Mathematics degree personal statement example (1a) Warwick offer

My passion for mathematics was fixed at the age of ten, on the morning that my mathematics teacher told I would be sitting the Junior Maths Challenge, 'as practice for when you are older'. As I nervously started to answer the questions, a whole world began to open before me. I revelled in the problem solving, answering questions of a nature I had not seen before. My teachers were delighted when I emerged from the exam hungry for more. Since then I have consistently demonstrated my aptitude, achieving gold awards through to senior level, and scoring highly in the European Kangaroo.

My middle school supported me by arranging weekly one-hour lessons with Dr Taylor, a local upper schoolteacher. These sessions nurtured my inquisitiveness and explored all areas of science, from genetics to decision mathematics. I thrived on these lessons, which often required independent research or experimentation. My mathematics teacher then nominated me for a two-week summer school for gifted mathematicians in Bedfordshire. We explored encoding and code breaking at Bletchley Park, spread betting with theoretical money on the LSE, and algorithms and their appearances in patterns and nature. I was delighted when I was awarded first prize, particularly because the competition was from extraordinary young people whom I had assumed were far more gifted than myself.

My love of maths is apparent to all those around me - although they do not always understand why! - and I have consistently achieved at a high level. Last year I was awarded the school Mathematics Prize for excellence. My tutoring has enabled several GCSE students to achieve their full potential in their examinations. Tutoring has been a thoroughly enjoyable insight into the fascinating process of teaching and learning.

My A level studies in mathematics and further mathematics have been well rounded, studying all four branches of the syllabus. Pure mathematics is my favourite section as I find satisfaction in the way ideas are developed and put into practice, and the varied applications of integration, differentiation and trigonometry.

Much is made of the relationship between mathematics and music; both have strong intellectual and creative foundations. I believe my mathematical studies are complemented by my third A level - music. I hear and see music in numbers, and my approach to playing or singing is similar to the mindset I use in maths.

I am a dedicated and conscientious student in class, and a key member in many extra-curricular activities. As a keen musician, playing violin, trombone and piano, I contribute to a number of musical ensembles in school and played an integral part in the organisation of our school’s summer concert. I am also a member of several local youth orchestras and bands, with whom I have toured abroad many times, most recently to Italy, France and Belgium.

I have been a volunteer at my local Brownie unit for four years. Over this time I have taken on an increasingly important role in the organisation: working with the girls, the leadership team and the division executive team, running meetings, and latterly keeping the unit accounts. I am working towards my leadership warrant to become a Guider. I believe that the skills and experience that I have gained as a Brownie volunteer have benefited all areas of my life, including in my role as Deputy Head Girl.

It is my ambition to enter a career directly related to my degree. At present I am considering either the teaching profession, or post-doctoral research.

Universities Applied To:

  • University of Warwick - Offer AAB plus AEA Merit
  • University of Bath - Offer AAC
  • Newcastle University - Offer AAB
  • The University of Edinburgh - Offer ABB
  • The University of Reading - Offer 320 points incl. B in Mathematics
  • University of Leeds - Offer AA in Mathematics and Further Mathematics

Grades Achieved:

  • GCSE: 3A*s 7As 1B 1 C
  • AS Level: ACCD (plus AS in Further Mathematics)
  • Predicted Grades: AAB

Reviewer comments

This is overall a very good and very well written personal statement which is backed up by the successful application to several prestigious universities. The statement is a good length (3,500 characters) and what sets it apart from many is the passion and enthusiasm which is very clearly demonstrated through a specific mention of a range of activities related to maths - tutoring, maths challenges, awards, extra learning, additional courses etc. Most importantly this enthusiasm is believable and the quality of the writing contains that x-factor which hints at the underlying understanding and intelligence of the applicant.

As always there are some areas for improvement. This statement talks very little about the degree which is being applied to or specific mention of why they wish to study it, although this is certainly implied. A more explicit mention of the degree would help to improve this statement, as would a greater mention of transferable skills and their relevance to a maths degree when talking about extra-curricular activities. There is perhaps a little too extensive a mention of the outside classes/maths challenge at the start and additional material on books read could have been added. The statement starts off a little too fairy-tale like and becomes a little fragmented in the middle of the statement.