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
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 ucas.com 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 visit ucas.com/personalstatement