Oxbridge Applications 2020: Crafting an exemplary statement

Oxbridge, Personal Statements

20th September 2020

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You have put in countless hours squatting for your summer exams, burnt the midnight oil memorising the Krebs cycle, completed extra hours community volunteering and tallied off that higher grade in piano. You have done everything you can to gain the pre-requisites necessary for that prestigious Oxbridge course. But, when it comes to showcasing your merit, are you unsure of what components actually make a good personal statement? You’re not alone. Every year, thousands of students face the same challenge. Although it may seem like a bureaucratic exercise, the personal statement is in fact key in the decision-process among admissions teams.

How We Can Help

Whether it is writing a bespoke statement or editing an existing draft, Oxbridge Personal Statements is here to help. When Oxford University’s admissions team is reading through your personal statement, they hold a streamlined focus towards academic ability and potential. Many budding students will submit applications with predicted or achieved grades that meet the course criteria. This is where the personal statement and tailoring it to Oxbridge comes in. The applications team uses the statement to understand what takes you above and beyond a list of impressive grades and a good personal statement will exhibit what motivates you to pursue the course. For example, a prospective Law student may achieve straight ‘A’s, but a good personal statement will demonstrate a suitability above and beyond academic merit, to encompass why this shows a passion for the topic and how this has motivated the individual to pursue relevant work experience.

Structuring your statement

Cramming your enthusiasm, achievements and skills into 4000 characters can be half the battle. Oxford University suggests allocating 80% of the personal statement towards academic exploits and relevant extra-curricular activities, with the remaining 20% covering unrelated extra-curricular activities. Here at Oxbridge Personal Statements, we understand that less can sometimes be more; it is highly important to place all relevant information in the statement, but it can be more beneficial to build on those relevant experiences and the skills and enthusiasm behind them rather than utilising word count to list every single vaguely relevant detail. The latter can sometimes look like a shopping list that doesn’t let the reader get to know you very well. Our team hold the expertise to navigate this complex balance when tailoring the statement to the Oxbridge admissions team and present you as a candidate in the best possible light.

Oxford vs. Cambridge

Comparatively, unlike Oxford University, Cambridge University makes their admissions decisions based purely on academic merit and the personal statement is more commonly used as a basis for discussion at interview. As such, your personal statement for Cambridge may utilise and include all factors that you wish to build upon during the face-to-face discussions. Cambridge admission supervisors are still on the lookout for enthusiasm, relevant interests and how you have pursued the subject in your own time. Our dedicated team understands that, when applying to Oxbridge, it is not enough to simply state that you have completed a certain achievement, before moving on. Rather, we are practiced at tailoring each experience to the course requirements, elucidating why it would make you an ideal member of the student body and the key expertise gained, such as oral communication, resilience or teamwork skills. Demonstrating how the qualification will contribute to your future ambitions is important, likewise, a logical and well-thought-out structure is essential in the writing process. The admissions team may find the statement hard to follow if you frequently jump between different topics unreasonably. This amalgamation of factors separates a standard statement from one that stands on a platform above the rest.

Ultimately, the personal statement is the place to convince Oxford and Cambridge why they should welcome you into their alumni. Oxbridge personal statements’ industry leaders are experienced in achieving such a goal in a tailored approach that is built around your personality. With the deadline to submit your Oxbridge UCAS application looming just a few short weeks away, on October 15th, it is more important than ever to ensure that your submission is underpinned with a personal statement that allows you to shine.