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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.
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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. capture the attention of the reader

Capture the attention of the reader with a sharp introduction; use positive language to show them you’re enthusiastic about your chosen subject. The main section 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. Tell the reader about your skills and qualities, and how these contribute to your understanding of the subject.

3. TELL THEM ABOUT YOURSELF

Your work experience and interests are also important, as this can highlight why you’re the perfect student for the course. Universities want to know that you’ll become an active member of the student community, not just succeed academically. Are you part of a club, do you play any sports, or have an unusual hobby?  Make sure you mention these here. Remember; entry requirements are transparent, you and your experiences are unique.

4. SELL, SELL, SELL

Conclude your personal statement by summarising your key strengths, and reiterate 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 words, so be clear and concise – don’t waffle! Don’t expect your first draft to be perfect; ask a teacher or careers advisor to check over it for you so that your spelling and grammar are spot on.
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