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Advising the Advisers 2011

The Importance of the Personal Statement to LSE

Linda Hamer Access & Admissions Specialist

LSEs situation ....


Volume & Quality of Applications Highest application : places ratio in UK Seek to recruit students with the very best academic potential irrespective of their background Aim to select students who can benefit from and contribute to the LSE community

Selectors at LSE ....


Academic Admissions Tutors & Admissions Specialists Discuss procedures & policy Apply strict School (i.e. LSE) guidelines Work to specific criteria for each course Uphold the principles of fairness, transparency and consistency

The process .....


Selectors look at all forms where the Academic Admissions Criteria (i.e. grades) are satisfied LSE does NOT interview applicants Personal Statement IS important Advice on web-site: www.lse.ac.uk/collections/undergraduateAdmissions/Ad missionsCriteria/UCAS_personal_statement/Default.ht m

LSEs ideal Personal Statement


Clearly structured (think interview) Obvious subject focus (general & specific) Links current & future studies Evidences relevant skills & experiences Minimum 66% academic (one third social) Full use of space (but paragraphed) Error free Original (UCAS Similarity Detection Service) Enthusiasm; motivation; spark

Subject Focus
Why this particular subject? e.g. It is the ever-changing nature of Law which makes it a discipline in which one will always be challenged. Yet it is not just this versatility that attracts me to Law, but also the diversity of this exciting discipline.

Specific Subject Interests


Which aspects are of particular interest? e.g. particularly how the critical decisions that affect our country are made. I am also keen to explore the moral, political and economic implications of such decisions on both individuals and marginalised groups in society.

Present & Future


Links to current subjects / studies e.g. ... In my Economics A level, I have been able to use my mathematical reasoning in analysing statistical data and interpreting trends in economic activity, for example considering how future growth can be stimulated without inflationary pressure. I hope to develop this further in my degree course

Skills and Experiences


Not just about what the student has done, but what s/he has gained by doing it e.g. In reaching the national finals of the Proshare Finance competition, organised by Deutsche bank, I developed a better understanding of investment and improved my communication skills through the various presentations.

Evidence of Planning
Ends on a positive note e.g. ... I am a committed and enthusiastic student; I enjoy a challenge and work hard to achieve my goals, I look forward to tackling a degree in Accounting and Finance as well as contributing to all aspects of university life.

Additional Information
Evidence of more than study Voluntary or Charity work Sporting success or interest Social activities (theatre, art) Duke of Edinburgh & similar Work experience or paid employment Internship (particularly if relevant to course - but not essential)

What to avoid...
Spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors Jargon, abbreviations, non-standard English Excessive use of quotations Rambling or repetition Irrelevancies Preference for one university Failure to make use of space Lying!

Admissions Criteria Web-Site


Additional advice regarding specifics that are sought from students applying to LSE courses are given on the LSE admissions criteria web-site: www.lse.ac.uk/undergraduateAdmissions/AdmissionsCrite ria

Linda Hamer Access & Admissions Specialist