Cambridge University Natural Sciences Personal Statement

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Natural Sciences Personal Statement

As a child that loved dinosaurs, encyclopaedias and the out doors, I was always interested in a broad range of subjects, never choosing one as a favourite. This reluctance to specialise allowed me to be more receptive to a large range of information from many subject areas and open minded about different angles to consider in certain subjects, traits which I still possess today...

My perception of the sciences has changed over time as my understanding of them has developed. Subjects that once appeared isolated and independent now merge into one coherent field, each interacting with another...

I enjoy studying science because it is a subject that encompasses so much of life's issues and practicalities, and a subject that can be applied and made useful to everyday life. Biological science is fascinating but it is even more exciting when studying abnormal function in medical science, from the facts in pathology to the application in pharmacology...

Natural/Biological Sciences Personal Statement

Experiencing first-hand life as a human in the natural world, I have the authority to confirm that regardless of previous knowledge, unexplained phenomena still exist. As a scientist, I adore observing the unknown, analysing the known and making decisions accordingly...

Natural Sciences Personal Statement

Natural Sciences I have chosen to study Natural Sciences because of a constant curiosity with the workings of the world around me. By doing Natural Sciences I hope to build on my existing knowledge by studying a stimulating and inspiring subject in much greater detail...

Natural Science/Geology Personal Statement

The sheer intricacy of our planet is something that has always left me in utter amazement. From the creation of mountains to the way we as humans evolved. Science is a deep rooted love that has grown since I was a young child...

Natural Sciences Personal Statement

Why and How? I believe these are the two most important question words as they express mankind’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and they have lain the foundation of sciences and have helped us find answers and solutions to problems throughout history from the domestication of fire to Darwin’s theory of evolution, to landing on the moon and so on...

"Eureka!" This joyful exclamation sums up my satisfaction when I have finally solved an intractable problem. I frequently experience such "eureka" moments in my passionate exploration of science. My curiosity drives me to immerse myself in studying many scientific fields; which is why I believe the Natural Sciences course will best suit my abilities and interests...

Materials Science/Engineering Personal Statement

At present, the technology of the world is advancing at an astounding rate and the only restrictions on this growth are the materials available to us. We must move on by engineering new materials and improving current ones...

Natural Sciences Personal Statement

Spacetime is doomed and needs to be replaced. This grabbed my attention at a talk by Nima Arkani-Hamed and heightened my interest in the physical sciences. This statement was perplexing and I wanted to research it...

Natural Sciences Personal Statement

Science has no boundaries. From the air we breathe, to the plastic bags we pollute the ocean with, science explains and explores every aspect of life. The far-reaching and ever-developing scientific community cannot be contained merely within the classifications of “Biology”, “Chemistry” and “Physics”...

Jane, 17, spent two days crafting her personal statement on her university application form this year.

She was applying for a place at Cambridge University to study history. It took four drafts for her to be happy enough to send it off.

She might as well have spared herself the bother.

Cambridge's director of admissions, Geoff Parks, has admitted that tutors at his university do not assign any marks to the personal statement – an essay students write on why they chose the subject they are applying for and why they are suited to it.

Parks said students now receive so much help – from their teachers or from websites that offer to write the statements – that universities cannot tell whether a student has written any of it.

He said: "With the profusion of companies and websites offering to help applicants' personal statements for a fee, no admissions tutor believes [personal statements] to be the sole work of the applicant any more.

"We certainly don't assign any marks to personal statements. I have been told by students after they have been admitted that their schools write the personal statements. References from teachers do not count for much either, Parks added. Teachers have stopped writing anything interesting or controversial now that students can demand to see what they have written.

Cambridge judges students on their grades and predicted grades instead, Parks said.

Jane, who does not want to give her full name, said: "If tutors are worried that the statements have been written by other people, they can grill students hard at the interview. They should be able to differentiate between those who wrote their personal statements with genuine passion, and those who simply got someone else to do it for them."

A spokesman for Cambridge University said: "Cambridge admissions tutors and subject interviewers do indeed give careful consideration to the personal statements of applicants for undergraduate admission.

"While the potential for coaching or third party involvement makes it difficult to attribute a 'score' to a personal statement, we do regard it as providing valuable background information.

"Cambridge probably interviews more applicants than any other UK university, and we necessarily use personal statements to inform the interview process because a purely academic record tells us nothing about the personality we are engaging with and how well they will adapt to college life."

Roderick Smith, director of admissions at Birmingham University, said his university had refused to consider "several dozen" students last year after it found out they had paid an essay mill to write their personal statements for them.

And Smith said a teacher at an independent school had told him: "Of course we help our students with their personal statements, their parents are paying £7,000 a term!"

Admissions tutors may ignore the personal statements of students applying for engineering and science subjects, Smith said.

"Where there are more places than applicants, students are likely to get an offer whatever their personal statement may or may not say," he said.

"We look at whether someone has the requisite academic achievements; then, if there are too many students for the number of places, we look at their personal statements."

Tim Westlake, director of admissions at Manchester University, said its tutors took personal statements seriously. "But we wonder whether we should choose students to interview on their qualifications, and then discuss their personal statement with them at interviews."

Oxford University's head of admissions, Mike Nicholson, said the personal statement was "a good way to distinguish the truly gifted, original and inspired". He said: "We find it a very helpful way to identify what they are doing above and beyond their A-level studies."

Ucas, the university admissions service, is considering whether students should write a separate personal statement for each of the five university courses they apply for, rather than write a generic personal statement for all of them, as they do at present.

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