UCAS Applicant Personal Statements and References

UCAS Applicant Personal Statements and References PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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. . = Research= Applying= Managing. Why is research so important?. Vastly improves the match between applicant expectations of a course, institution and HE experience and the actuality . Can also provide an insight into what HEI Admissions Officers really want to see evidence of in an applicant's Personal Statement .

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1. UCAS Applicant Personal Statements and References

3. Why is research so important? Vastly improves the match between applicant expectations of a course, institution and HE experience and the actuality Narrow down your choices. Don’t apply to too many different courses, e.g. english, chemistry, sports science, primary teaching etc as difficult to cover all this on PS. Can only accept one place so may as well narrow it down sooner rather than later. Narrow down your choices. Don’t apply to too many different courses, e.g. english, chemistry, sports science, primary teaching etc as difficult to cover all this on PS. Can only accept one place so may as well narrow it down sooner rather than later.

4. Applicants by mode of acceptance

5. Research Sheer range of choice could overwhelm some – provision: 304 HEIs in the UCAS scheme 50,000 courses resources: paper (prospectus, Big Guide, Little Guide, Big Map, league tables, books) fairs courses direct contact with HEIs / ambassadors / UCAS online: HEI website UCAS website (Course search, application, system & cycle, track, yougo) .gov website (finances) other websites (Unistats, Woody’swebwatch, Studentials, Student Room) Sheer range of choice could overwhelm some – provision: 304 HEIs in the UCAS scheme 50,000 courses resources: paper (prospectus, Big Guide, Little Guide, Big Map, league tables, books) fairs courses direct contact with HEIs / ambassadors / UCAS online: HEI website UCAS website (Course search, application, system & cycle, track, yougo) .gov website (finances) other websites (Unistats, Woody’swebwatch, Studentials, Student Room)

6. League tables

7. Building a personal league table - example

8. My personal league table

9. Examples of research resources www.skill.org.uk = National Bureau for Students with Disabilitieswww.skill.org.uk = National Bureau for Students with Disabilities

10. UCAS - useful information

11. UCAS publications and publications available through UCASbooks

12. UCAS Course Search

13. Entry Profile development Current coverage at nearly 90% UCAS encouraging improvements in quality of provision

20. The Personal Statement

21. Help for applicants

22. What do you know about Personal Statements?

23. What do you know about Personal Statements?

24. How important is the Personal Statement? Most courses at most universities do not interview Those that do interview will often base their questions on the statement Often the only chance an applicant gets to really differentiate themselves and impress the considering Admissions Officers

25. Personal statements – The ‘ABC’ RULE From an Entry Profile for a History of Art degree Is the course right for me? We're looking for students who are visually aware and who have a real commitment to studying the contexts and meanings of works of art. We do not expect you to have any formal qualifications in history of art or art, but we do want you to give evidence of enjoying visiting exhibitions, galleries, monuments, etc. A lively interest in reading art historical texts is also valuable. What skills, qualities, and experience do I need? You should be interested in and committed to the subject. You should show in your personal statement that you have a strong interest in visual culture in a historical and critical context. For example, have you done any independent reading? Do you enjoy visiting art galleries? Do you read the art press? How is the course appropriate to your interests? You should have intellectual independence: you should be able to think for yourself, rather than merely repeating the opinions of others. The degree will involve participating in debate, and establishing your own argument in essays, while always being aware of the opinions and work of others. You should be self-motivated and have good study skills. Much of the degree will involve reading and writing independently, and so you will need to be organised and self-disciplined. The personal statement should show that you could communicate effectively and write clear and correct English. We are interested in your non-academic achievement, interests, and experience beyond the curriculum, including, for example, positions of responsibility, voluntary or paid work (particularly where this is directly relevant to the course). You should explain what skills you have gained, for example, teamwork. From an Entry Profile for a History of Art degree Is the course right for me?

26. Hazard Warning

27. Similarity Detection Service

29. Strong opening

30. Avoid mentioning one institution Get feedback from others Advisers Parents Write it early and edit Take it with you to interview and be prepared to answer questions about it Avoid intellectual pretensions Getting through the Statement maze

31. How do you get started?

32. What will interest/please the admissions tutor?

33. Evidence based

34. Have a strong ending

35. What does your PS add to your application?

36. University decisions

37. Poor use of English language (highlighted)

38. Bad formatting

39. Poor use of English language (some highlighted)

40. Bad formatting

41. Example of a ‘bad’ PS

42. Strong opening? PERSONAL – ILLUSTRATES WITH CONCRETE EXAMPLES – CLEARLY EXPLAINS THINGS THAT MIGHT CAUSE CONCERN – DEMONSTRATES COMMITMENT AND DELIBERATION – DEMONSTRATES KNOWLEDGE; HOW AND WHERE UNDERSTANDING WAS FUNDED – COVERS INTERESTS, PASSION, RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE, EXPLAINING HOW AND WHY RELEVANT – WELL WRITTEN – GOOD STRUCTURE, FLOWS NICELY – HAS LOOKED AT CHARACTERISTICS REQUIRED (ENTRY PROFILE) AND ENSURED THAT THESE ARE ILLUSTRATED. Applicant applied to 4 institutions for MEDICINE – received 4 unconditional offers – is placed (2006)PERSONAL – ILLUSTRATES WITH CONCRETE EXAMPLES – CLEARLY EXPLAINS THINGS THAT MIGHT CAUSE CONCERN – DEMONSTRATES COMMITMENT AND DELIBERATION – DEMONSTRATES KNOWLEDGE; HOW AND WHERE UNDERSTANDING WAS FUNDED – COVERS INTERESTS, PASSION, RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE, EXPLAINING HOW AND WHY RELEVANT – WELL WRITTEN – GOOD STRUCTURE, FLOWS NICELY – HAS LOOKED AT CHARACTERISTICS REQUIRED (ENTRY PROFILE) AND ENSURED THAT THESE ARE ILLUSTRATED. Applicant applied to 4 institutions for MEDICINE – received 4 unconditional offers – is placed (2006)

43. What about this opening?

44. What about this style?

45. Presentation - Grammar, syntax, capitalisation. It is a list, and mitigates against its own claims. Certainly Personal and unique – but perhaps too idiosyncratic, doesn’t fully explain its simile, makes the subject to be studied, Dentistry, sound less important to the writer than cake decorating. Makes the selection of subject to be studied seem almost arbitrary, doesn’t convey passion for the subject or convey any real professional aspiration or considered and researched aim or plan. Probably one of the most common weaknesses – declarative statements with no support or evidence. All of the assertions may be true, but they would be much more powerful if demonstrated.Presentation - Grammar, syntax, capitalisation. It is a list, and mitigates against its own claims. Certainly Personal and unique – but perhaps too idiosyncratic, doesn’t fully explain its simile, makes the subject to be studied, Dentistry, sound less important to the writer than cake decorating. Makes the selection of subject to be studied seem almost arbitrary, doesn’t convey passion for the subject or convey any real professional aspiration or considered and researched aim or plan. Probably one of the most common weaknesses – declarative statements with no support or evidence. All of the assertions may be true, but they would be much more powerful if demonstrated.

48. Time for a tea break

49. Work the UCAS reference into the existing school schedule. For example at the end of year 12 Students fill in activity / information sheets Subject tutors complete subject reference on students the same time they complete end of year reports Head of sixth (or assigned co-ordinator) gathers all information and edits reference Keep files of previous students references Reference writing: familiar Scene?

50. UCAS Apply

51. How important is the reference?

52. Why you need to be familiar with EPs

53. Help is available

55. The Personal Statement May form the basis of an interview – Durham Why this subject? Why you? What makes you unique? – doesn’t matter what you’ve done it the reflection of the skills and lessons you have learned that inst are interested in – HUMANITARIAN AID PROJECT IN ROMANIA ? KENYA Kent: Be clear and consise – don’t waffle If your statement is fresh, lively, and different, you'll be putting yourself ahead of the crowd. Structure – intro, main body and end Opening para is important – needs to catch the readers attention Think ahead – future aspirationsMay form the basis of an interview – Durham Why this subject? Why you? What makes you unique? – doesn’t matter what you’ve done it the reflection of the skills and lessons you have learned that inst are interested in – HUMANITARIAN AID PROJECT IN ROMANIA ? KENYA Kent: Be clear and consise – don’t waffle If your statement is fresh, lively, and different, you'll be putting yourself ahead of the crowd. Structure – intro, main body and end Opening para is important – needs to catch the readers attention Think ahead – future aspirations

56. Reference writing – the practicalities

57. What does the reference add to the application?

58. What admissions tutors look for in references Applications for 2002 entry open on the 1 September 2001 Closing date for Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry & Veterinary science/medicine is 15 October 2001. Closing date 15 January 2002 for all other courses, with the exception of Route B - Art & Design. Guaranteed equal consideration is given to all applications received by their closing date. After the deadline they will be considered by the institutions at their discretion. Applicants applying from outside the European Union, whatever their nationality can apply up to the 30th June 2002 (unless applying for Oxbridge/Medicine/Dentistry/Vet) however they should note that institutions do not guarantee to consider applications received after 15/1/02. Art & Design Route B Applications should be submitted between 1 January 2001 & 24 March 2001 Early Applications = Early decisions If you miss the deadline, your application is considered at the discretion of the Institutions. APPLY EITHER BY EAS OR PAPER FORM PERSONAL STATEMENT -Invaluable opportunity to influence the admissions tutors and explain your motivation. -Avoid one-liners e.g. "at weekends I work in a supermarket". Better to add "and so this gives me an opportunity to meet people, handle money, learn about marketing, training others, teamwork etc“ -List your activities, particularly if they are relevant to the course selected. Illustrate the experience you have gained from these activities. REMEMBER if you are asked for an interview, most questions will be based on what you have written in Section 10 TAKE A COPY! - From Brunel – 50-75% of PS should be about why you want to study the subject Applications for 2002 entry open on the 1 September 2001 Closing date for Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry & Veterinary science/medicine is 15 October 2001. Closing date 15 January 2002 for all other courses, with the exception of Route B - Art & Design. Guaranteed equal consideration is given to all applications received by their closing date. After the deadline they will be considered by the institutions at their discretion. Applicants applying from outside the European Union, whatever their nationality can apply up to the 30th June 2002 (unless applying for Oxbridge/Medicine/Dentistry/Vet) however they should note that institutions do not guarantee to consider applications received after 15/1/02. Art & Design Route B Applications should be submitted between 1 January 2001 & 24 March 2001 Early Applications = Early decisions If you miss the deadline, your application is considered at the discretion of the Institutions. APPLY EITHER BY EAS OR PAPER FORM PERSONAL STATEMENT -Invaluable opportunity to influence the admissions tutors and explain your motivation. -Avoid one-liners e.g. "at weekends I work in a supermarket". Better to add "and so this gives me an opportunity to meet people, handle money, learn about marketing, training others, teamwork etc“ -List your activities, particularly if they are relevant to the course selected. Illustrate the experience you have gained from these activities. REMEMBER if you are asked for an interview, most questions will be based on what you have written in Section 10 TAKE A COPY! - From Brunel – 50-75% of PS should be about why you want to study the subject

59. Writing References for Higher Education

60. Who gets offered a place?... And why?

61. Reference Structure

65. Subject references

66. Vocational courses

67. Influencing factors

68. Reference writing: Be positive

69. It can be difficult to be positive

73. Say what you mean, mean what you say

74. Professionalism

75. Reference writing: DOs Make it readable Be clear, concise and precise Read application – esp. Personal Statement Check where they have applied to Check what they have applied for Expand on their activities Use Entry Profiles Use concrete examples; this shows you know the applicant Be positive and end with a clear recommendation

76. Reference writing: DON’Ts Put your credibility on the line – esp. re aspirationsPut your credibility on the line – esp. re aspirations

77. Style – example 1

78. Some admissions tutors’ responses

79. Style – example 2

80. Some admissions tutors’ responses

81. Reference writing - concluding

82. When you write a reference: “Is it GOOD?” What makes it a good reference? Would you offer this person a place or invite them to interview? Why? What has sold you?

83. Questions

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