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Plea for assistance

(11 Posts)

I'm a mature student applying to study psychology for 2014 entry, and am currently taking an Access to HE course. I was wondering if there are any admissions tutors out there who would be willing to quickly read through my personal statement? My college tutor checked it and okayed it, but I have since noticed several errors that she didn't, so am slightly concerned. I primarily want someone to check I have capitalised, or not capitalised, the right words, as that is one of the things I have noticed I'd done incorrectly originally (capitalised psychology throughout when it shouldn't be). If anyone could possibly spare the time to have a read through I would really appreciate it. I'm applying to RG type institutions, if that makes any difference (not all RG, but all fairly high ranking). Thank you very much.

lljkk Sun 01-Dec-13 16:40:37

I'll read it if you want to pm it.

rightsaidfrederick Sun 01-Dec-13 20:39:38

I'd really, strongly recommend that you don't give out your personal statement to anyone. Unfortunately, on the internet no one knows you're a dog (as the old saying goes) and you could be sending it to someone who plagiarises it (which would cause you immense problems, up to and including being rejected from all your unis).

The one and only free, secure PS review service on the internet is here www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/personal_statement_help but there will be a wait for a review.

There's lots of advice and guidance here www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/personal_statement_library

lljkk Sun 01-Dec-13 21:03:33

luckily she sent it to me and I'm not so horrible. wink. Worthwhile to know there's a free secure service, though.

rightsaidfrederick Sun 01-Dec-13 21:22:00

You may not be horrible lljkk, but we have no way of knowing that, and the next person may not be so nice wink

Plus if the OP knows the dangers, then they can avoid doing silly, silly things like posting their whole PS on public forums (I've seen people do this on TSR, and have to start the whole thing from scratch due to the risks).

Thanks for the advice. I wouldn't post it on a public forum, but I'm aware of several admissions tutors who post on here whose names I recognise. I am aware of the review service but a) I didn't know how good the quality was given they are students themselves, and b) the waiting time is currently 21 days.

rightsaidfrederick Mon 02-Dec-13 01:35:36

I'm involved with the service, so let me answer a couple of questions

a) there's a proper training scheme in place, and it's checked for quality by more experienced PS helpers. They did some comparisons between paid for services and TSR, and found that the TSR reviews were actually better.

b) an entirely legitimate point - though it should be noted that that's something of an average across different subjects and as reviews are done by people who are studying your subject at uni, it does vary across subjects. At the moment, there are 19 psychology-related PS in the queue. However, oldest PS for straight psychology that is still awaiting a review is currently three weeks old, so the waiting time does hold true for your subject (but if you were applying for languages, the waiting time would be much shorter).

creamteas Mon 02-Dec-13 18:56:23

As an admissions tutor, I would say that other than proof-reading, you are wasting your time getting your statement reviewed.

As a mature student, you have a story to tell about returning to education and why this course which is probably a lot more interesting than younger applicants. But even then, when you have read 1000s, I can honestly say there are no original ways to apply for a course.

The less personal and more formulaic they are (which can happen with standardized reviewing) the less credible they read.

It was only proof-reading I was after creamteas - I am happy enough with the content. I just wanted someone to check I hadn't made any silly grammatical errors or capitalised words that shouldn't be or vice versa etc. I'm happy with the content, or as happy as I'm going to be in 4000 characters!

MrsBright Thu 05-Dec-13 19:29:15

More than anything, Admissions Tutors want to hear why you want to spend three years at Uni - and specifically three years studying that subject. And as a Mature Student, why you want to go back into education at this point in your life.

This is the relevant chunk from the Admissions statement for Psychology at Uni of Bristol - its obviously focused on what that Uni wants but may still be useful :

"Applicants should be well informed, and appreciate the status of psychology as a biological science. Admissions Tutors look for a clear and convincing enthusiasm for psychological research as a focus for academic study: statements about specific interests and aspirations will be considered in relation to the content of the programme. Evidence of initiative in extending a scientific interest in Psychology beyond formal classroom provision will be recognised by Admissions Tutors: any other information considered relevant by the applicant will also be noted. The statement should be well written in terms of its structure and power of

SlowlorisIncognito Mon 09-Dec-13 00:16:06

Purplepenguin I know this may sound obvious, but have you checked your PS in the section on the UCAS form? If you are very close to 4000 characters and are paragraphing correctly (which you should be), it is very likely you will be over the line limit, as the lines on UCAS are shorter than the lines on microsoft word.

So you might have to cut a little bit out to make it all fit. Hopefully you can do this just by rephrasing, rather than having to cut any content.

As another person who is involved with the TSR review service, I do think it is a bit unfair to rubbish the opinions of current students. After all, they managed to write a PS which didn't make admissions tutors outright reject them! The service is guided by members with experience of admissions from the other side though, who do have some idea of what admissions tutors would like to see.

One thing I do think can be an issue with psychology personal statements is focusing on only one area of the subject (often clinical or social psychology). It is quite a broad subject, so it is a good idea to draw examples of your interest from more than one area. Psychology is also an accademic degree, so any work experience you have will be of lesser importance than your accademic interest in the subject. As a mature applicant it may have some relevance to the reason you have chosen this degree, in which case you should mention it, but focus on the reason it made you interested in psychology, not the skills you have learnt from it.

creamteas I do take your point on board, but I do think reviews have some value, especially for international applicants or those recieving very little support from school. Whilst, yes, the PS probably won't be read if the grades are good enough, I think it is good that those from non-traditional backgrounds have access to free advice somewhere on the internet which is hopefully reliable. Or who can at least tell them when something they have written makes no sense whatsoever.

I do agree that personal statements can be very formulaic, although I feel the review service does acknowledge that there is more than one way to write a PS. However, I think it is sometimes sixth-forms which push the identicit PS, insisting on applicants including a lot of irrelevant "stuff" which is probably not of that much information to admissions tutors.

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