"I have always dreamed of coming to LSE since I was young. It has been a dream of mine to study at this institution, which is well renowned for its social science courses.
I am currently studying History, English and Business and Management at Higher level and Italian, Maths and Chemistry at Standard level in the International Baccalaureate, and feel that these subjects are providing me with a solid background for university study.
I want to study History because I want to be a world class Historian, and feel that this degree will help me. I am especially interested in Ancient History, particularly the history concerning the Roman Empire. I am fascinated by the way in which the empire was run, and the events that led to its downfall.
"I was the captain of the school football team, and this has taught me the importance of working together as a team, and allowed me to prioritise my time between my studies and football practice. I feel that this has provided me with the experience to successfully balance my academic and social life, and I plan to continue this balance whilst at university.
It is my dream to become an alumnus of the School, and I am sure that as I am the top student of my class, you will offer me a place."
This brief example of a personal statement is poor. The applicant has mentioned an interest in history but they have not discussed this in depth or shown any evidence of wider engagement with the subject. Where the applicant does talk about history, the discussion is superficial and focussed on ancient history, which LSE does not offer as part of our history course.
The applicant has specifically mentioned LSE, which is likely to be unattractive to their other choices, and has wasted space listing their International Baccalaureate subjects, which would be shown in the qualifications section. The applicant has described how a history degree will help them get the job they later want, rather than what they are looking forward to studying during the degree.
The applicant has reflected on the transferable skills they have developed leading the football team. This is good, but it would be nice to see the same level of reflection applied to academic topics - this student has spent more time talking about football than about history.