How to write a personal statement

If you want to go to university in 2014 then you’ll probably be applying right now. For most people the hardest part of the UCAS application is the personal statement section. We’ve put together some top tips on crafting a great personal statement.

1. Your personal statement is 47 lines (4000 characters) which tells the university you are applying to why they should offer you a place. It’s your chance to explain exactly why you want to study on that course and at that university. It’s also a chance to blow your own trumpet about what a good student and well-rounded person you are.  Admissions tutors will use this (and sometimes an interview) to decide how well-suited you are to a course and university.

2. You need to be aware of the UCAS deadlines (some have an early October deadline) and decide which course you want to study. It’s better if your personal statement relates to the course you want to study for.

3. Start with writing down some general ideas. You might want to think about why the course interests you, any work experience you have, why that particular university appeals to you, any committees or out of school clubs you are involved in, any hobbies you have, any awards you have won, examples that show you are a contentious student.

4. On a separate sheet clearly define why you want to study a certain course – your passion has to jump off the page.  It’s a good exercise if you want to check that a specific course is the right one for you.

5. Have a look at example personal statements to help with language and layout but remember your personal statement has to come from you.  It has to be honest and reflect who you are, but keep it positive and enthusiastic.

6. Think about your format – it’s best not to write in one big block, consider breaking your statement down into sections such as introduction, work experience, interests outside of school (remember to focus on those that show you’re a responsible, confident person who sticks at things).

7. Always do a rough draft first and then edit down.  You don’t have to write precisely 4000 characters.  If you are struggling then check university websites to see if they have any advice on writing personal statements as this will give you an idea of what they might look for.

8. Finally check the UCAS guidelines for formatting your personal statement – remember the 47 line/4000 character limit.

If you need help with your personal statement one of our personal tutors based in Manchester or Cheshire can help, just call 121 Home Tutors today. 

One Response to “How to write a personal statement”

  1. Alison says:

    Here’s an article with some useful tips on writing a personal statement for medicine

    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/01/personal-statement-for-medicine

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