Welcome to our popular Personal Statement series where we present a successful Personal Statement, and our Oxbridge Tutors provide their feedback on it.
Today, we are looking through a Mathematics and Physics applicant’s Personal Statement that helped secure a place at Cambridge University. The Mathematics and Physics Course at Cambridge offers the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects: everything from abstract logic to black holes.
Read on to see how this strong Personal Statement addresses both maths and physics to showcase a high level of their ability.
Here’s a breakdown of the Personal Statement:
The universities this candidate applied to were the following:
INTERVIEW + REJECTED
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Mathematics And Physics Personal Statement
Since childhood, I’ve always loved complex puzzles, logical problems and challenges. Later on I discovered mathematics and physics which offered a lot of interesting problems and I enjoyed spending time on them. I loved the fact that real-life events, such as throwing a ball, could be described by a virtual language created by humans. However the most impressive fact for me was when I discovered that mathematicians and physicists can predict events just by solving equations. That’s is when I decided that maths and physics are what I want to do in life to contribute to the world.
Even though my passion in mathematics started very early, I have struggled to get to where I am now. When I got into Bratislava’s best gymnasium in mathematics I found myself at a position I had never been before. That was the first time I wasn’t the best in mathematics in our class, in fact I was one of the weaker students in this field. However over time I made my way to the top, but I still couldn’t surpass my classmates. When I got to the 5th grade, I realized why I didn’t succeed. That year we got a new mathematics teacher and she opened my eyes and showed me the beauty of maths. The most important thing that happened that year however was when I won the regional mathematics Olympiad and they invited me to KMS which is a camp for people interested in mathematics. There I realized that the school mathematics is just a fraction of the possibilities in this area. However the thing that I believe helped me in mathematics is that I started enjoying it. Rather than solving a Sudoku or crossword puzzle I was solving geometry problems. Since then I have won many prizes including bronze medals from the Middle European Mathematical Olympiad and the International Mathematical Olympiad.
Besides maths and physics I also love playing the piano and practicing Kung Fu. I have played the piano for 13 years and my personal favourites are Chopin’s Nocturnes. I may not be great at it, but playing the piano helps me relax and forget about my worries for a while. I practice Kung Fu mainly for health. My favourite style is Bagua. I learned that Kung Fu is not only a martial art, but a way of living. Besides Kung Fu and the piano, I also enjoy teaching kids interesting facts or problems in mathematics. During school, I teach a mathematics club and I want to teach the kids that mathematics isn’t just numbers.
Every summer I help organize a mathematics day camp for children. Mathematics may be the subject which I’m best at, but I don’t want to be ‘just a mathematician’ in the future. Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to do something great like solving global issues or inventing something useful, however I realize that it is very hard to achieve this with pure mathematics. People advised me to go study economics and financial mathematics so I could have a good job and earn money, but that is not what I want to achieve in life. My goal is to shape the world and make it a better place for future generations. This is the reason I want to study physics or engineering. I started doing physics two years ago and since then I participated and won some competitions including the Regional Physics Olympiad. To be better at physics I started reading Feynman’s lectures which helped me a lot, but also taught me that there is much to learn out there about the world. The reason why I want to study in the UK is because there are many opportunities compared to Slovakia. I have many friends who study there and heard from them that it’s an amazing experience. The most important fact, though, is that in the UK I can study and work with people who are ambitious. I know what I want to achieve in life, and even though I don’t yet know exactly how to get there or where ‘there’ will be, I believe that a UK university education will steer me in the right direction.
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Good Points Of The Personal Statement
This is a very good statement. The statement is well-written and structured. The student describes their life experiences without making the statement sound like a list of achievements. This is achieved because the student explains every experience described, rather than listing their life experiences with no context. It is clear that the student has many talents and achievements, and these are stated in a humble manner that does not make it seem as though the student is bragging. It is clear that the student is aware of the significance of their decision to study outside of their native homeland and the challenges that this will bring. The student explains their reasons for applying to study a dual honours course and does not neglect either discipline.
Bad Points Of The Personal Statement
The student uses the word ‘gymnasium’ instead of school/college. Whilst this may be the term used in Slovakia, in the UK a ‘gymnasium’ is a place where people exercise and its use in this statement is somewhat confusing. The way in which the student writes about their personal experiences makes the statement sound somewhat like an autobiography.
UniAdmissions Overall Score:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a very good statement. The student clearly has personality and a high level of ability. Strange terminology used can be excused due to the fact that the student’s first language is not English, and that the vast majority of the statement is very well-written.
This Personal Statement for Maths and Physics is a great example of how to showcase a high level of ability. The candidate’s interest and achievements are clearly shown which is vital to Admissions Tutors.
Remember, at Cambridge, these Admissions Tutors are often the people who will be teaching you for the next few years, so you need to appeal directly to them.
You can find more successful personal statements and our expert guides on our Free Personal Statement Resources page.
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