law are proper nouns btw. Neither should be capitalised in a PS.
Come on relax a little bud the user was only trying their best to give advice / help.

Good point about the misuse of capitals, I started drafting my personal statement and capitalised Mathematics so cheers for the tip.

I disagree with your first point though, surely if you make a point explaining how the study of a subject has benefitted you personally and link it to your degree, that is a good thing.

It’s not merely stating the benefits of an A Level, no ?
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PQ
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(Original post by Driving_Mad)
Come on relax a little bud the user was only trying their best to give advice / help.

Good point about the misuse of capitals, I started drafting my personal statement and capitalised Mathematics so cheers for the tip.

I disagree with your first point though, surely if you make a point explaining how the study of a subject has benefitted you personally and link it to your degree, that is a good thing.

It’s not merely stating the benefits of an A Level, no ?
It’s either obvious (and therefore a waste of space because it’s not personal or unique) or it’s tenuous (in which case it’s a waste of space because you’re trying to link something really weird to your degree instead of using the space to talk about something else that’s actually relevant and interesting).

As I said above - talking about specific topics or pieces of work in detail from A levels that are relevant to the degree course is fine (although talking about how you found out more in your own time is even better). A paragraph with the generic “A level English gave me communication skills. Mathematics has improved my problem solving. Psychology imprpved my research skills.” Is a total waste of space. As someone who reads PSs I can tell you we just ignore those paragraphs - they’re dull and unhelpful and repetitive. If you put something interesting in there it will be skipped over and missed.
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lol.yolo
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If its information that would already be included in your application (what subjects, predicted grades etc) don't waste characters telling them something they've already seen.

I'd say by all means mention a course/module if its relevant to the course you're applying for. For example "I've developed x skills through studying y subject/working on y project/during y module which would help me in doing z throughout my degree".
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wiiparty
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personally i didn't but it might be a good idea to do so. maybe only write about one of your a-level subjects that you think will be the most relevant to the degree you want to do
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PQ
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(Original post by lol.yolo)
For example "I've developed x skills through studying y subject/working on y project/during y module which would help me in doing z throughout my degree".
You’re on the right track here but still WAY too generic. Details make it personal and there’s no need to waste space explaining to admissions staff what will be useful in a degree - it’s their job to know that.

For example:
For my physics A level I was asked to write a research paper on a topic of my choice over the Summer. I chose to research the physics of clouds. This was a much more complex topic than I expected and after doing research online and in the library I decided to narrow down my paper to just the physics of cumulonimbus clouds. Even then I was only able to cover the basics of the topic. Seeing this example of how physics can be used practically to understand something so complicated has really motivated me to study meteorology in more depth at university.

Details. Talk about what you enjoy, what didn’t go to plan, what you struggled with but eventually got your head around through listening to a podcast, what you would do differently if you were set the task again, what role you played in the group project etc etc.

Details make a PS unique and personal and genuine enthusiasm shines through without having to use the word passion.
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chloenix
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(Original post by PQ)
Don’t you think law admissions staff know the benefits of history A level?

Just because a lot of applicants do this doesn’t mean it’s something that improves a PS.

Edit: neither history or law are proper nouns btw. Neither should be capitalised in a PS.
Law admissions staff know the benefits of History A Level, but they are looking to see if we know the benefits of History A Level.

This might surprise you, but there is not one way to write a personal statement. At our school, a retired tutor from Cambridge Law came in to help Law applicants with our personal statements, and he suggested that we should refer to our subjects in our PS. This would be in order to demonstrate the skills necessary for the study of Law at university, especially making associations between our current studies and our future ones. It was not just 'listing' our A-Levels, but referring to both the skills and knowledge we had learned that would form a foundation for our future studies. For example I spoke about Plato's Theory of the Forms learned in RS and how this linked to the philosophical ideal of justice, as well as the ancient legal systems learned in History, taking a comparative approach when referring to them. This also allowed us to show our further research which we were encouraged to bring in when discussing our A-Level subjects.
Whilst you may have a different approach, there is no need to degrade my own. As I said, it is probably different for Engineering, and I recognise that not everyone has the same approach to personal statements, that's what makes them personal.
This 'listing of A-Levels' got me into UCL Law and got my friends into both Cambridge and Oxford Law, so it can't have been so bad!

That one's probably up for debate. Our teachers also recommended we capitalise subjects if we are referring to the name of the A-Level course. On the AQA website it is referred to as 'AS and A-Level History', hence why I made that decision. Law probably doesn't have to be capitalised, I'd agree with you on that one, but since I had capitalised the rest of my subjects I thought it'd be quite odd not to capitalise Law.
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mnot
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(Original post by rxrx2004)
But for engineering, I haven't seen many Personal statements which include their A-levels?

I don't have much space for it, is it a must?
I did engineering (many) years ago I wrote my UCAS personal statement, I had a short paragraph talking about maths & physics in A-levels and related the mechanics content to some everyday life examples as an "application" of my A-levels.

In engineering generally your A-level especially maths & physics are really going to dictate how successful your application is. Your PS should be coherent and relevant but dont overthink it.
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flamingolover
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(Original post by rxrx2004)
hi everyone, question in the title, thanks
Yes as long as you tie it to your uni course. So I’d say for example geography gave me critical thinking skills which will help me throughout my course
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username5807970
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I disagree with most advice here.

I didn't mention any of my A-Levels in my personal statement. It is pointless. I studied History at University so why would I mention my A-Level in Geography when I could talk about my own independent reading instead?

I mainly focused on my EPQ and my Independent reading, and visiting historic cites abroad and talking about what I got out of these things and how interested I was in History. These things show how much you are interested in the degree.

It is pointless to put down that 'A-Level X gave me analytical skills' because your grades literally show your skills, and people don't say 'I am funny' they instead show you that they are funny.

I got offers from LSE, UCL, UoN, and unconditional from QMUL
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