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Writing your personal statement

Writing your personal statement is a key part of the UCAS application process, but we know that it can sometimes feel like a daunting task. Here are our top five tips for a winning personal statement…

1. PREPARATION, PREPARATION, PREPARATION

Start to prepare your personal statement early on. Without thinking about a structure, it will be harder for you to collect and organise your thoughts later on. Begin with a mind map, noting down anything you think might be relevant, such as your skills, qualities, likes, dislikes and experience. Formulate this into a plan, and use your plan to help structure your first draft.

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH

Knowing what skills are required on a course will help with structuring your statement and ensure that you focus on the right areas. Read up on the course content online, pay particular notice to any expectations around work experience as for some courses this is essential. Open Days are a fantastic opportunity to find out more about the course and provide a valuable insight into what the University is looking for.

3. TELL THEM ABOUT YOURSELF

The bulk of your statement should demonstrate what you have learned from the experiences you are writing about, and how this is relevant to the course you want to study. Universities want to know that you will immerse yourself in student life, not just succeed academically. Remember; entry requirements are transparent, you and your experiences are unique.

4. LEAVE A LASTING IMPRESSION

Throughout your statement use positive language and showcase your interest in your chosen subject. If you can’t demonstrate how a skill or experience is relevant to the course then it shouldn’t be included. Conclude your personal statement by summarising your key strengths, reinforce that you are ready (both socially and academically) for university life. Be confident, keep it positive, and really sell yourself.

5. LOSE THE WAFFLE

Remember that you have a limited number of characters, so be clear and concise – don’t waffle! Don’t expect your first draft to be perfect; ask for input from your teachers and careers advisors. Remember to check your spelling and grammar as UCAS won’t do this for you and always get someone to double check before you press submit.

There are many different resources to help you write your personal statement, so try a few different tools to work out what best suits you. Above all, make sure you prepare well and stay focused.