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You can take this opportunity to include information specific to Cambridge or something you didn’t have room for in your full statement. - here’s a snippet from mine: “However, frequent exposure to team situations - such as playing in an orchestra and several bands, gaining work experience at an outdoor centre, and participating in the RYLA course - means I also know how to work in a team, both as a leader and a member.” This sentence is far from perfect and I would quickly replace it if I was writing my personal statement again.
But it does help highlight a few of the things I have mentioned.
As a result, a fair bit of the tips here are simply the general advice you will find in other places. - you should know what course you are applying to, so write your personal statement with this in mind.
Stick to relevant topics and write to the requirements of Oxford or Cambridge.
A personal statement that satisfies Oxbridge should satisfy them too.
- you may be a bit of a perfectionist, and that’s alright, but try to bypass this at the start.
Only then will you be prepared when it comes to actually sitting the test.
I left it too late and thus found myself faffing about trying to take and upload a passport photograph while botching together the additional personal statement. - there may be additional forms you are required to complete. Even then, there is no guarantee you’ll be able to continue with the process - so don’t run that risk. If it’s possible, find practice papers and any guidance notes. Don’t just read over the questions either; try them under test conditions and in the allotted time.
But I didn’t make it as easy for myself as I could have done.
Although I knew what advice was being given, I didn’t act on it straight away.
If reading that has made you cringe, just remind yourself you can perfect it at the end. This is particularly true when it comes to extracurricular activities.
After you have notes, follow a plan which works for you, but don’t aim for perfection straightaway. Spend less time writing about these and you will have more room to mention topics relevant to your course.