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UCAS Personal Statements Questions & Answers

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PPE Personal Statement from an overseas student

Mon Sep 21, 09

Dear sir or madam,

I am a student from Portugal and I am seeking some advice regarding my grades.

I finished highschool this July, achieving high marks on most subjects (I have got 19 points out of the 20 possible in the Portuguese system).
I am currently applying to Oxford, Kings College and York for PPE, Philosophy and Philosophy/Politics (equal), respectively.

I am finding trouble writing my PS because I have a quite long curriculum and besides I need to explain my gap year (starting this November in NYC) and what led me to choose leave home and study abroad, making it difficult for me to put everythig I'd like to say.
If that isn't enough, I only have one PS to write but I'm applying to 3 different courses. Although they are very similar I am pretty sure that my final PS will suffer from that multiplicity.

One other thing is that I have just finished the CPE but had only 72%, failing to meet the 75% I needed in order to get a B score for these universities.

What do you think?
Do I have a chance getting into Oxford?
Will my Personal Statement suffer from my choices?
What should I focus on my Personal Statement, given that I have different areas to write about?

Thank you very much for your time,
Best regards,
Francisca S.

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Thu Sep 17, 09


Just wondered if you could help me. I am writing my PS for medicine and was thinking about writing about the death of my father as to what triggered my interests. However i realise that this has probably been overused! Shall i use it? or not? It has played a huge part of my life afterall!?!


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Applying for Economics- how to approach?

Sat Sep 12, 09

I have recently decided that I would like to pursue a degree in Economics next year. I am currently in Year 13 studying A level Maths, Economics, Spanish and AS Further Maths and will most likely be predicted A* in economics and the rest A's after recieving my AS results. My biggest difficulty so far is deciding how to open my personal statement - advice would be much appreciated.

I am currently reading "A Return to Depression Economics" by Paul Krugman and would like to know if it is a good idea to mention this book in my personal statement. Also please could you tell me other books that would be worthwhile discussing in the PS?

I have no work experience to date in any economic background. Is this a great disadvantage even though I can recount on many experiences that involved me gaining skills that can attribute to economics?

Regarding the PS, do you think it is a good idea to mention every subject you are studying even though they will be revealed in the school reference and grades sections?
Lastly, is it imperative for me to discuss in depth what I would like to do after a degree or can I speculate?

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Tue Aug 25, 09


I am from ireland and have a few questions about UCAS.

I wish to apply, is it too late to apply for clearing this year?

I want to apply as a mature student, i have done a similar course in Ireland to the one i want to apply for, but never sat my end of year exams due to a family illness.
Also i have one years experience working in that area.
Would these two things help me get accepted?


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Personal statement for politics or economics

Tue Aug 25, 09

I am just going into year 13 and i am wanted to make an application to study politics and economics or international relations. Firstly what is the difference between writing a personal statement for PE than to one for IR. Also, i'm wanting to apply to universities such as LSE, St. Andrews and i'm finding it hard to write a good opening line, and i find that my statement just gets longer and longer lacking structure and focus!
Please can you give me advice on good openings and help!!

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mentioning a failed year on application

Thu Aug 6, 09


I did badly on my first year exams. It was one of the very best UK universities and it doesn't allow any resits. Now I have to leave and go to another uni. I want to enter clearing and start again from the first year in the same subject.

I need an advice on whether I should mention last year on my personal statement and would it be better if the reference came from uni or my school?
Although not predicted a fail I didn't do very well throughly the year because of family problems which my university didn't know about. I'm afraid that if I'll try to explain the reasons why I failed on my personal statement it would sound like I'm just making excuses because my university would not be able to confirm it.

Thanks in advance.

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Abbreviations in a PS

Sun Jul 26, 09

In my midwifery PS I have used abbreviations such as NMC (national midwifery Council) , NCT (National childbirth trust - who conduct many of the nhs anti-natal classes) and a few others. I have put these in to demonstrate my understanding of the structure of the NHS within the midwifery field. However are abbreviations ok to use? The society’s names are all rather long and take up very valuable space.

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Economics and Politics joint degree advice

Thu Jul 9, 09

hello, my name is michelle and i am thinking of studying politics with economic at university. ive tried to look at unis which offer this subject althoguh is hard to find the gd uni, since one or the other specify and are good in economic and no so much in politics...
also i am starting to draft my personal statemnt, and are thinkin of ways to start it.. since i no it has to be intriguing at eye catching. any tips on how to start, what to include, and possible books 2 read over the summer.

thank you for any help.

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Studying law and starting my perosnal statement

Wed Jul 1, 09

hi there im currently studying my as levels inclduing english lang and lit, history and sociology and welsh bac. Gcses included 2 a*, 4 a, 4 B
i was wondering : i have been predicted A B A A is there any chance of me getting into Oxford, Lse or Kings or cardiff to study law?
I was also wondering a unique way to start my law personal statements ?
also what extra curricular activites should i be involved in by this stage?

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Advice for studying PPE at Oxford

Mon Jun 8, 09

Dear Sir/madame

Hi there, i really need your help! Im 17 and i'm supposed to be in year 12 completing my AS levels, but i dropped out of college because I absolutely hated where I was, I dropped out in January. Im currently working as a maths mentor at a secondary school, mentoring gifted and talented pupils. I am also working on a film project as part of the london 2012 legacy. In addition to that, I am starting voluntary work at a hospital in the near future. Im really keen on going back into education next year, and have a college that suits me fine.

My ambition is to studyy PPE at Oxford, im just worried that my application would be looked down on because I dropped of college, I haven't taken any exams at college by the way. At GCSE's I achieved 6A* 5A's and a B, A*s include Eng lit, Eng lang. and History. I am so enthusiastic about politics and globalisation and all things about morality and logic! It would be a dream to study it at uni.

I was hoping you could advise me on which subjects I should study at A levels next year, I checked the oxford site, and they recomend maths and history, although they say its not essential. So im kinda' in a pickle there...

And overall, i would be glad if you could tell me if you think I even stand a chance of getting in! :)

Really appreciate it.

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