Map Oxbridge Applications, 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR
Home Application Resources Mathematics Personal Statement Guide

Your Personal Statement plays a crucial role in your mathematics university application, as it’s the first chance you have to introduce yourself as an individual to the admissions tutors.

You can demonstrate your passion to study maths, show the contribution you would make to the cohort, and prove that you have the abilities and motivation to receive an offer.  

A lot of applicants struggle to write personal statements. It’s difficult to balance writing about academic interests with personal achievements, keep everything relevant to the maths courses you’re applying to, and fit it all within just over one A4 page of text.  

To help you get on the right track, our Personal Statement Guide takes you through everything you need to know to create a great maths personal statement: 


Why are Personal Statements Important? 

The personal statement is a written piece that you submit as part of your UCAS application. You write and submit one statement that is sent to all of your university choices, and it must fit within either 4,000 characters or 47 lines in the UCAS form (whichever limit you reach first).  

The personal statement gives Admissions Tutors a feeling of who you are as a potential student. It gives a personality to the rest of your application and helps universities decide between applicants with very similar qualifications, based on who they think is best suited to the course.  

As an applicant, you have to check certain boxes in your personal statement. You have to prove that: you have the skills to succeed on the course, you are academically curious about mathematics, and you are motivated and passionate about studying mathematics at a high level.  

This means that a successful mathematics personal statement needs to be unique, interesting, and packed full of specific interests that you have within the field of maths. If you’re applying to Oxbridge or other top-level universities, you especially need to make sure the statement is focused on your academic interests and only includes maths-relevant achievements.  

APPLYING TO OXFORD OR CAMBRIDGE? 

Our Oxbridge Private Consultations provide in-depth evaluation, strategy and next steps to achieve results for your university application. Suitable for those aged 14 upwards.

What Should I Include in a Mathematics Personal Statement? 

A mathematics personal statement needs to cover your passion for studying maths, your academic achievements and experiences relating to maths, and your specific interests or evidence of research you’ve done within the field of mathematics.  

Passion for Studying Maths 

You need to demonstrate your passion and motivation without being general or telling a long story.  

Begin by thinking about why you decided you wanted to study maths? Perhaps you’ve always loved working with numbers, maybe you want to use maths to solve engineering or mechanical problems, or maybe you find beauty in the logic and process of pure maths proofs?  

Whatever the reason may be, it should be unique to you and a genuine reflection of why you love maths. 

Academic achievements and experiences 

You should think about what you are proud of having completed in your mathematics career so far. This could be ‘proper’ achievements like winning a maths competition or receiving a school prize, or it could be more personal, like persevering at solving a difficult problem.  

When it comes to experiences, this could be anything provided you can link it to maths (either directly or indirectly). Think about transferable skills here; for example, undertaking a law internship could be relevant if it involved lots of data handling and statistical work, as well as analytical and critical thinking.  

Specific interests and evidence of research 

The point of this element is to show that you have thought about maths beyond the classroom.  

You could discuss interesting academic books you have read, relevant news stories that relate to or involve maths, or multimedia sources like documentaries, films, or TV programmes that in some way relate to or have inspired you to pursue mathematics.  

Rather than producing a list of sources, you should pick some key examples and discuss them in depth: get to the heart of the mathematic principles involved, and engage with them on a personal level. Not only will this make for a good personal statement, but it will also help prepare you for Oxbridge interviews.

 


What Should I Avoid in a Mathematics Personal Statement? 

Do not be wishy-washy with your statements. Rather than saying that you have always loved maths, perhaps explain how numbers or equations fit into your world view; rather than saying you like a particular mathematician, discuss their specific contributions and how they have inspired your maths journey.  

Being specific and digging down into the academic side of maths is what is really going to impress admissions tutors.  

Avoid cliched statements like the plague. Even though you are passionate about maths, don’t state “I am passionate about maths”; find a less cliched way to say it instead.  

Your statement might require several drafts to ensure the language is interesting yet accurate, but it’s worth it: if you came up with something in a minute, then it’s likely so did lots of other applicants. 

Don’t be tempted to mention personal achievements that are not related or involve transferable skills relevant to maths. We understand that it’s tempting to include details of your Judo black belt, your gold Duke of Edinburgh award, or your prize for best history essay, but unless you can clearly argue its relevance to studying mathematics, then it won’t impress the tutors.

 

Register to access our complimentary e-book "So You Want To Go To Oxbridge? Tell me about a banana…"

Advice on How to Start a Mathematics Personal Statement  

There are a thousand different ways that you can begin a personal statement, which often makes it the most difficult part of the process.  

There’s one one-size-fits-all answer to this: some applicants begin with a quote from a mathematician that has inspired them, others start by discussing what inspired them to pursue maths at university, whilst others jump straight into a discipline that they find most interesting.  

The opening of the statement sets the tone for the entire personal statement, so it’s crucial that it’s in your own words and reflects your own personality; admissions tutors will be able to tell if it’s someone else’s words! If you’re struggling to find an opener, we recommend drafting the rest of the personal statement before coming back to write the introduction.  

This can help you have a better idea of what opening will best set the groundwork for the rest of the statement body.  

 


Advice on How to Finish a Mathematics Personal Statement  

Knowing how to close out a personal statement can be just as difficult as beginning one. The final paragraph of your personal statement should round up the statement and summarise your dedication to maths and your academic interest.  

Like the opening, the final section of your personal statement will likely need a good few rewrites, so don’t feel disheartened if you haven’t captured it perfectly first time round.  

 


FAQs

Getting started is one of the trickiest parts of the personal statement process. We recommend making a big list of everything you have done or are interested in to help focus your mind.  

Just because STEM subjects like maths seem less creative than other subjects, it doesn’t mean that your inspiration has to be stale. Prehaps try: 

 

  • Watching films about maths or mathematics (the most famous examples are Good Will Hunting, Moneyball, and A Beautiful Mind) to get you in the right frame of mind 
  • Getting into a podcast about maths (Oxford University has one called The Secret of Mathematics) 
  • Reading some accessible maths books (such as Humble Pi: A Comedy of Maths Errors by Matt Parker or The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh) 

Remember to Keep note of the things you read, watch, and experience that inspire you as you do them; this will help make writing the statement easier.  

UCAS has strict limits for all personal statements: 4,000 characters or 47 lines on the UCAS form (whichever limit is reached first). This is roughly one to two sides of typed A4.  

This may feel like a lot of space, but once you get going you’ll realise that it’s not! We recommend using up the majority if not all the space given to you so that you give admissions tutors the best possible idea of who you are as a maths student.  

It can be difficult to decide what you should or shouldn’t include in a maths personal statement.  

As a general rule, if you include something, you must be able to relate it to maths – either through its content or through transferrable skills.  

For example, if you spent time working as a maths tutor or competed in maths competitions, then clearly these are relevant. However, the link you find can be more creative than this: perhaps you have studied multiple languages which exercises your skills at pattern-spotting, or maybe you have won a critical thinking essay competition which demonstrates your problem-solving skills?  

The key is to think outside of the box, and for every activity you mention, clearly state how it links to important maths-related skills.  

Tailoring a personal statement to any one course is difficult, since the same statement is sent by UCAS to all of your university choices (of which you have up to five). This means that you should not directly mention the specifics of any one course, since it signals to other universities that you are not considering their course as your main option.  

Instead, we recommend targeting Oxbridge through the style of your statement: keep it tight to the academic study of maths and demonstrate your analytical skills.  

Showing that you’ve researched maths outside of school to a high level, and leaving out any personal interests that don’t relate to maths, is a good way to keep Oxbridge tutors interested.

Book your Mathematics Personal Statement Package

You can contact our Oxbridge-graduate Consultants on +44 (0) 20 7499 2394 or email [email protected] to discuss our personal statement packages. 

If you’d like to know more about Mathematics, we have admissions test guidance and interview preparation readily available. 

Oxbridge Applications Logo

Our Oxbridge-graduate consultants are available between 9.00 am – 5.00 pm from Monday to Friday, with additional evening availability when requested.

Oxbridge Applications, 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR


Added to cart

View Cart