Presentation on theme: "Alan Bullock Careers for Wiltshire College H.E. Convention 24 th April 2012."— Presentation transcript:
Alan Bullock Careers firstname.lastname@example.org for Wiltshire College H.E. Convention 24 th April 2012
20 SLIDES – 1 MINUTE EACH TO PASS ON ADVICE FROM A WIDE RANGE OF COURSES AND UNIS TO HELP YOU START PREPARING A STATEMENT THAT WILL DO JUSTICE TO YOUR ABILITIES AND POTENTIAL TO TRY AND HELP YOU SECURE A PLACE ON YOUR CHOSEN COURSE
Already know what you want to do at uni? → go ahead and start developing ideas for your statement Don’t know what you want to do at uni ? → try ukcoursefinder.com (150+ ideas) → or try my Degree Course Menu (396 ideas!) Got ideas but not certain yet? → thinking about what to put in your statement will help you decide what suits you best
Maximum 47 lines and 4,000 characters including spaces Do it in Word first Use pt 12 Times New Roman Use paragraphs if you can, but you can’t underline, indent or use bold or italics Only one statement for all 5 choices, so it’s much easier if your 5 choices are similar (except 5 th choice for Med/Dent/Vet)
Most courses will read it It’s especially crucial for: *High-demand courses *Vocational courses *High-demand universities “ When you get 1500 applications for 75 places, then frankly it’s down to the personal statement” Many unis (like Southampton or Cambridge) look at your application holistically, so every bit counts, including the personal statement
Even if they don’t look at it when you apply, they will look at it at ‘Confirmation’ if you don’t quite get the grades History admissions tutor: “An inspired personal statement can sometimes swing us to offer a place to someone whose predicted grades are slightly lower than those we ask for” For vocational courses some unis SCORE the statement against their selection criteria (e.g. some schools of medicine, physiotherapy, radiography, occupational therapy etc)
Exaggerate Waffle (“admissions tutors have a waffle detector gland”) Plagiarise (you will be caught) Use posh vocabulary you wouldn’t use in real life “It was in Year 10 that my love for Maths came forth” Repeat yourself Start with “from a young age” or “since I was a child” Make spelling or grammar mistakes Don’t bother researching into what’s needed
Be YOURSELF Focus on WHY you want to do the course REFLECT on the skills, interests, experiences and qualities you will bring to it (academic and personal) Try to convey enthusiasm for learning and a passion for your chosen course (but without using the word “passion”) Find out what the uni is looking for – *Use UCAS ENTRY PROFILES or uni websites *Go to OPEN DAYS and ASK them! Then use the “5 minutes in Starbucks” method not the “Gobbledygook” approach to writing it
Which courses said the following? If you talk about babies, you’re likely to be rejected! DON’T MENTION SPORT! All sport and no science will NOT impress!
Don’t try and find examples of a model statement and copy it Most of all, we want people who are enthusiastic about the course Tell us why you want to study the subject and show that you have some of the skills to be successful Tell us what you THINK not just what you DO If an adult has helped you write it, we can tell Don’t give us a load of old flannel Less is more Don’t waste space, just get straight into it
The personal statement is your one chance to SPEAK to the admissions tutor It’s a pleasure to read a statement where the applicant’s own voice comes over clearly If you’ve had relevant experience, we want to know what you LEARNED from it (i.e. REFLECT on it) If you’re applying for a joint course, we want to know about BOTH subjects If you’re applying for deferred entry, what are your gap year plans? Don’t use lots of exclamation marks!! If you’re dyslexic, don’t hide it
Give us a well-written summary of why you want to study the subject and your relevant academic and personal skills and qualities in 3 paragraphs And don’t try and impress us with quotations What you say in your statement may come up in an interview, so you must be able to justify it We want to know what makes you tick Tell us something that makes you stand out But don’t be too quirky – some admissions tutors like it, some don’t, so it’s risky We like you to be different – but not TOO different!
You need to convince me why YOU want to study my subject and why I would want YOU in my seminar group We don’t want vague, gushy statements like – “I genuinely believe I am a highly-motivated person” – don’t say it, SHOW IT! Steer away from talking about obvious background reading – if I see “Freakonomics” mentioned in one more Economics personal statement, I’LL SCREAM!
1. Why you want to study this subject/course at uni and what has inspired you 2. What you enjoy about your school/college subjects - and how they have prepared you with valuable knowledge or skills for your degree 3. Any relevant reading beyond the syllabus 4. Any extra-curricular achievements or interests that are relevant to your degree OR that just show you will be a well-rounded student 5. Work experience, other relevant experience, career or gap year plans – if appropriate
“I like to see a 50/50 split between academic interests and personal interests” “We want at least 70% academic interests and no more than 30% personal interests” “Don’t spend more than the last 20% of your statement on those extra-curricular activities and skills which make you a ‘rounded’ person” BUT… Don’t use up too much space talking about your science subjects, as it won’t make you stand out (BSMS – med school) For vocational courses, it may be right to focus more heavily on your experience
Natasha: UCAS Entry Profiles & course websites → SPEECH BUBBLES Rhodri: SPIDER DIAGRAM Maria: LIST OF HEADINGS → then under each, write what comes naturally in a STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS → then hack away at it to get it down to 47 lines
Marianne: “The necklace approach” Kreena: “Use your own personal style – don’t be fake!” Lorin: “Tell your story and add your own ingredients and your personal touch”
“It’s hard when you’re faced with a blank screen and 47 lines to write, so don’t think of it in those terms…… ……either focus on the first paragraph OR write without trying to keep it to 4,000 characters…... ……it’s much easier to edit something that’s too long than to aim for the right length in your first draft.”
On the UCAS website you will find: A MIND MAP A WORKSHEET & A VIDEO at ucas.com/students/applying/howtoapply/personalstatement
Before deciding whether to include something in your statement, apply the SO WHAT? Factor Do get advice from teachers, careers advisers, friends, parents or unis, but remember whose personal statement it is IT’S YOURS…SO IT NEEDS TO SOUND LIKE YOU! Do tell your referee about anything important that you would like them to include in your UCAS REFERENCE