PS help - how much help to give?

(13 Posts)
newname99 Tue 22-Sep-15 10:44:17

namechange so I can be more open

dsd had good AS results and is looking to apply to Oxford for Maths (her UMS are not high enough level to consider Cambridge).

Her PS has to be submitted very soon and despite starting before the summer she has really struggled. Her draft was very weak and as the deadline is approaching a relative has re-written the PS statement for her. It uses her experiences but it is not her own work.

I know the risk is that she maybe questioned at interview on her PS however I'm assuming she could prep for it and she will need to sit the MAT.
My approach would have been to review and coach but definitely ensure it was her own ideas and in her words.Just wondering how common is this or am I naive and think this happens more regularly?

senua Tue 22-Sep-15 11:01:59

Is it the best idea to go with the relative's version, do they actually know what they are talking about? I can imagine that Oxford are quite good at spotting an "adult's version of what they think a teenager would write".
Go to TSR, they have pages on PSs.

yeOldeTrout Tue 22-Sep-15 11:12:10

I imagine most kids write a first draft, have their parents read it over & give feedback. Which might be a few iterations.

My take would be, my child writes it, but I give suggestions (scribble in margins).

What OP is talking about is pants, imho, and not doing the girl any favours, but I'd stay out of it. Who are the parents who have time & energy for this, and the ego-less offspring who let them??

senua Tue 22-Sep-15 11:25:17

Who are the parents who have time & energy for this, and the ego-less offspring who let them??

Be fair: it's a Maths student, so perhaps not the most eloquent, probably out of practice at writing and suffering from imposter syndrome.
Sounds like she needs nurturing, not having it taken out of her hands.

MrsUltracrepidarian Tue 22-Sep-15 11:34:19

Surprised the school is not giving guidelines on this.
DS has just submitted his application (the school's deadline was today) and has submitted various drafts to his school tutor and university advisors for advice.
As parents, we have not seen it and have had no input (his choice).
I would be interested to see it when the whole thing is over, out of curiosity.

homebythesea Tue 22-Sep-15 12:08:34

I have helped written a lot.

I joke a little bit what I have done though is help get it within the magic 4000 characters, so suggesting phrases with fewer words, different ways to get the same point across etc. he won't be I terrified though so any slight exaggerations won't be cross examined

Any parent who tells you they have not done the same are either negligent or lying

homebythesea Tue 22-Sep-15 12:10:06

Interviewed not terrified

MrsUltracrepidarian Tue 22-Sep-15 12:15:03

Well I am not lying, so must be negligent then grin

senua Tue 22-Sep-15 12:34:54

DS wouldn't let me look at his either, MrsU.
When they were young I tried to teach them to be independent, self-reliant and resilient. Didn't know that it would come back and bite me!grin

newname99 Tue 22-Sep-15 12:45:39

Her teachers have seen her earlier drafts so this completed work does not line up with anything she submitted previously and if asked she will have to lie. Help with phrases and suggestions is positive and I encouraged TSR and other resources but have always felt it should be the student's own work.

The relative has a subject related background and the PS is written at a level (that I think) is much more advanced even for high achieving AS level students. At some points it stretches the truth about her experiences which is uncomfortable but maybe I'm being too precious and this is the real world of getting your children ahead.

newname99 Tue 22-Sep-15 12:52:03

independent, self-reliant and resilient. Didn't know that it would come back and bite me

Agreed, this is what I aim for and highly positive skills for when they actually are away at Uni.

homebythesea Tue 22-Sep-15 14:52:21

Independent self reliant and resilient is not incompatible with getting help to write a piece that can dictate much of your child's future. FWIW I think the system is crazy and it would be far better to go back to having 9 lines to write down your extra curricular activities and interests like back in the olden days and have an interview where the students true interest and enthusiasm for the subject can be explored. But because 50% of kids are now supposedly university material and establishments can recruit as many as they want to then of course they can't do that anymore. But that's a whole other discussion.

I can't compute stepping back to the degree if not even seeing the PS before it is submitted. And I don't know anyone in RL who has done that.

Leeds2 Tue 22-Sep-15 16:16:53

I haven't seen my DD's PS. I doubt I will before it is submitted (end of next week). She has had input from the school, although I don't know what form that input has taken. We have talked about potential things to include, but I haven't seen the written version.

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