The extra level of preparation that an Oxbridge application requires, combined with the mid-October deadline, means that you should try to start planning your Personal Statement towards the end of Year It usually takes a few drafts before you have a perfectly polished Personal Statement staring back at you, so ideally your first draft should be done by the end of the summer holiday before Year This means that you should try to have completed any extra reading or work experience that you want to write about in your Statement by then as well. Writing about your enthusiasm and experiences will probably help your decision-making process! Admissions decisions at Oxford and Cambridge are solely based on academic ability and potential, so you should focus on showcasing your understanding and passion for your chosen subject.
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It can be hard to know where to start with your personal statement. To give you some inspiration, we have for you two example Physics personal statements, taken from current Oxford students, complete with annotations. As a student with a genuine scientific curiosity I wish to gain a more rigorous understanding of the natural laws which govern the world around us. As such, I take as many opportunities as possible to challenge myself in my A-level subjects. For the last 2 years, I have attained a merit in the first round of the British Mathematical Olympiad. Solid examples of things you have achieved in your discipline beyond the A-Level course really aid your personal statement.
Psychology has always been a part of my life, as I have Asperger's syndrome. I have always noticed how other people behaved differently from me. I've repeatedly wondered what makes this happen and that's how I ended up being interested in psychology. I began to wonder what makes some people more sympathetic than others. At school, when I was younger, I always preferred to do things by myself than to work with a group, because it was better and faster for me.
Hello, and welcome to our new guest series on the blog: applying to Oxford for various subjects. There will be a guest contributor every day writing about their personal experience of applying to Oxford for their own subject. By the end of a degree in Experimental Psychology course, you will have a broad grounding in the major research areas of Psychology, fulfilling the requirements for BPS accreditation, and will have the opportunity to pursue study in more specialist areas of interest, alongside preparation to carry out your own research.