I have produced a document to help you make sure your Personal Statement fits onto the UCAS online application form, and looks as good as you can make it.
With just 33 days until the internal deadline for UCAS applications, quite a few of you still seem unclear or indifferent as to why you should be sharing your personal statement via Google Docs, and other information about the progress of your application via your Posterous blog (indeed, more than half of you have not yet supplied me the address of your blog).
And where America goes….
[click on the picture above to read the article]
Whilst I would not suggest that you all rush out and make YouTube videos to support your application, it is clear that contact with University departments beyond the UCAS application itself can be helpful in making your name stick in the mind of admissions tutors, and possibly making your application stand out from the crowd.
Of course, if done badly, that might jeopardise your application. If you’re pestering an admissions tutor with questions that are answered by a proper look through the course website and prospectus, you will just look like a doofus. On the other hand , useful supplementary follow-up information (perhaps relating to work-experience, results gained or other relevant achievements after the UCAS application is submitted) could well see you looked upon more favourably.
Particularly if you are applying for a course where you are told you may need to submit a portfolio, or one involving creativity or media skills etc, maybe you could consider whether a video contribution might just enhance your application.
As I work my way through Personal Statements one type of comment I’m making over and over again is to be more specific about experiences you are referring to.
As some of you know, I quite often use Google Documents to share and comment on work with students and colleagues, and have started to do so with Personal Statements. However, the method I was using was a little cumbersome, as I was taking the responsibility of receiving the statement, copying it into Google Docs, then sharing it with the student concerned.
Goodness knows what I was thinking, as Miss Shakespeare has been using the obviously much more sensible and elegant approach of getting her students to take responsibility for adding the PS to Google Docs and sharing it with herself and Mrs Hurley. She has also produced a clear and simple instruction PowerPoint presentation on the process that Mrs Hurley kindly shared with form tutors earlier, and which you can find below:
This prompted me to do something I’ve been meaning to get round to for a while and create a couple of screencasts on how to set up and use a Google account and use Google Docs that I can use with any classes (hence it’s not specific to personal statements). You might like to watch the screencasts in conjunction with the PowerPoint if you’re the sort of person who benfits from being shown the process visually, as it happens.
Thank you to those of you who have got drafts of your Personal Statements to me. Apologies if it feels like you are having to wait for my feedback when you want to get on with it, but sadly there are only 24 hours in the day. At the time of writing I have six ‘in the queue’ and I will get these looked at and respond to those students by the beginning of next week. If you have uploaded your statement to your blog and haven’t heard from me by the beginning of next week, do feel free to give me a gentle nudge.
During LAMA week, as form tutors we were privileged to have a very useful session with Mike Nicholson, the senior admissions officer at Oxford University, and formerly of Essex and Newcastle universities. His talk was not specific to Oxbridge admissions, and he drew on his extensive experience and contacts across the full range of universities and colleges.