Computer Science Personal Statement

Divya Rupini is currently a first year undergraduate reading MEng Computing (Artificial Intelligence) at Imperial College London. This personal statement was part of her successful application to Imperial College London and University of Southampton for Computing (Artificial Intelligence) and UCL, Durham University and University of St Andrews for Computer Science.


As a daughter of doctors, I have first-hand knowledge of the limitations of modern medicine. The role artificial intelligence plays in helping the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions is a driving factor in my aim to pursue computer science. In the fight against cancer, conventional treatment requires pathologists to search a multitude of photographs to find a single anomaly. Artificial intelligence could not only carry this out in seconds, it could also formulate combinations of medication tailored to the patient’s circumstance. 

In high school, a peer’s initiative to start the Hour of Code Project kickstarted my interest in this field. Under his tutelage, I learnt the basics of  Python and within a few meetings, I could code simple games using loops and variables. For me, the appeal of computer science lies within the fact that everything made to this day started out as an idea. I remember working for hours on end during my high school Robotics Club sessions, changing the programme bit by bit to achieve the exact outcome that I pictured in my mind, a process I found infinitely rewarding. 

Further reading led me to a university study that modelled the mobility of cockroaches to build a robotic arm. The arm built was a simplified version of the more common and complex designs that allowed for more compliance and could passively adapt to structures with ease. The problem faced by roboticists of computing the uncertainty in unstructured environments was overcome by applying Dr. Robert Full’s theory that the legs of cockroaches carry out computations on their own which produce a self-stabilising mechanism. This information combined with shape deposition manufacturing of robotic limbs and the movement of robots according to the gait of insects catered for robots that moved faster and smoother than ever. My appreciation for nature grew as I realised that countless solutions could be built by taking inspiration from what was already around us. Studying Computer Science, the brain of the robotics field, would allow me to further develop programs that would translate codes into physical manifestation, aiding and reaching more people. 

During an attachment at a local engineering and distribution firm, I had the opportunity to build a clock. Throughout this process, I developed an understanding for analogue to digital transmissions and the functions of logic gates in producing a circuit that transformed a 1 Hz frequency into a display on the 7-segment counter. Further reading taught me that implementing fixed logic circuits were the base of building a general-purpose CPU. It was interesting to watch a physical manifestation of input combinations provided by an integrated circuit. Observing my mentor build and test simple circuits using MatLab grew my interest for the role of computing as I realised the role computing plays in other fields.

To prepare for my course, I am self-studying C Language programming and Python using resources available on Coursera and CodeAcademy. Due to my love and affinity for maths, I directed a maths competition in college for my peers to showcase their mathematical skills and solve challenging problems. As a peer tutor, I help weaker students with their mathematical ability every week. As Event Manager of the college’s inaugural conference, I coordinated a team of 40 students to organise 4 councils and multiple keynote addresses to provide my peers with a platform to debate world issues. My position as President of the MUN Club instilled in me an appreciation for passionate discussion and speech to achieve viable solutions to global issues.

I hope to use my passion for analysis and making connections to eventually pursue a career in AI and robotics in the future. I believe that my pursuit of computing at a university level would provide me with a platform to help people live as best they can. Computing can shape a world of limitless potential -a world that I would not only want live in but help create.


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Actuarial Science Personal Statement

Beh Le Hao is currently a first year undergraduate reading BSc Actuarial Science at London School of Economics and Political Science. This personal statement was part of his successful application to LSE and City University of London for Actuarial Science, UCL for Mathematics and Statistics and University of Warwick for MORSE.


How do professional sports gambling syndicates use multiple regression analyses to predict outcomes reliably to earn income? Why are they so confident that the risks taken will be rewarded? I am intrigued by these questions and my interest prompted me to do some independent research into statistics. I was fascinated by how Bayes’ Theorem applies conditional probability to sports betting in order to make predictions. I am curious about how models are used to combine qualitative and quantitative data with such precision, even with the large number of random variables that affects results. M. Lewis’ ‘The Moneyball’ illustrates how the Oakland Baseball team won by assembling a group of undervalued players that matched the skills needed to succeed. What really fascinates me was how they established a new method of statistical analysis using varied key performance data points to evaluate players. I am frequently amazed by the power of statistics and how it can completely change people’s perspectives and views of traditional games. It is clear to me that such modelling can have similar impacts on organisational change in business too.  My desire to broaden my knowledge is what drives me to apply for a course in Maths and Statistics.

Statistics is particularly useful when discussing the 2008 financial crisis. The housing bubble, created from the sheer volume of unrepayable loans, could have been avoided if banks had reacted to the increased rate of default and statistical uncertainty. I feel they did not recognise the importance of statistics: banks had the knowledge they needed about their loanees, and knew they were taking huge risks, but approved loans anyway in pursuit of profit. However, I am also aware that the exponential increases in the amount of data available can also develop overconfidence, leading to predictive inaccuracies. I am really interested in how actuaries apply their knowledge to risk minimisation, which is such an essential feature of today’s world.

Reading ‘The Great Mathematical Problems’ by I. Stewart, I encountered problems that have puzzled mathematicians for centuries, while also learning about the fundamental equations that shape our understanding of the world. My particular fascination with the randomness of prime numbers led me to explore more challenging and stimulating concepts, such as Goldbach’s Conjecture and Riemann Hypothesis. It is intriguing how the unproven Riemann zeta function, by proving all non-trivial zeros lie along the critical line, provides a way to encode the prime number theorem. In Statistics, I enjoy applying hypothesis testing to determine data’s reliability. In Decision Maths, I am drawn towards the intuitive nature of dynamic programming. I was left intrigued by how an algorithm can work backwards to reach an optimal solution; I had never thought in that way before.

My internship at a corporate finance company reinforced my interest in statistical analysis in the field of investment banking. I learned how analysing historical data helps evaluate the profitability of transactions. Their use of spreadsheets and presentations in order to value companies and track changing trends in a volatile industry was impressive. I had to independently conduct my own research, looking for patterns and links within data, which taught me a great deal.

I have learnt programming languages, such as C++, independently from a young age. I enjoy participating in Maths competitions including the Olympiad, ICAS and Kangaroo Maths. I play the piano to Grade 6; this requires focus and persistence, and has greatly improved my memorisation skills. As School Basketball Captain and a School Prefect, I have developed my leadership, communication and teamwork skills.

As a curious, open-minded and committed student, I am excited about furthering my passion for Maths and Statistics at a first class UK university, driven by the prospect of furthering my knowledge of the world around me as an undergraduate.


DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.

Law Personal Statement

Swaathi Balajawahar  is currently a first year undergraduate reading Law LLB at King’s College London. This personal statement was part of her successful application to King’s College London and University of Manchester for Law.


The law is not an entity that is meant to be ossified, but is rather the substratum of how a society functions, constantly evolving to meet humanity’s ever-changing demands. The fluidity of law fascinates me as I see lawyers as agents of change, often contributing to the emergence and growth of a civil society. In Malaysia, however, partisan laws have induced a climate of fear. The Sedition Act 1948, a colonial era law that restricts free speech acts as a dragnet for dissenters. The heavily criticised Internal Security Act 1960, although recently repealed and replaced by the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, continues to quell political dissidence. With the unjustified prosecution of activists and opposition in my country, I realise that lawyers as well as the people have been silenced by the active criminalisation of discourse.

Reflecting upon history helps me grasp the origins of such draconian laws. The sanguinary events of the May 1969 racial riots led to the government introducing the Constitution (Amendment) Act of 1971 that warrants the Parliament to pass legislation which would limit dissent, especially with regards to the Social Contract. As the people began to fear a recurrence of the past, they found solace in these unjust laws, sacrificing free speech for the idea of safety and an illusion of interracial unity.

Throughout school, I was warned against promoting dialogue. Now as a national scholar, I am contractually forbidden to partake in any political discussion; free speech was the price I paid for my education. Debating was my escape as it led me to question the dogma I had been inculcated with. I learnt to form my own opinions based on informed arguments, substantiated with reasoning and evidence. I embraced diverse perspectives, realising that discourse was not to be despised, but appreciated – an understanding crucial in the study of law.

My past experiences have equipped me with the vital skills required to pursue this field. Growing up in a conservative Indian family, I was forced to assume traditional gender roles. However, joining the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, I organised speeches and campaigns that empowered myself and others to seek gender equality. During my term as the President of the Interact Club, I realised the importance of rules in maintaining the integrity of an association. I obeyed strict protocols in carrying out community projects to preserve the reputation of the club, while portraying high levels of ethics. As a prefect, however, I challenged the need for superficial rules by promoting dialogue between the stakeholders of such regulation. The skills that I have learned shaped my conviction to not only advocate for change, but also question the efficacy of conventional rules, while complying to ethical principles. Eventually, my zeal for interpreting how the law operates drove me to initiate a Law Society in my college.

My curiosity to explore various legal avenues led me to a job attachment with CIMB Bank. Assigned under Group Compliance, I analysed irregularities in transaction patterns based on the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Funding laws. Here I understood the need for stringent rules to maintain integrity, even for major profit-seeking universal banks. However, ruminating on the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad scandal that tainted my country as a kleptocracy, I realised strict regulations alone cannot stop perpetrators if the regulators are silenced by the very constitution they are called to uphold.

Too often, the rule of law is constitutionally manipulated into being a tool for personal gain, restricting freedom of expression to retain political authority. As I recognise a sense of oppression in my country, I realise the anachronistic nature of our laws. At university, I aim to understand what makes or breaks the rule of law, acquiring necessary knowledge and intellectual dexterity to empower and reform Malaysia’s constitution.


DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.

Medicine Personal Statement

This personal statement was part of this student’s successful application to UCL, University of Edinburgh and Queen Mary University London for Medicine. 


As a St. John Ambulance first aider, I treated a schoolmate who fractured his forearm and dislocated his elbow. I immediately assigned my fellow first aiders their roles before speaking calmly to my schoolmate. Yet, held back by the limitations of being a first aider, we could only stabilise him before transferring him to the hospital for treatment. My perceived limitations sparked my consideration of pursuing medicine as a career choice as it exposed me to the extensive possibilities of being a doctor.

Intrigued by the decision-making process in medicine, I shadowed a doctor in the emergency ward of a local hospital. He diagnosed patients not just by using a fixed algorithm, but by using a blend of his clinical acumen, the results of lab tests and imaging modalities, considering every aspect of the illness. Through this, I realised that he maintained a healthy dose of scepticism to avoid red herrings, which could have caused misdiagnoses. Wielding the wisdom to choose his diagnostic tools at the correct moments, he avoided the unnecessary usage of resources, which were then made available for patients in the Intensive Care Unit. By doing so, I recognised that doctors constantly problem-solve, highlighting the investigative nature of a doctor’s role, consequently strengthening my resolve to study medicine.

I also understood the importance of compassion in medicine after witnessing the gravity of the psychological impact of illnesses on patients, especially those with heart disease. To tackle this, the doctor reassured and motivated them to change their sedentary lifestyles, a tough but gratifying task. From this, I learnt that doctors play a pivotal, yet unspoken role in solving some modifiable risk factors in such illnesses, consequently improving public health. He also adopted a scientific approach to most cases by not only addressing the symptoms but also the pathophysiology. Through this, I realised that science and benevolence are symbiotic in this field, exposing me to the holistic aspect of medicine.

Reading about the vastly unexplored area of neuroscience exposed me to the danger of brain tumours, such as glioblastomas. The heterogenous nature of these cells renders chemotherapy ineffective, leaving neurosurgeons with only the crude option of surgery to remove these tenacious tumours. Even then, the dilemma of deciding whether to operate or not plagues doctors ‘minds. I am optimistic that further research can solve this issue by paving the path to the finding of non-invasive diagnostic techniques, such as monoclonal antibodies. This can potentially lead to the discoveries of effective chemotherapeutic agents and oncolytic viruses that can specifically target these cells, such as the Zika virus which can kill glioblastomas. Research is an integral and exciting aspect of medicine, which ultimately aims to improve patient care. I believe that it is vital to apply research in the clinical setting. Volunteering at a hospice enabled me to empathise with the elderly. One particular lady left me feeling helpless as she was bedridden and blind, binding her to a challenging life. I realised that my company brought her joy, exposing me to the importance of applying medical humanities in the clinical setting.

To further improve my interpersonal skills, I tutored underprivileged children from a rural area in English through my college’s Rotaract Club. This allowed me to understand the importance of communicating well in a multiracial society, another key aspect of a doctor’s job scope. This experience further inspired me to champion public health as the kids were living in poor conditions. Currently, I am self-learning to code and play the guitar, whilst regularly playing badminton to ensure that I am constantly learning new skills whilst leading a balanced lifestyle. Together, these experiences gave me the valuable insights needed to practice in this field that is an imperfect science but nonetheless a gratifying art.


DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.

Economics Personal Statement

Aaron Goh is currently on a gap year and will be reading BSc Economics at University of Cambridge. This personal statement was part of his successful application to University of Cambridge, UCL, University of Warwick and University of Durham for Economics.


Max Hartwell said that “economics is, in essence, the study of poverty”. I disagree. I think economics today is, fundamentally, the study and use of incentives to achieve policy goals. However, if what Hartwell meant was that alleviating poverty is the goal of economics, then I concur – it must be the most important aim of socioeconomic policy. Reading Duflo and Banerjee’s ‘Poor Economics’, I found myself increasingly interested in discussions of solutions to poverty. In particular, I am interested in the effects of education on poverty; I believe education is a necessary condition to escape vicious cycles of low education, low skill, and therefore low incomes. I do not believe in a single, miraculous solution to poverty. However, I think that a heterogeneous use of education-driven policies bears the most promising results.

I found an appealing theoretical basis for my hypothesis in my A-level studies – Marginal Revenue Productivity (MRP) theory suggests that workers who produce output of higher value will earn higher wages. Furthermore, education changes structural causes, and breaks intergenerational chains of, poverty. Educating children reduces inequality from the get-go, while educating or re-training adults with the right skills grants them access to higher-paying jobs in current demand. Further exploration of empirical research by the Hamilton Project shows that increasing educational attainment will increase average income. Therefore, a sound way to help the poor is to improve access to, and incentive for, education.

I was intrigued by Dulo and Banerjee’s counter-intuitive inding that conditional cash transfers were not as effective as unconditional ones at incentivising the poor to send their children to school; this highlighted that policies to increase education for the poor need to be carefully thought out. For instance, one policy that they discuss is making microcredit available to the poor. I initially agreed, since in theory, this would reduce liquidity constraints holding them back from education. However, research by Augsburg et al. on Bosnia found that higher microcredit availability actually reduced the school attendance of 16-19 year olds due to them leaving school to start businesses! The use of econometric analysis, coupled with tools such as the Randomised Control Trials used by Dulo and Banerjee, can help reveal how our policies should be crafted; I look forward to gaining a rigorous understanding of such analysis at an undergraduate level.

Inspired by data-driven approaches to uncovering solutions for poverty, I downloaded World Bank time-series for GNI per capita, and gross primary, secondary and tertiary enrolment in America to examine the correlations between these variables. A rudimentary analysis of data for America revealed the R-squared value for a regression of GNI per capita on the three different enrolment variables to be 0.61 at most (for primary enrolment). This suggested to me that while education may be a necessary condition for ameliorating poverty, it is not a sufficient condition; it is dependent on other elements too, which is why Eric Hanushek found that in many cases, simply spending more on education did not accrue significant returns. One such element may be political uncertainty. I once discussed the ongoing civil war in Libya at a Model United Nations Conference; it has shut down schools and exacerbated extreme poverty. Policy solutions here must deal with the differing political reality of the country. All this reaffirmed to me that policy discussions require rich cross-disciplinary handling, something I look forward to learning more of.

My tertiary education will be funded by a Malaysian Central Bank scholarship; this opportunity was life changing for someone of lower middle-class income status like myself. How can others access opportunities like this? I hope to gain the rigour and knowledge to answer these questions, beginning with an education in economics.


DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.

Civil Engineering Personal Statement

Jordan Aw is currently a second year undergraduate reading MEng in Civil Engineering at Imperial College London. This personal statement was part of his successful application to Imperial College London, University of Leeds, University of Bath, University of Southampton and University of Sheffield for Civil Engineering.


When Elon Musk caused a media firestorm in August 2013 with the announcement of the Hyperloop concept- a new mode of high speed transportation via tubes containing just a thousandth of the air pressure at sea level- I realised that we are in the middle of a revolution in the world of transportation. Space travel is no longer exclusively state-sponsored; a market is already slowly emerging for commercial space travel. Hyperloop companies are already here, and are doing public tests, each time with something new to offer. Car manufacturers project that they’ll be ready to mass-produce self-driving cars within five years. My fascination with this “revolution” eventually grew to the point where I made the conscious decision to get involved, and I decided on civil engineering.

It soon became clear to me that such a significant shift meant that current infrastructure would be insufficient. While researching this in the context of autonomous cars, I discovered the idea-and limited reality-of machine perception, the capability of a machine to understand data in the way humans understand stimuli. However, reliance on solely the computer’s ability to interpret data correctly would lead to the same problem that human drivers have: there are just too many factors to fully recognise. Would a machine be able to recognise children playing by the road, and slow down because it knows they might run onto the street? To existing software, humans just look like columns of pixels. This possible over-reliance is why I believe that we need to consider how our roads convey information to computers as well.

Growing up outside the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, I recognise that our public transport systems are lacking. Outside KL, there are no rail systems except the outdated intercity trains. However, even with KL’s comprehensive train services and buses, traffic jams still cost Malaysia RM20 billion in 2014, according to the World Bank. Intrigued by this apparent paradox, further research led me to an article by Renne, which discussed the idea of transit-oriented development (TOD) and networked livable communities. The statistics showed a clear picture of the benefits of developing a community around a comprehensive transport system, instead of the reverse, with residents of TODs spending a significantly lower percentage of their income on housing and transport. These are ideas that I am extremely interested in seeing implemented in Malaysia, with most of its cities and towns being relatively underdeveloped.

While researching California’s high-speed rail system, I was struck by the amount of controversy surrounding it. The constantly increasing costs and the revelation that the California High-Speed Rail Authority had downplayed the initial estimates came across as particularly dishonest. As public unrest increased, the political opposition to the project gained more and more traction, as evidenced by the successful lawsuit which undermined its funding. I found it similar to Malaysia’s 1MDB, a state-sponsored development company revealed to be massively corrupt. I realised that Malaysia would face the same problems and that political engagement is important.

Outside the classroom, I am Director of Community Service for my school’s Leo Club, organising visits to a local orphanage, old folks’ home, and beach clean-ups. I also participated in a 24 hour run to raise funds for charities dedicated to helping victims of human trafficking. My team raised over RM5000, the third highest amount raised for the event. I am a member of my school’s debating team and have competed in various local and national events, winning the national championships in 2016. To widen my scope, I joined my school’s press team for which I write and edit a bimonthly newsletter.

I believe the role of the civil engineer is an exciting one in a developing country like my own, and that getting a degree from a top UK university would be a major step towards fulfilling my goals.


DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.

Biomedical Engineering/Natural Sciences Personal Statement

Ng Eu Keat is currently a first year undergraduate reading MEng in Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London. This personal statement was part of his successful application to Imperial College London for Biomedical Engineering, University College London for Natural Sciences and Biomedical Engineering as well as University of Bath for Natural Sciences.


During my DoE Gold expedition, I camped in a cave with a colony of bats and noted their
skill of echolocation. Only knowing the basics of echolocation I decided to read ‘The Blind Watchmaker’ in which Dawkins highlights the use of the Doppler shift principle by bats to determine how far or near prey is. Additionally, bats are able to contract their ear bones to protect themselves from their shriek, a method which is applied to most sonar systems from boats to medical sonar. What made this so captivating was how it opened up a new perspective on nature-inspired innovations which sparked a desire for me to further understand the possible applications of biology, chemistry and physics.

As a person who appreciates the environment, I shadowed a group of scientists at the
Danau Girang Field Centre in Borneo last January where I developed experimental
techniques such as setting up camera traps and collecting and inspecting parasites in a
lab. Setting up camera traps was challenging as my team and I needed to consider how
the animals might respond to the traps. This required me to think inventively. All the time spent in the field had me wondering about the current situation of my country’s rainforest. In order to understand more I interviewed some doctoral students and scientist about their research. Consequently I learned about their plans for sustainable palm oil plantations which would not threaten forest biodiversity. The experience has heightened my understanding of the environment while helping me hone my communication and mediation skills: all necessary for work in research groups.

Those who spend time outside in Borneo understand the irritation of mosquitoes. Interestingly we do not feel the bites as mosquitoes have one pair of serrated needles which minimise contact with nerves, something I learnt at a talk by Dr. Moshrefi-Torbati on biomimicry. Auxiliary reading showed that the adaptation was the basis on which engineer Seiji Aoyagi created his pain free hypodermic needle. The talk made me wonder about the other instances of biomimicry in nature. Inspired, I undertook an EPQ researching the topic. An example would be the tasar silkworm, whose silk fibroin is the main component of certain heart scaffolds as the silk is biocompatible while being able to degrade safely. The EPQ has refined my ability to conduct independent research which I applied to expand my understanding on respiration. For instance, I made notes on the ten steps of glycolysis as I had not been satisfied with the simplified version learnt in class.

Being given the opportunity to learn about the workings of our world throughout my A-
level has been especially engaging. However the ability to realise practical solutions from the theories learnt is what excites me. Therefore, I read Mark Miodownik’s ‘Stuff Matters’ learning about the medical applications of bio-glass and titanium in surgery. Miodownik further explores concepts such as the transparency of glass which really stretched my understanding of inorganic chemistry; I only knew that glass was transparent and, not how that property emerged. To complement my growing interest in materials science I completed an online course on 3D bio-printing to get an insight on how personalised prosthetics are made.

Quite simply it is the interdisciplinary approach to the sciences which fascinates me and,
as an initiative to share my knowledge, my friend and I started an Instagram account
where I set aside time to point out topics of interest such as: ‘Coral bleaching’ and
‘Tissue regeneration’. It was evident from my research that the environment is degrading
due to human activity. Another problem I have observed is the growing threat of
superbugs facilitated by the careless prescription of antibiotics by Malaysian doctors. It is
my hope that one day I will be able to develop sustainable solutions for the environment,
as well as new advances in medicine for Malaysia.


DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.

Law Personal Statement

The writer is currently a first year undergraduate reading LLB Law at the London School of Economics. This personal statement was part of this student’s successful application to LSE, Queen Mary University and University of Nottingham for Law.


The ambition to provide the poorest man a wealthier life is a noble one, but defining it by racial preference is Malaysia’s shameful mistake. Affirmative action, favouring its 68.6% Bumi population has provided property purchase discounts and permitted reservations into state universities, the civil service and public share offerings via the New Economic Policy since the 1970s. This contravention of equal protection enshrined in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution precipitates institutional socioeconomic segregation. Being a beneficiary by virtue of race prompts me to question its fairness towards my non-Bumi compatriots who virtually hold a second-class citizenship.

I witnessed the rise of Bersih, a democratic protest whereby its 150,000 members expressed concerns about balancing the need for special privileges with minority rights within the Malaysian Constitution. I was appalled that the freedom of protesters to question Article 153 was criminalised under the Sedition Act with allegations of seditious tendencies and exciting disaffection. This ambiguous and subjective definition grants the executive discretion for arbitrary enforcement, as with the onerously regulated media and removal of the Attorney-General and Parliamentary Accounts Committee chairman investigating the siphoning of 700 million USD from Malaysia’s developmental fund 1MDB sitting in private accounts of its chief officers. The power to exercise judicial reviews in Marbury v Madison has been limited by abuse, eroding the credibility of the court to independently uphold the rule of law that Bingham implies is of democratic importance. Montesquieu promotes that a despot emerges when the three institutions of the state are under executive control and in this quasi-democracy which inherited English common laws, the public now fear its manifestation. The protection against exploitation of the written constitution and human rights is what led me to law.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir justifies Article 153 in ‘The Malay Dilemma’ by referring to years of discrimination during the colonial era. Intrigued by when affirmative action should be limited, I compared the Equality Act in the UK that legally protects people against preferential treatment with Malaysia’s practice of utilitarianism. Although the greatest good is for the greatest number, a review should be insisted when it compromises the universal basic rights of equality. The World Policy Journal reports that millions of non-Bumi migrate or deviate from government sectors to avoid prejudice forced through structural disenfranchisement. Hence, I refer to Portia in Antonio’s trial, that this conflict of law and equity should be resolved through considerations of mercy and fairness in its administration. Whether it is criminal, constitutional or property, law holds a significant role in the protection of human dignity, one that should not be subverted for personal gain.The misuse of power, compounded by lack of freedom, calls for a nobler form of justice. I aspire to learn how lawyers challenge legal decisions and push the judiciary to interpret the law contrary to one amended by the powers that be.

My debating experience has exposed me to similar social, political and economic illnesses which occur between persons and governments. Learning to construct and destruct arguments while defending unorthodox stances through discourse is important but what I look forward to at university is to practically address these problems with legal interpretation. Being a Central Bank scholar gives me a platform in its legal department to practice this knowledge and advocate constitutional liberalism whilst attempting to review and mend draconian laws in the future.

Some Malaysians can withstand the lack of transparency, judicial power and equal rights while others feel defeated. Studying law will aid me prevent the loss of confidence in it and contribute to society by upholding the protection of civil liberties.


DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.

English Personal Statement

Nadia Tasneem is currently a first year undergraduate reading BA in English at University College London (UCL). This personal statement was part of her successful application to University College London (UCL), University of Warwick, Kings College London and University of Bristol for English.


I was not allowed to watch The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, or the Golden Compass until I had read the books. As a child, I could not understand why it was, but I complied anyway, and it was these books that encouraged my love of reading. Within three weeks I had finished all of His Dark Materials, and the entirety of the Chronicles within a month. Perhaps what I enjoyed most was not so much the books, but the discussions I had with my parents afterwards, in which they would ask me about beloved characters, hidden messages, highlights, and plotlines. It was these conversations which nurtured my curiosity and helped Literature become an integral part of my upbringing.

When I was just ten, I came across an article in the school library on the portrayal of
marriage in a Midsummer’s Night Dream. Although I was young, the dissection of social
norms seemed sharp and perceptive, especially as in Malaysia the roles in a marriage are
so rigidly defined. I fell in love with plays soon after, Shakespeare’s in particular, and I
quickly learned to appreciate the genius of Puck’s humorous quips. I felt especially excited at his appearances as his comic relief was primarily used as a plot device, meaning that when Robin appeared, so would another twist in the story. I also began to develop an interest in social commentary by reading material revolving around revolution in Les Miserables and the socialism found in Wilde’s Happy Prince, which became fast favourites of mine. The depiction of poverty in these books highlighted the privileges I have grown up with and nurtured a need to show compassion to those in need. As an impressionable young girl, the elements of feminism in Austen’s Emma and Alcott’s Little Women appealed greatly to me as well, but perhaps what affected me the most was Miller’s The Crucible. The rationality of society and courts being affected by religious beliefs terrified me, particularly because in Malaysia, Muslims follow Islamic, not secular, law. The prevalence of religion in my life is perhaps what inspired me to return to Lewis and Pullman’s books in my EPQ, which discusses the influence of religious messages in children’s literature. Lewis’s world depicts the four children as loyal subjects and Aslan as a Christ-like figure, standing in sharp contrast to the chaotic, upsetting child protagonists in Pullman’s trilogy: Lyra and Will, who enact the classic journey to the underworld, a mirror of Christian hell. Both authors deny any religious allegories in their works, yet numerous academic analyses have drawn similar conclusions about the implicit messages to children. More interestingly, only Pullman’s anti-religious books received criticism, whereas Lewis’ writing was universally praised.

Performance poetry provides me with an experimental platform for creative writing. I
regularly attend and compete in poetry slams, as well as recording poems for Malaysian
radio. I also wrote a triptych for the Commonwealth Essay Prize 2017, for which I won a
bronze award. In addition, in my free time, I volunteer for charity events and work in soup kitchens. I also founded a supplementary English program for aboriginal primary school children in Malaysia. The aim of the program was not only to improve the children’s language and encourage education, but also to qualify them for vocational school by helping them break out of the poverty cycle. Last summer, I went back to Malaysia for an internship at the Star newspaper and found the work in the investigative journalism department thrilling, particularly when I was able to cover the Fun With English program that remains so close to my heart.

I hold two grade 8 qualifications in piano and singing and run the performing arts club in college. Balancing my active involvement in music, voluntary work and academic obligations keeps me disciplined and focused, but also inspires me to remain open-minded and creative.


DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.

Accounting and Finance Personal Statement 3

Hoi Lee Yang is currently a first year undergraduate reading Bsc in Accounting and Finance at London School of Economics. This personal statement was part of his successful application to LSE, University of Warwick, University of Bristol and Durham University for Accounting and Finance.


As a child, I was enamoured with the same questions that would have plagued any
questioning child’s mind. Like any aspiring engineer or doctor or lawyer, I yearned to know more about how the world, in all its intricacy and sophistication, functioned. I savoured my opportunities to learn about the breakthroughs of physics in creating our modern comforts, and relished the study of history: of how every nascent today is inextricably linked to past events. I have been thrilled by the knowledge of anatomy, learning so intently about what I was, and how I functioned. Despite all this, the world appeared insistent in showing me that the true key to understanding its machinations lay not in any of these fields. The surest way to make sense of the world, it seemed, was in a certain field without which all human activity would not function. It manages us, as much as we try to manage it: money.

I am interested in accounting and finance due to its sheer ubiquity. I realise that every economic entity, from the big corporations and governments down to local sundry shops or even households, relies on the management of finances and planning for the best future outcome. Accounting has always been a deep-rooted industry, charting a colourful history from the clay envelopes used for bookkeeping in 5000 BC Mesopotamian temples, to the double-entry ledgers of Medieval Venice. Regardless of what general perception might contend, though, I am convinced the field of accounting is also one of growth and vibrancy. Looking to the recent proliferation of financial technology, or Fintech, I am particularly keen to follow the advances in the field as I make my journey into accounting at university.

March 2017 saw HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, partner up with an online commerce
platform, Tradeshift, to offer an online alternative for financing and paperwork. This is part of a broader phenomenon of big finance companies collaborating with Fintech startups not just in the UK, but around the world. On the ground, we see the business world evolve, just as it did when manufacturing first took root in the Industrial Revolution. A KFC outlet in Beijing now accepts payment through facial recognition, and the Singapore government is working on a standardised QR code system for all monetary transactions. Bitcoin, despite price volatility and initial hostility from banks had, by the end of August 2017, octupled its market value in a year, pointing to its increasing use as a medium of transaction. Other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Litecoin also follow suit. At university, I am eager to refine my knowledge of the current framework of finance, and alongside a group of equally-curious peers, enrich myself with a better understanding of how the status quo will adapt to these technological advances.

I am drawn to accounting and finance due to the promise of challenge, not only arithmetically but also in tackling complex problems. A-Levels also marked my first exposure to the world of Economics, allowing me to enrich my understanding of accounting with a background context in how the business world worked. The course compelled me to pick up books such as Daron Acemoglu’s ‘Why Nations Fail’, which intrigued me with the idea that governments must strive to maintain inclusive economic activity that incentivises every party to work hard. The copious examples of failed civilisations which could not ensure a reward for parties to take risks and adopt new technologies had also sparked my interest in management, realising how similar the running of businesses are to that of entire civilisations.

I feel I am a dynamic, curious and highly-motivated student who is very excited about the prospect of studying Accounting & Finance at a first class university in the UK. I eagerly look forward to the challenges I will face on an academically rigorous and complex course. And hopefully by the end of my degree, the machinations of the world will be a little less elusive.


DISCLAIMER: The personal statements on this site are strictly meant as a starting point to give an idea of how successful personal statements look like. There is no surefire formula to writing good personal statements. COLLEGELAH IS STRICTLY AGAINST PLAGIARISM OF ANY KINDUCAS employs a plagiarism check system that checks applicants’ work against other published writing so please DO NOT PLAGIARISE.