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Personal statement content for a Cambridge maths application

Hello, I will be applying for mathematics at Cambridge this year. It is to my understanding that they solely look for mathematical ability, which can be demonstrated by super curriculars, however I was wondering if some are more favoured than others e.g Something more independent like working on proofs or Something more outward like maths competitions. Currently I have these in my PS

- Invited to an online Oxford maths and Physics course and re-invited this year
- Did a Lancaster residential which included doing academic research + a lecture style presentation of said research + a bunch of uni-style stuff
- Talked about The great mathematical problems by Ian Stewart
- Looked into complex analysis + gave a presentation on it to my class
- STEP practice and the like - Mainly about AMSP + Support programme
- Done a couple of competitions, I talked about them

I was worried, because reading other personal statements they all have these more grand things on them, but in all honesty I like looking into and working on maths, but I never felt the need to do things when I was young, because I love the problem solving part of it and finding out new things, but most people I have seen talk about going out and doing all these things since they were young, but honestly I just love learning about it, so I have only done stuff for my PS this year and the summer before after Y11. My grades are all good and fine, but I am worried my PS might let me down, is there anything they look for in particular and should I try and do anything else differently?
Reply 1
You have plenty there to write about and expand on.You sound fascinated by Maths which is ideal.Di not worry about other people's personal statements just make yours individual to you.You can get it checked by a Tsr reviewer here https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=4237154 if want some more feedback.It is taking about 10days ATM.
(edited 7 months ago)
Original post by Anonymous
Hello, I will be applying for mathematics at Cambridge this year. It is to my understanding that they solely look for mathematical ability, which can be demonstrated by super curriculars, however I was wondering if some are more favoured than others e.g Something more independent like working on proofs or Something more outward like maths competitions. Currently I have these in my PS

- Invited to an online Oxford maths and Physics course and re-invited this year
- Did a Lancaster residential which included doing academic research + a lecture style presentation of said research + a bunch of uni-style stuff
- Talked about The great mathematical problems by Ian Stewart
- Looked into complex analysis + gave a presentation on it to my class
- STEP practice and the like - Mainly about AMSP + Support programme
- Done a couple of competitions, I talked about them

I was worried, because reading other personal statements they all have these more grand things on them, but in all honesty I like looking into and working on maths, but I never felt the need to do things when I was young, because I love the problem solving part of it and finding out new things, but most people I have seen talk about going out and doing all these things since they were young, but honestly I just love learning about it, so I have only done stuff for my PS this year and the summer before after Y11. My grades are all good and fine, but I am worried my PS might let me down, is there anything they look for in particular and should I try and do anything else differently?


Hi there,

That sounds like an amazing list to me and really demonstrates your passion for the subject, which is one of the key points universities look for in a personal statement. Some of my college friends who applied to Oxbridge had shorter lists than that and still managed to get in so I wouldn't worry too much. My main advice would to be highlight what skills these have given you and give tangible evidence (for example if you came in the top for a competition) as it makes your experience more impactful than just a list of activities you have done. Similar to how you write a CV in some ways. Also, it may sound obvious but make sure others read through it for any spelling or grammatical errors because after writing so many drafts you tend to still miss things. Good luck on your applications!

- Amy (Lancaster Student Ambassador) :smile:

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