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Presentation on theme: "APPLYING TO UNIVERSITY The Personal Statement"— Presentation transcript:

1 APPLYING TO UNIVERSITY The Personal Statement
This presentation is for students who are applying to go to university. It focuses on the Personal Statement aspect of the UCAS application form. It should take approximately 30 minutes. You will need 2 example personal statements to complete the activities. You can download example personal statements from the UCAS website and online.

2 Your UCAS form will consist of the following sections: Registration
This year, everyone will be completing their applications electronically. Your UCAS form will consist of the following sections: Registration Personal details Additional information (UK applicants only) Choices (you can make 5 choices) Education Employment Personal statement Reference (from your tutor) Declaration Pay and send The UCAS application process

3 Course Choices Academic or vocational? Specialism or combined course?
What are the entry requirements (UCAS points)? How long is the course? How is it taught? What kind of qualification will I get? Will it help me to get the job I really want (if you know what you want!) Do plenty of research; check out internet sites, speak to people in the profession, ask your tutors. Too much choice? Try the Stamford test on the UCAS website You can choose up to 5 courses. Choose similar ones; you can only write one personal statement and it needs to be relevant to all of the courses that you apply to Students need to research their courses thoroughly checking to see what exactly it is they are being offered and what happened to previous students who had done their course. Students can do the Stamford test on the UCAS website which can give them ideas about the right course for them. Students have 5 choices of institution.

4 Choosing a University Home or away? Campus or city?
Does it offer your course? Reputation; check it out on the internet Go and visit! Universities offer open days throughout the year Where do the students want to study? Close to home or away? Students should always visit their chosen universities beforehand to get an idea of the campus, area and city. Students may want to think about additional costs involved in moving away from home or what local transport and job opportunities are like in the surrounding area.

5 The (Dreaded!) Personal Statement
Writing about the course Why do you enjoy the subject? How did you first become interested in it? Which parts are you particularly interested in and why? Any areas previously studied that you are looking forward to studying in greater depth? Any relevant modules/essays/topics previously studied Additional reading around the subject done outside of college studies Any involvement in masterclasses, summer schools, Gifted and Talented, or other enrichment/extension activities What particular subject related skills you have and how you got them How the course will build upon what you are studying at college Career Aim (if you have one!) Do you have a particular career in mind; this can be quite general What has made you want to follow this career? How does your course choice fit with your career aim? THE SKELETON The personal statement is the main part of the application process and could be the difference between them being offered a place or a rejection letter. The bulk of the statements needs to be about why the student is suited to the course? What skills do they have and how have these developed? What are their career ambitions? How has their current studies set them up for university? Do they have relevant work experience or voluntary work which they can refer too?

6 Personal Skills and Qualities
Think about: teamwork; communication skills; time management; project management; applied practical skills; self motivation; organization; dealing with continued assessment; subject specific skills. Relate these back to the course and back up with solid examples Relevant Experience for the Course Mention any relevant work experience. Some courses such as nursing, law, social work, medicine, physiotherapy, art and design, teaching, performing arts and will require you to have it. What insights has it given you into your chosen course or career? How has any relevant work experience confirmed your interest in this career? What did you do for work experience and what skills did you gain from it? What skills did you gain for which show that you have the skills for university life? eg self motivation, self discipline, social skills etc. Positions of Responsibility In school/college: prefect, member of the school or college council, student governor, mentor, one-off events Outside of school/college: paid part-time work, voluntary work The last part of their statement is about the student as an individual. What interests do they have? Whatever students write in their statement they need to be able to ask themselves the question ‘So what?‘ Why is what they have written relevant to that course?

7 Which transferable skills have you gained from these positions such as problem solving, working
with people, organisation or team working Hobbies and Interests These help to give an impression of you as a person. You should point out how your hobbies and interests have contributed to the development of your skills or personal qualities and how these relate to your course choice or likely success at higher education. eg Duke of Edinburgh, sport, school productions, music exams, community work. Concluding Statement Finish with a brief sentence or two saying why you are looking forward to studying the course and how you hope to make the most of your time at university. Personal interests continued…

8 STYLE and STRUCTURE Break it up into paragraphs so that it is not just one big block of text Write your achievements chronologically starting with the most recent. You have 4,000 characters but you do not have to use them all - think quality over quantity! If you try too hard to impress with long words that you are not confident using, the focus of your writing may be lost. Be selective Don’t use bullet points or lists Even though students have a limited number of words and spaces they should still spilt their statement into paragraphs. Quality rather than quantity.

9 Examples Example 1 Have a look at this personal statement
Highlight the good and the bad points within this statement Give the students an example to work through. Get the students to point out the good and bad things in the example. You can get examples on the UCAS website to use with your students. There will be examples of both good and bad practice.

10 Have a look at this statement
Example 2 Have a look at this statement Highlight the good and bad points of this statement Example 2

11 Don’t Repeat information that appears elsewhere on the application form Talk about personal qualities and skills without giving examples or supporting evidence Waffle! A few, well-chosen words are more effective than a lot of irrelevant information Make spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes – it looks sloppy Copy sample personal statements and submit as you own. Statements will be checked by UCAS’ plagiarism software Tell lies! If you exaggerate you may get caught out at interview when asked to elaborate on an interesting achievement Bore the admissions tutor! They will be reading hundreds of applications. Make sure that is clear, straightforward and interesting. Some thing students should not do with regards to their statements. Students must definitely not plagiarise other statements.

12 Do Set aside plenty of time to complete your statement. You will need to make several drafts. Be enthusiastic Draw on genuine examples of relevant skills and experience Use a ‘spell check’ and ask someone that you trust to proof read it for you Read the prospectus for specific details of the courses that you are applying to Consult the UCAS Entry Profile of the institutions that you are applying to Seek help and guidance from tutors and/or careers guidance staff Prepare your personal statement offline using a word-processing package and copy and paste it into the Apply system Some good practice for a personal statement.

13 !!!HELP!!! Course and Careers information
- all HE course entry profiles in the UK - graduate careers advice - careers / job sector database - student reviews of universities and courses - university and college open day directory Student Finance - calculate your budget as a student University Life - independent guide to universities Further information can be found at….

14 Good Luck!

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