How To Write A Personal Statement

Your personal statement can seem to be the most daunting part of your UCAS application. But don't worry, you've got this! 

The most important thing to remember about your personal statement is that you are trying to sell yourself to the universities you've applied for. You need to show them that you would be a great student for them to have! 

1. Figure out what kind of statement you are going to write

if you are applying for courses that are on similar subjects (ie accountancy and finance courses; journalism and media courses) then you need to show that you have a passion for this subject and tie any experience you have to that industry.

if you are applying for a couple of different subjects, you need to show the qualities that you have that would make you a good student in either of these courses. For example, learning an instrument shows dedication to studying and practice - a handy attribute for any student!

2. Look at the university's website

What words do they use to describe the course? Have they mentioned any particular characteristics they like to see in their students? Try and mention some of these key phrases in your statement and link your achievements to them

3. Boast!

Even our guide on when it's okay to boast says your UCAS statement is a great place to boast! This is your time to sell yourself - make sure you don't underestimate how much you've achieved!. The best thing to do is to describe what you done, what you learned, and what qualities this shows about yourself. Took part in Duke of Edinburgh? That shows entrepreneurship, team work, etc.

4. Mention your hobbies

Make sure you mention your hobbies for a particular reason - ideally ones that link in directly with the courses you are applying for! Play football in your spare time, and applying for a sports science course? Make sure you mention it! Like travelling and applying for architecture? Why not mention that you like admiring different styles of buildings in different countries? It's all about linking your hobbies to the course you are applying for. 

5. Avoid white lies

Said you've read War and Peace in your statement, when in reality it's been sitting on your bookshelf and never opened? Then be prepared to be asked about it in your interview. Universities use your statement as a point of reference for interview, so make sure everything you say is true. You never know what they might ask you about. 

6. Get other people to read it

Ask your family and teachers to read over it - they might think of other things you could include, or suggest things you could cut out. It's always good to get another set of eyes to read over it, even just for spelling and grammar mistakes. It's important to make sure you can submit the best personal statement you can. 

7. Remember different institutions will read it

You will probably be sending your personal statement to a lot of different universities - so don't mention one by name! Other institutions may be wary about accepting you if you don't seem to be as keen to go there. So open up your options and give yourself a better chance of getting more than one offer. 

Remember - universities scan personal statements through software to pick up if it's been plagiarised. It's not worth putting your higher education at risk by copying someone else's work.