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Ooh a bit of a tricky one with regards to UCAS forms.

(14 Posts)
Slubberdegullion Tue 22-Jul-08 10:14:59

Please, please be gentle with me. I am not a pedant. I have spelling and apostrophe issues, I know this.


yesterday DH gave me a copy of the personal statement of a collegue's daughter to go on her UCAS form (is it still UCAS? University application form). She is applying for a place to study a health profession (that I used to do BC). It is very competitive to get into study this subject.

Her personal statement is dreadful, just so bad. The content is fine. She is doing the right A-levels, has done lots of work experience, does lots of extra curricular activities, knows about what the profession involves etc.

But to read it you would think English is her third language. Lonng, long, long sentences with commas heaped in a plenty in weird places. Tiny little sentences that make no sense. Really weird choice of words and sentence construction.

The overall impression is not very good.

So what do I do?

Do I comment just on the stuff relevant to the profession?
Do I comment on how it reads?
Do I re-write it for her? (I have such a strong urge to get out a red pen and start circling things).
As I'm not a super dooper pedant maybe I should just keep snout out?

What do you guys think?

missblythe Tue 22-Jul-08 10:22:26

I would HAVE to say something. But then I am both a pedant and an interferring old busy-body.

I would rewrite it, and then say some vague load of nonsense like, "I wasn't sure that you were giving priority to the most important things in your personal statement. I've made a couple of subtle changes to focus more clearly on your key goals and achievements."

Hopefully she'll get the message!

PeachyBAHons Tue 22-Jul-08 10:24:47

Be straight with her- trust me, Uni will be!

Also as its waaaay past ucas closing the few places left (if its a competitive profession are there any?) will be hard to get.

You won't be doing her any favours by fudging around the issue.

smurfgirl Tue 22-Jul-08 10:25:22

Its probably weirdly ordered because she has struggled to cram everything she wants to put in and not put much time into making what she wants to say sound good. I think most UCAS statements are a bit listy. I would be honest and explain that the content is good but you have re-ordered it so it looks better.

chopchopbusybusy Tue 22-Jul-08 10:26:58

Don't rewrite it for her but do comment. Tell her the content is all very good, but the presentation needs to be improved. Offer to look at it again when she has rewritten it.

Slubberdegullion Tue 22-Jul-08 10:27:31

I wonder if this is her draft for next years intake. Peachy, you are right, she wont get in on clearing with this.

IdrisTheDragon Tue 22-Jul-08 10:29:37

Is she in year 12? If so then she is being organised and getting it prepared ahead of when it needs to be submitted. I am sure she would be very grateful to have advice on how to improve it.

PeachyBAHons Tue 22-Jul-08 10:30:00

Could be slubber, in which case se's ahead of me- only decided to apply yesterday LOL.

Slubberdegullion Tue 22-Jul-08 10:39:14

She must be doing A-levels next year. Does that mean she starts year 12 in september? So she is super organised, which is great.

OK thanks all. I'll be encouraging and offer to advise on a re-write.

IdrisTheDragon Tue 22-Jul-08 10:51:22

She'll be going into Year 13 in September I think - AFAIK you have to submit UCAS forms by a date in December (unless you are applying to Oxford or Cambridge in which case it's October).

Slubberdegullion Tue 22-Jul-08 11:00:28

Thanks Idris.

witchandchips Tue 22-Jul-08 11:00:30

imo and as an aside there is not much weight placed on the personal statement. Many of the better places ignore it for equal ops reasons, those places further down only look at it to decide on marginal candidates

Slubberdegullion Tue 22-Jul-08 11:34:41

Oh that is interesting W&C, so how do they draw up a short list then of who they want to interview? Is it by predicted grades?

witchandchips Tue 22-Jul-08 11:49:46

A level subjects, predicted grades and past results (GCSEs, AS levels etc) are the key things yes. system works a bit better now that selectors have AS grades to work on as well

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