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Lynn Davidson reported for the Sun on our personal statements research.

Teenagers from state schools fail to get into top universities because they are not taught the best way to fill in the application forms, a study claims.

Researchers found personal statements written by pupils from private schools and comprehensives were “worlds apart”.

A report from education think-tank said children from state schools did not know what elite universities expected from them.

And their teachers were also in the dark,

The report’s author, Dr Steven Jones, of Manchester University, said the playing field needed to be levelled.

Dr Jones added: “The advice and guidance that young people receive at school when composing their personal statements may not reflect the content and style expected by admissions tutors at the UK’s most selective universities.” Applicants from state schools are a third less likely to get an offer from a leading university than pupils from private schools who have the same grades.

Personal statements are written by students during their application, setting out their skills, achievements and why they are right for a particular degree course.

Admissions tutors use them to decide which candidates to award places to.

The Sun can be read online here