Top Tips for a Cambridge Economics Personal Statement

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Cambridge Economics Personal Statement – Top 10 Tips: Dos and Don’ts

economic personal statement cambridge

The Cambridge Personal Statement is a crucial component of your university application. It presents a unique opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from other applicants. You would be able to articulate your story and explain your interests beyond that of numbers on an admissions test. Furthermore, it gives the interviewer a chance to understand who you are. It also provides a platform to bounce off questions during your interview. 

They can tailor questions to your personality, interests, and commitment to who you are as a person and your amalgamation of experiences before you. To guide you through the arduous university application process, our Oxbridge application experts have compiled a list of top 10 Economics Personal Statement Cambridge tips. This includes dos and don’ts– for your Cambridge Economics Personal Statement for the 2024/25 application cycle.

General Advice for Cambridge Personal Statement

The economics course at Cambridge is a comprehensive course that covers all types of economics: core, pure, and applied. Furthermore, the course at Cambridge is also engineered in a manner that allows students to use techniques and schools of thought from other related fields This includes sociology, statistics, mathematics, politics, and history.

Hence, your Cambridge personal statement should clearly demonstrate that you understand that the course is not only theoretical but also includes a significant portion of mathematical reasoning and knowledge. Furthermore, when planning out your Economics personal statement Cambridge admissions tutors will be looking for you to research Cambridge’s achievements in economics and include it in your writing to illustrate your interest in economics. 

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Additionally, when you are crafting your Economics personal statement, you would most likely also be applying to four other university courses. This may result in your statement being vaguer. The University of Cambridge is aware of such and will require you to fill out an ‘Online Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ)’. This is shortly after submitting the UCAS application. So make sure you’ve created another condensed version of your Economics personal statement that you can directly submit to Cambridge.

Top 5 Tips for your Cambridge Economics Personal Statement

1. Demonstrate that you are well-read in economics.

Cambridge does not presume prior knowledge of Economics (after all, you are going to Cambridge to study it!). However, being familiar with Economics terminology as well as its basic principles would give you an edge over other applicants. Furthermore, being well-read in the field also signals to the examiner that you are interested and passionate about the subject. You would take the initiative and seek out knowledge on your own if you are truly passionate about the subject!

If you don’t know where to start, you can access Cambridge’s recommended preparatory reading list on their website, or through this link here: Prelim Reading. Furthermore, remember that you are not restricted to books! This could also be in the form of news articles – The Economist, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Vox, The New York Times, etc. are all great places to start. You can also read magazine columns. Or it could even be in other forms of medium such as podcasts, documentaries (available on accessible platforms such as Netflix!), or even Youtube videos. Watching an economics documentary instead of your usual prime-time TV show would be a great way to incorporate learning into your everyday lifestyle.

2. Demonstrating that you are proficient or interested in Mathematics.

Although it is not immediately obvious for an Economics course, the Economics course at Cambridge assumes and requires students to be proficient in Mathematics. Fret not, they only require you to have fully mastered your course syllabus and material at the A-level Mathematics level before commencing your studies. However, showing that you are proficient and interested in Mathematics would help you both in your application and if you end up pursuing the course as there are definitely mathematics components in the course. For example, if you take further mathematics, you would benefit from knowledge in Further Pure Mathematics as well as Statistics. Participating in mathematics competitions or having done work in statistics would be useful in your application as well as course.

3. Focusing your application on your interest in Economics.

Remember that in your Economics personal statement Cambridge admissions tutors are looking out for students who are interested and are a good fit for the course. Hence, it is always important to remember that in your personal statement Cambridge Economics should feature highly! Elaborate on your interest in Economics! You can do so by answering the following trigger questions: Why are you interested in Economics? Are there specific aspects of the course that interests you and why? Do you have any personal qualities or traits that would make you a good Economics student?

Focusing your body paragraphs on certain aspects of Economics that interest you and why, or qualities that make you a good Economics student could be used as an overall structure when crafting your Economics Cambridge personal statement. Referencing relevant experiences and reflecting on them would also be useful when writing your personal statement.

4. Having a good structure for your Cambridge personal statement.

Using a good structure when writing your Economics Cambridge personal statement would be good to not only enhance readability but also allow you to not miss out on or forget certain points when crafting your personal statement. You can have a look at a Cambridge economics personal statement examples. But remember when looking at economics personal statement examples Cambridge admissions tutors are adept at spotting plagiarism so looking at it to gain an understanding of structure rather than content is a good option.

A good structure could look something like this: Introduction– A short 3-4 lines briefly mentioning the main reasons why you are interested in Economics, or how you started becoming interested in the course. Next, your body paragraphs can focus on traits that you have that would make you a good economics student, or specific details or aspects of the course that interests you. Each point could be one body paragraph, and you can support and elaborate on each point with examples (such as competitions that you have participated in, books surrounding those concepts that you have read, societies that you have been a part of, etc.) You can then conclude by summarising the important points you want your Cambridge admissions tutor to remember and take away.

5. Giving yourself sufficient time to write your Cambridge Economics personal statement.

It might seem impossible to start crafting your Economics Cambridge personal statement, especially when you are staring at a blank word document and you have no idea where to start. If you are experiencing writer’s block, you can start by listing down all your achievements and experiences. You can then list down details or aspects of the course (you can easily research this!) that interests you, as well as a separate list of qualities that an economics student should have. You can then match your experiences to any points from the two lists, and use each match as a backbone when fleshing out your body paragraphs!

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Top 5 things to AVOID for your Cambridge Economics Personal Statement

1. Having a poor or incorrect understanding of the course

Many students who apply for a course at university have a misguided or misinformed idea of the course that they would be studying. This is because their impression of the course is from hearsay or what they see in films, or they assume that it would be the same as the subject they studied in high school. For example, especially for economics, students would not expect the amount of mathematics or statistics that are part of the course.

Having a good understanding of what you are in for can also benefit you when writing your personal statement. For example, you can explain how parts of your interest or personality align well with specific or general aspects of the course. This signals to the Oxford admissions tutor that you understand what you are applying for and that you are interested and are a good fit for it.

2. Making your Economics personal statement an economics essay instead of elaborating on your interest or story

Although it is helpful to mention economic theories in your personal statement when you are trying to explain your motivation to study economics, or when elaborating on the books that you have read, ensure that you do not turn your whole Economics personal statement into an economics essay. Keep in mind that what the Cambridge admission tutors are looking out for when they are reading your personal statement is to understand why you want to study economics, and what makes you the perfect fit for the course. Even if you found a really difficult or obscure economics theory, talking at breadth about it rather than focusing on your story would put you at a disadvantage– these tutors would be experts in their field, and if they wanted to learn more about a particular theory, they would pick up a textbook instead of your Economics personal statement!

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3. Using too much jargon or using vocabulary that you are not familiar with

You might think that using unconventional vocabulary or fancy terminology would make you sound or appear intelligent. However, especially if you are unfamiliar with the terms, this would actually work against you instead of helping your application. This is because your personal statement could end up sounding unnatural, wordy, and hard to read. Think about it this way– explaining a difficult concept in simple words is more impressive than using a difficult word incorrectly! Furthermore, Cambridge admissions tutors would be reading hundreds of Economics personal statements a day– If your Cambridge personal statement is full of jargon and tough words, it would be difficult for them to understand what you are trying to convey to them. You would not way your ideas to be lost in translation, so make sure you communicate in a simple and effective manner! Always value clarity over vocabulary.

4. Not reflecting on any experience that you mentioned in your Cambridge Economics personal statement

Your experience is only as valuable as what you have taken away or learnt from it. Especially when you are mentioning experiences that are not directly related to that of Economics, you should always mention how it is relevant to your application to Economics– whether it be your interest in it or certain personal qualities that you have. If you want to mention a particular experience that you have, however, you are unable to link it to Economics, you can think about how it has led you to develop certain transferable skills. For example, if you have done a lot of community service or volunteered at a charity, you can talk about how this has led you to be interested in learning more about Economics policies or theories that could help with inequality or poverty.

5. Only give yourself enough time to write a singular Cambridge Economics personal statement

Never expect to only write one Cambridge personal statement, and that being the final draft that you would be submitting. Your first personal statement that you craft would not be your best one, and you should always give yourself enough time to constantly improve and write multiple drafts to further improve it.

After writing a draft that you are proud of, it would also be good for you to leave it aside and not think about it. After a week, you can return to it with a fresh mind, and you would be able to note out errors or aspects of it that you would like to further refine. You can also let seniors, friends, or your school’s career guidance counsellor proofread your Economics personal statement for them to give a more objective view and perspective on your personal statement. Their feedback could be immensely helpful, as sometimes we might not be the most objective person when telling our own stories. However, do remember to not share your Economics personal statement with anyone, as this could lead to unnecessary plagiarism problems!

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