Face-to-face admission

July 3, 1998

UCAS applicants who list hobbies and pastimes are often revealing little more than their privileged upbringing and not how capable they are of taking responsibility ("Is an interview really necessary?" THES, June 19).

If schools coach applicants in writing personal statements, they cease to be personal and it is harder for admissions tutors to choose between identical applicants. If schools adopt a less directive approach, many able students will fail to do themselves justice in their personal statements - one reason why interviews are still a useful method of assessment.

Graham Gould Department of theology and religious studies King's College London

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