Tutor Icon  Request A Tutor
Oxbridge Personal Statements

Personal Statement Advice

Honestly speaking, I had failed my cambridge admissions exam and did not have their minimum requirement of an a* at A-Level. I applied anyway;

I later found out that the only reason they were so keen to interview me, was because they were fascinated by my personal statement. The originality of what I had to say using those few words, is what persuaded them that I was a worthy potential candidate… so an excellent personal statement is essential! This is why I am writing about personal statement advice.

Regardless of what you’re applying for, try to write about an area or topic in your field, which is uncommon. Alternatively, if you’re passionate about a popular area in your field, try to  explore it from a different angle. For example, don’t apply for English literature using Shakespeare’s ‘Othello,’which is a text studied for A level coursework across England. If you decide to, ensure you have a strong argument/ point/ idea to make, which demonstrate original thinking.

It is also essential that your personal statement flows and has some sort of chronological structure which links your ideas… you don’t want to jump from talking about a lab experiment, to then saying that you play tennis as a sport. Try to cleverly intervene the two; for example, you can link labs to biology, health, muscles and then sport. It’s very important that your personal statement doesn’t sound as if you’re frantically jumping from one thing to another… make it a pleasure to read! This way,  you’ll have the admin tutor’s attention thus you’ll be unforgettable! Lastly, try to reference as many books, documentaries, articles etc, as you can, to really strengthen your ideas about a topic by providing evidence for it. This will show that you’ve put a lot of thought and effort into why, for example, you would like to study civil engineering as opposed to mechanical engineering. Making a comment like ‘I prefer to work in a social environment’ is very vague and shows lack of research on your behalf.  Try to embed scientific and textual references in your sentences.

Language comes so naturally to us that it is easy to forget what a strange and miraculous gift it is, and I hope to embrace this distinct quality, which differentiates us from any other species, through the study of Linguistics at university. Knowing Arabic, Latin and Hungarian gives me a unique perspective on how writers use language as a powerful tool, and an understanding of how subtle meanings can be lost in translation.

Sandor Marai’s ‘Ester’s Inheritance’ in the original Hungarian evokes the restrained ambience and intellectual life of pre-World War Hungary, but I find this atmosphere lacking in George Szirtes’s English version; all languages have their own idioms and means of emphasis, which cannot be replicated in translation. The tone and rhythm of Szirtes’s version is flatter and more detached, suggesting that the translator’s story did not derive from his soul, but was a mere imitation of someone else’s heart-felt experience. Similarly, when translating Latin, it has been challenging to recreate the profound effects of rhythm and meter in Ovid’s poetry. I can now empathise with translators such as Szirtes, and appreciate Ted Hughes’s ‘Tales from Ovid’.

While teaching myself G.C.S.E Arabic at the age of thirteen, I noticed how different it is in construction to the European tongue, for example the non-existent letter ‘p’. This explained why ‘buny’ for carp fish is ‘ponty’ is Hungarian, suggesting that languages have a striking systematic resemblance thus must be derived from a single common ancestor- confirmed by Trask’s ‘Introducing Linguistics.’ If in English we wish to emphasise a word we pronounce it more forcibly. Arabs do the same; hence by doubling the middle syllable we get an intensified meaning. This displays a customary melody of intonation associated with language, as noted in ‘The Talking Ape’ by Burling. Infants grasp an intended message from my tone of speech even when spoken to in a foreign language, amplifying the role of context rather than linguistic knowledge in the transmission of meaning.

Having worked with dyslexic children and currently tutoring ten Latin students, I based my Extended Project on how much of a species’ linguistic development is determined by biology, and how much by cultural exposure. Interestingly, most conversations in English are among people who aren’t native speakers, and through my business at Camden Market and by working for a financial services company, I have found this to be true in a professional as well as a social context. My parents, for example, use the term ‘two towel,’ rather than ‘two towels.’ The correctifier before the noun clarifies for them that it’s plural, demonstrating how language changes with the socio-linguistic reality of how communication is being used. Post-colonial writers depict how Africans reclaimed power through such communicative competence, partially by “turning the oppressor’s language against itself,” as described by Adrienne Rich. My neighbours speak patois, using the accusative ‘me’ instead of the nominative ‘I,’ whereby the use of their vernacular forges a space for alternative cultural production, exemplifying the centrality of the language we use to our social and cultural experience.

The power of language is evident in both the spoken and written word, and at a poetry club I attend, I enjoy the strong instinctive responses this form can give rise to.

My passion for performing is fulfilled through Dynasty Dance, and I have a fascination for visual arts- how emotions can be expressed through dance, colour and image, in comparison to spoken words. An ardent love of reading, travelling and languages has kindled my aspiration to improve my Spanish in Seville and sit the ECL qualification in Hungarian. This privileged access to a range of cultural attitudes offers alternative ways of viewing the world and thinking about life, which I yearn to develop by studying Linguistics.

If you need more personal statement advice, organise a personal statement tutor today.

LETS STUDY FOR YOUR EXAM TOGETHER

 
Melodie Argi
Melodie Argi
08:14 18 Oct 19
Tavistock tutors is by far the best tutor agency is London. The tutor selection is of the highest quality. Handpicked from the British intellectual elite in all sorts of disciplines. The staff is wonderfully helpful as well as being extremely attentive to feedback.read more
Henry Smith
Henry Smith
22:27 17 Oct 19
I have been employed as a tutor with Tavistock Tutors for over 5 years. I tutor mathematics and also help people with job preparation for different career routes (cv, cover letter, interview preparation and online test prep). They are simply a wonderful team of individuals who work collectively and strive to deliver the best possible service to both clients and their tutors. They work doggedly to achieve results. They are particularly honest and their feedback to tutors on how to improve is tailored, concise and always highly constructive. Even after 5 yrs, they only put me forward as a tutor if they think I am the absolute best they can find otherwise they are honest with me and explain why I was not put forward. I think this transparency is a huge reason for their success and keeps the best tutors on their books for years. Their communication on what a client wants is also clinically precise and effective and the team go out of their way to provide potential interests/passions of the client to help the tutor prepare accordingly for the lessons and nurture that interaction. Simply the finest agency and I have tutored with some of the best. World-class tutors and utmost confidentiality with respect to their clientele. I cannot be happier to work for them, a dream job with a team whose capacity for kindness, empathy and boundless intellect never ceases to amaze me. Their work ethic inspires me to relentlessly push myself to be a better tutor with their encouragement and constructive feedback.read more
Albert Tam
Albert Tam
20:50 17 Oct 19
Best tutors in London! Great experience and amazing customer service. Highly recommend, my tutors were all fantastic and a huge help. Really recommend Tavistock Tutors as I never had to worry about not getting the highest quality tutors unlike other agencies and online tutors.read more
I ME
I ME
16:13 17 Oct 19
I’ve used Tavistock multiple times and they never disappoint! I used them for myself secondary school, whilst at university and even now whilst working. Their service is second to none as are their tutors. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to better themselves academically or personally.read more
STAVROS MOUSLOPOULOS
STAVROS MOUSLOPOULOS
13:22 06 Oct 19
Why most reviewers have one contribution, namely to the Tavistock Tutors? High standards ? Mate get a real job rather than living off other's qualifications. Reality Check (See photos attached - that is the owner “looking for me” 1.5 years after leaving London and while my name and photo was on first page of Tavistock Tutor website...)read more
Jonathan Aaron
Jonathan Aaron
16:39 01 Aug 19
Amazing experience, the tutor was reliable, knowledgeable and reasonably priced and the company was both professional and reliable. Definitely will be using them again!read more
David T
David T
16:34 01 Aug 19
I used Tavistock for some Corporate Finance and Financial Modelling training at my firm. They were extremely helpful and the trainer, Simon, was of top quality, experience and charged a fair price. Thank you!read more
Olivia Pluss
Olivia Pluss
11:05 13 Jun 19
I had a fantastic experience with my tutor Elena and Tavistock Tutors. They were very well organized and made the entire experience so seamless and easy for me. I passed my assignment with great marks and the experience was much less stressful than if I had tried to complete the assignment without Elena's help.read more
J Mathews
J Mathews
11:27 22 May 19
My child used Glenda for HL biology. Glenda was outstanding. I would not hesitate to recommend her. Extremely intelligent, always prepared, knows how to teach/very helpful, and also just a nice person. Also, I would use Tavistock again for sure because we had such success with Glenda.read more
Alan Radford
Alan Radford
09:34 09 May 19
Tavistock Tutors were a delight to deal with, and highly professional at all times. They provided my daughter with an excellent tutor at very short notice - after my having approached them on a Thursday urgently requesting a tutor for that weekend. Tavistock Tutors immediately gave the matter their attention; they appreciated the urgency and responded quickly and efficiently, and helped to set my daughter up with exactly the right sort of tutor. Fantastic!read more
Sophie Taieb
Sophie Taieb
12:55 29 Mar 19
Very happy with Tavistock tutors services. They provide a wide range of tutors, from all backgrounds and for all types of needs. My uni son needed some help in research and methodology. We found a perfectly suited tutor in less than 3 days. He is very knowledgeable, punctual, open minded and brings the support needed to my son. I would definitely recommend Tavistock tutorsread more
Next Reviews
 

How to memorise quotes – (great for closed book exams!)

Memorising quotes can be a crucial element to your GCSE and A-level exams, so mastering the skill can be essential. Being able to use quotes in your written responses is a sure way to get marks fo...

How to choose quotes to learn for English GCSE

We know that learning quotes for a closed-book exam can be daunting, difficult and boring – especially when you’ve already been studying the text for an entire year. In our article ‘Do I need ...

Do I need to memorise quotes for English GCSE?

With the new GCSE specifications released in 2015, most English Literature GCSE exams have now become closed-book exams.

But what does this mean?

This means that in your exam, you won...

Call Now Button