How long have personal statements been around? Watch

ily_em
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I was just wondering if anyone knew how long universities have wanted personal statements and references etc? My friend's mum said when she applied (about 30 years ago) they just sent off the grades and her college had no idea even if someone was applying to uni or not! It just intrigued me as we have to go through all of this malarkey now but years ago there were fewer people with all A grades and fewer people went to university so it was much easier for universities to decide who to accept or not it seems.
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Minerva
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Report 9 years ago
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(Original post by ily_em)
I was just wondering if anyone knew how long universities have wanted personal statements and references etc? My friend's mum said when she applied (about 30 years ago) they just sent off the grades and her college had no idea even if someone was applying to uni or not! It just intrigued me as we have to go through all of this malarkey now but years ago there were fewer people with all A grades and fewer people went to university so it was much easier for universities to decide who to accept or not it seems.
People applying in the early 70s had to write personal statements. Your school had to type the reference onto the back of the form which you had already completed by hand with your grades etc and the PS.

Yes there were fewer people with A levels and high grades were relatively rare, but there were also fewer places on offer and it was still possible then for people to get lots of rejections. You also had to rank your choices in preference order, and there were several unis who - it was rumoured - would not accept being less than No 1 unless you were applying to Oxbridge as well. The form was photocopied and sent round to your choices so there was no way of them not knowing where else you had applied and what your preferences were.
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