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 Chemistry applicant’s Personal Statement that helped secure a place at Oxford University. The Chemistry Course at Oxford is taught in a world-leading chemistry department with state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories and world-class research.
Read on to see how this candidate wrote a Personal Statement that helped secure their place on a reputable degree.
Here’s a breakdown of the Personal Statement:
The universities this candidate applied to were the following:
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Chemistry Personal Statement
Few aspects of our lives remain unaffected by the fundamental subject of chemistry. Chemists have revolutionised the way we live; from the medicines we use to the water we drink, it is hard to imagine what our everyday life would be like without the help of this vast subject. I wish to be a part of the chemical discoveries of the future which is what entices me to study chemistry in greater depth at university.
My interest in chemistry has developed a great deal since starting the AS level course. Each time I learn something new, it inspires me to develop my knowledge even further. I have particularly enjoyed the organic chemistry involved in the AS course due to the practical work it entails. Laboratory work for me is enjoyable because it provides an opportunity to test out the theoretical knowledge you have gained and is also great fun! For example, I particularly enjoyed making azo dyes as it was interesting to recreate a process in the lab which is so frequently used in industry.
I have been able to develop my passion for chemistry through wider reading. I have recently enjoyed reading Molecules at an Exhibition. The range of molecules which can have profound effects on our lives surprised me and showed me again how relevant chemistry is to our lives. I have a subscription to New Scientist. An article I particularly enjoyed reading over the summer was “Rogue elements” which explores some of the unanswered questions associated with the periodic table. For example, when the elements will stop and whether superheavy elements, which exist for fractions of a second only one atom at a time, can be considered elements at all. The article also looked at the issues of where to place the elements hydrogen and helium and where the metal/non-metal divide should be. This showed me that although the periodic table is often considered to be complete, there is still much to uncover. Reading Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You introduced me to the concept of relativity and I was amazed to find out how this theory affects chemistry as well as physics. For example without relativity the properties of some of the heavier elements such as gold would simply not be the same. I have been developing my interest in maths and have taken up AS further maths which will be largely self-taught, I know this will complement the chemistry syllabus.
Recently I took part in a UNIQ summer school at Oxford University which allowed me to have a great insight into undergraduate chemistry. I thoroughly enjoyed my week, particularly the lecture on chirality. This was a new concept for me and I was surprised by the huge differences that can result from this form of isomerism. My subject knowledge was greatly enhanced and the skills I gained have been even more valuable. I was taught to question, develop and evaluate my knowledge at every stage and become a more independent learner.
During Year 12 I acted as a science tutor for GCSE students, helping them with exam technique. I found that explaining the subject matter to others helped to enhance and consolidate my own knowledge. My success both in and out of school was rewarded when I received Clevedon’s 2014 Academic Achievement Award in chemistry.
I enjoy playing the piano and recently achieved Grade 6 during my GCSE year, developing my time management skills. My other hobbies include drama and singing and I am a member of Clevedon Light Opera Club as well as the school choir. I have taken part in several productions as well as performing in school stage shows and concerts. All of which contributed to me gaining my Gold Arts Award. I volunteer with a Rainbow group. When I started I found the prospect of running activities for a group of people quite daunting, but 2 years later I think my confidence and communication skills have improved greatly. I have developed my knowledge, skills and aptitude both in and out of school and I look forward to being able to extend these further by studying at university.
For more inspiration, take a look through our other successful Personal Statement analysis articles:
Good Points Of The Personal Statement
This is a well written and well-structured statement. The student places points in order of relevance, making the statement easy to read. All points are clearly explained, and their impacts on the student are clear. There is a clear introduction, main body and conclusion.
Bad Points Of The Personal Statement
Although the statement is written in a logical order, there are a lot of paragraphs. Whilst it is very good that the student has a wide range of interests and hobbies, the student dedicates two paragraphs to these. It would have been possible to shorten the statement by removing some of the points mentioned, without taking away from the quality of the statement. The student clearly has many experiences from outside of the A-level syllabus, such as the UNIQ summer school and working as a GCSE science tutor. Whilst is it of course important to describe individual experiences and achievements, focussing on the positives alone limits the impact that mentioning such experiences will have. It would have been nice to see what challenges the student faced through their experiences, and how the student overcame these.
UniAdmissions Overall Score:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is an excellent statement. The Personal Statement is clearly written and easy to read. The length of the statement could have been reduced, however, there are no other areas in which the student needs to make significant improvements.
This Personal Statement for Chemistry is a great example of a well-written Statement that demonstrates a wealth of experience and interest, vital to Admissions Tutors.
Remember, at Oxford, 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.
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