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The Personal Statement: Information for parents

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1 The Personal Statement: Information for parents
Bryanston HE Day Karen Fowler-Watt Associate Dean, The Media School Bournemouth University

2 How important is the Personal Statement?
Highly competitive environment. Most offers based on ‘paper’ application. Need to stand out - everyone has the grades. Shows commitment to the area of study It is ‘personal’ – make a ‘pitch’. Shows ‘readiness’ for HE study

3 What are universities looking for?
Curiosity – interesting to teach. Intellectual rigour – real interest in subject (independent research project/wider reading) Evidence of commitment – work experience. A lively mind – global perspective/current affairs – plus the X-Factor! An ability to write a coherent essay. Awareness of the entry profile.

4 Make an impact….get an offer.
Why this course? What sparked interest? How do A levels support choices? Projects? School societies/talks etc which are relevant Wider reading and Current affairs/personal experience. Must be relevant to ALL courses chosen.

5 2. What is interesting about the chosen subject area?
Make an impact….get an offer. 2. What is interesting about the chosen subject area? Expand on interest in current studies/research If a new subject (e.g. Law) or vocational, must show: An understanding of what is involved Specialist lectures/courses attended (taster courses/study days) Insights gained from relevant work experience Any career plans?

6 Coping with the demands of HE:
Skills and experience Motivated, committed, interested in subject – aware of demands of course (no drop outs!) Independent learner/able to research in-depth Good team worker/good communicator – much teaching is seminar-based Problem solving and IT skills

7 Post AS -- Fill in the gaps
Fix any additional work experience Build up cultural references (art galleries, museums) where relevant Wider reading and research Current affairs and global issues Innovate and explore…keep a blog! Make notes from visits/Open Days

Logical, flows for easy reading (at speed!) – evidence of clarity and coherence. ‘Down to earth’ – don’t gush Carefully check spellings/grammar Try to avoid starting every paragraph with ‘I’ Show you can write as well as think! Every word counts – avoid repetition. Always provide EVIDENCE MUST be the student’s own work

9 A Survival Guide for Parents
For the UCAS jungle you will need to pack: An OPEN MIND (hang up your prejudices) A LISTENING EAR (parents are the best therapists) ENDLESS PATIENCE (they will change their minds - more than once) A WILLINGNESS TO BE INVOLVED…but not TOO much! (The Personal Statement MUST be their own work.) One large BOOT (if needed..) Your contacts book, a fat wallet and plenty of booze! GOOD LUCK!


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