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DS is finding the personal statement stressful

(17 Posts)
greyvix Tue 16-Oct-12 18:59:58

He thinks if he ignores it it will go away, or someone (i.e. his mother) will write it for him. Are there any websites that offer help eg with formatting? He is embarrassed to seek help at college as he's left it so late.
Thanks in anticipation.

greyvix Tue 16-Oct-12 19:35:53

Replying to my own question: I have found a link on this thread to the Student Room. I have passed it on to DS, in the hope that it motivates him to get on with it!

Knowsabitabouteducation Tue 16-Oct-12 20:09:04

It should be stressful!

Why isn't he getting help from school?

witchwithallthetrimmings Tue 16-Oct-12 20:17:46

Its really not that big a deal, if he is predicted grades near the usual offer and he is just an ordinary 17 year old, then the personal statement is not a big deal. They want Some evidence that he will love the subject and has the ability to be a self starter and motivated

webwiz Tue 16-Oct-12 20:18:48

Does he have a trusted teacher at college who can have a look through it for him? DD2's form teacher was a bit useless probably because she had loads of them to deal with but her Maths teacher was very helpful.

And yes I agree with Knowsabitabouteducation they should be stressfu!l

creamteas Tue 16-Oct-12 20:28:14

In most applications the PS plays a much smaller role in admissions that other parts. Unless it is a very over subscribed course, tell him it doesn't have to be amazing, he just say why he wants to study that particular course, and mention anything relevant that he has done in relation to it.

Grades & Predictions are more important.

MedusaIsHavingABadHairDay Tue 16-Oct-12 22:55:29

We (yes I micro manage blush ) read as many 'sample' statements , and student room tips as possible for both of my daughters.

They then drafted a few ideas.. I suggested tweaks.. they redrafted..I re tweaked! This went on for many tedious but necessary revisions until they were happy. Both girls were going for courses (medicine and nursing) that did need personal statements that really reflected their commitment to their subject, but it was worth persevering.
The formatting isn't so difficult.. 47 lines 4000 characters max. Don't use abbreviations, ensure the grammar is correct!

My DD1 is dyslexic and frankly not a writer so I heavily managed hers, while DD2 is a natural writer so didn't need much assistance but I know that many parents like myself , help their children knock their statements into shape! (In fact I ended up overseeing two of their friends as well!)

Then get a teacher to do final check.
School should have/will usually issue a booklet on how to write a PS as wellsmile

senua Tue 16-Oct-12 23:50:23

He is embarrassed to seek help at college as he's left it so late.

Too late? - the deadline for UCAS submissions is still about three months away. I presume that we are talking a college deadline and I am guessing that they make it this early because they know there are students like your DS about! They will have seen this before, he won't be the first one to leave it until the eleventh hour.
Does he need a chat about the perils of burying his head in the sand?grin

Get him to speak to someone and fess up. They will probably roll their eyes and then help him.

It may help if he dictates to you. Sometimes waffling (and then editing) is easier than writing because you get more of a flow going. Get something / anything down on paper and then worry about knocking it into shape.

greyvix Thu 18-Oct-12 21:34:12

Back again, and still no further forward with the personal statement. Thanks for all the advice. The college deadline is Monday, for reasons suggested by senua. He does just need to get on with it. I will force him to do it over the weekend. Ironically, I am a teacher and should be able to help, but I refuse to do it for him!

boomting Fri 19-Oct-12 02:42:56

The Student Room has lots of helpful advice on writing a PS, and a free (and secure) PS Help Review service. He will, however, need to get it as good as he can before the latter is useful.

webwiz Fri 19-Oct-12 08:47:03

For both my DD's they just wrote everything they wanted to without worrying about the word count and then editing it down to the right length. This seemed easier than trying to craft the perfect first sentence (and then not being able to start because of it).

greyvix Fri 19-Oct-12 20:49:36

Thanks. This is all very useful.

eatyourveg Sat 20-Oct-12 19:26:35

Have a look here to see if there is anything that might help - stick the ISBNs through this site to get the cheapest online price

Startailoforangeandgold Sat 20-Oct-12 20:12:22

Also make sure if you exaggerate you can still sound convincing.

I used to get dragged sailing by my dad. I hated it, but stuck it on my personal statement.

Had to sound knowledgable and enthusiastic at interview. He'd only sailed out of exactly the same sodding placeblush

Startailoforangeandgold Sat 20-Oct-12 20:13:27

Oh and when asked what you did last in maths don't tell the truth if it's something you can't do!

alreadytaken Sun 21-Oct-12 09:46:32

what does he intend to study? Unless it is for a course that interviews it is going to matter a lot less than his academic results and grade predictions. It may not even be read unless he's borderline, although it may be read later if he fails to make his grades.

Your role as a parent is to help him tease out why he wants to do the course and to remind him of anything that is relevant to include e.g. remember that school trip/the book you read/ your extended project. If he has none of that then he needs to talk about what parts of his studies most interested him, why and maybe what he plans to do after university. Student Room sample statements are here - just to see what sorts of things are included

greyvix Sun 21-Oct-12 18:16:44

We have finally got round to it today, and did look at some samples from the Student Room. He wants to do economics. Getting started was the worst bit. He is now tweaking with DH.
It has been really useful, as he is now convinced he does want to do economics; he was a bit unclear before, hence the problems getting started. The aim is to complete and get it sent just after half-term.
Thank for all the input. I am sure we give our DCs a lot more support than we ever got!

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