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Applications to Cambridge are set to change from the 2024 admissions cycle as UCAS has announced they will be scrapping the personal statement. The 4,000-character essay will be scrapped and replaced with a series of questions about the higher education course a student is applying for. The change comes amid claims that the personal statements favour middle-class students who may have better access to “high-quality advice and guidance”, according to Ucas, the Evening Standard reported.
The structured questions aim to “bring focus and clarity for students, reducing the need for support”. Kim Eccleston, head of strategy and reform at Ucas, said: “We believe this will create a more supportive framework, which in turn will help guide students through their responses by removing the guesswork, as well as capturing the information universities and colleges have told us they really need to know from applicants when it comes to offer-making.”
Cambridge had announced earlier in the year that they will be making some changes to their admissions testing as they were operationally unsustainable and “to deliver them affordably to students and higher education institutions.” The elite university has seen a drop in enrollment as well as applications over the last couple of years, owing to the Covid pandemic as well as an economic downturn in the UK.
Here are the changes we can expect in the UCAS from the 2024/25 admissions cycle:
It should be interesting to see how the spread of AI will affect the college essay and personal statements. All of these changes are set to take effect from the 2024 admissions cycle - the 2023 cycle will continue as before.