Our Personal Statement Top Tips!

UCAS opened for applications in early September, however, some people might be in the midst of writing their personal statements! A personal statement is part of your application to study at a university or college. In your personal statement, you are expected to write about why you would like to study a particular course, what experience and skills you have, and demonstrate your passion for the topic. 

Here are our top tips:

1 - It is a personal statement - so make it personal and a statement!

You are (hopefully) planning on studying a subject you love and want to further your knowledge on, so show this in your personal statement! You are telling the reader why you should be admitted to the course, so you need to sell yourself! Talk about the unique things about you - the sports or clubs you take part in, what you do in your spare time, and what your ambitions are for the future! That being said, try to avoid showing off, exaggerating or copying other people’s personal statements.

2 - Look at the course details

Look at course descriptions and identify the qualities, skills, and experience it requires – you can use these to help you decide what to write about. See how you can demonstrate that you have these skills, whether this is through school or college projects, or extra curricular activities. Avoid cliché lines like 'from a young age' or 'I have always wanted to' - it is highly unlikely that you wanted to study the history of art or physiotherapy from 6 months old.

3 - Plan a structure

Like an essay, a personal statement needs structure. Keep your structure simple, and take it step by step. Here is an example: 

-  Introduction - Start with a short sentence that captures the reason why you’re interested in studying the course you’re applying for, and shows your enthusiasm for it.

-  Current study/study so far + how has developed + how is relevant to course

-  Future ambitions + connection to past study + more future aims + how is relevant/suitable to course

-  Hobbies + interests + how this develops your interest in the subject you are applying to study

-  Conclusion = Summary of the above + reminder to the university of why you are suitable/interested 


4 - Don’t be afraid to ask for advice

Speak to your teachers and tutors and ask them what they think your strengths are. As humans we are our own biggest critics and it can be hard to big ourselves up! Also, if you are attending an Open Day and there is an opportunity to speak to the admissions team, ask them any questions you have - they are the ones who read personal statements!

5 - Proofread it - and ask others, too!

Proofread your personal statement several times - read it aloud and think about how the sentences flow. Also, as your friends and family or tutors to read it through, and see if it is a reflection of you. They may also have suggestions for things you haven’t considered. Don’t forget to use a reliable spellchecker but also check yourself for any spelling or grammar errors. 

6 - Visit UCAS

The UCAS website is full of helpful tips and resources, and this is where you will be making your application. Why not download their Personal Statement Mindmap or download their Personal Statement Worksheet.

Watch their handy video below:

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