It’s per­sonal so get it right

Telling the univer­sity you’re ap­ply­ing to why you are the per­fect per­son to be given a cov­eted place on their course is no easy task. Here Camilla Meeuwis­sen-True from UCAS gives her ad­vice on writ­ing a per­sonal state­ment that will make you stand out from

EDP Norfolk - - UCAS -

Astrong per­sonal state­ment is a cru­cial part of any UCAS ap­pli­ca­tion. It’s the op­por­tu­nity to describe your am­bi­tions, skills, and ex­pe­ri­ence – es­sen­tially, it’s a short re­flec­tive piece ex­plain­ing why you be­lieve you’re the per­fect can­di­date for your cho­sen un­der­grad­u­ate course.

There’s no de­fin­i­tive for­mula to fol­low when writ­ing a per­sonal state­ment, you just need to take your time, and in­clude struc­tured in­for­ma­tion about your­self which echoes the qual­i­ties the univer­si­ties and col­leges value most. You can check the course de­scrip­tions at and univer­si­ties’ web­sites for ideas and guid­ance.

Aim to write in a con­cise and nat­u­ral style about why you’re ap­ply­ing, encom­pass­ing your am­bi­tions and en­thu­si­asm for your cho­sen sub­ject. High­light what will make you a great stu­dent on the course, show­cas­ing any rel­e­vant skills, ex­pe­ri­ence or achieve­ments gained from school, work or other ac­tiv­i­ties.

Think about the per­sonal state­ment like an es­say – it should have a clear be­gin­ning, mid­dle, and end. Try to open with an in­ter­est­ing sen­tence that en­cour­ages the reader to con­tinue.

It is im­por­tant to stand out, but be very care­ful with hu­mour – you never know what the reader will or won’t find funny. Your com­mit­ment and de­sire to study the sub­ject at un­der­grad­u­ate level should be re­in­forced in the fin­ish­ing para­graph.

Plenty of time should be left to proof­read and check the state­ment, al­low­ing the op­tion to re­draft if nec­es­sary. Make sure that spell­ing, punc­tu­a­tion and gram­mar are ac­cu­rate, and you’ve used as many of the 4,000 char­ac­ters (or 37 lines) avail­able. You can only write one per­sonal state­ment, so make sure you don’t name spe­cific univer­si­ties or col­leges, as your work will be seen by the ad­mis­sions of­fice at each of your course choices.

Use ex­am­ples to un­der­pin your core in­ter­ests to univer­sity ad­mis­sions teams. Dis­cuss your vol­un­teer­ing work, your mu­si­cal tal­ents, or the sports clubs you’re in­volved with, espe­cially if you’ve de­vel­oped skills which are re­lated to the cour­ses you’re ap­ply­ing to. There is al­ways the prospect of start­ing a new ac­tiv­ity too, which you can add in be­fore send­ing your ap­pli­ca­tion.

What­ever you de­cide to write about, al­ways try to bring it back to the sub­ject that you want to study.

Re­mem­ber, all per­sonal state­ments are screened at UCAS, so your per­sonal state­ment must be your own work – don’t be tempted to copy from an older sib­ling, friend, or from the in­ter­net. If UCAS finds sim­i­lar­i­ties in a per­sonal state­ment, the ap­pli­ca­tion will be flagged, and the rel­e­vant univer­sity and col­lege will be no­ti­fied. N

For more in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice on how to write the per­fect per­sonal state­ment, please visit­son­al­state­ment

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