Tips for writing your personal statement

BLSS Personal Statements Page Image 350x266 - Woman writing at a table In the coming weeks, you're going to be sitting down to write your UCAS personal statement.

It's something every prospective university student has to do, and there are thousands of ways to write a good one - one that really shows who you are, and what you want to achieve during your academic journey.

So, where do you start? Here are our three top tips on how to write the best personal statement you can.

1) Your Course Choice

Explain why you have chosen that particular subject. 

What is it about the course you’ve chosen that made you select it? What’s involved in the course you’re applying for? What sort of skills does it involve – practical, analytical, research? Do you possess these skills? 

Remember: It should be around 80% Academic and 20% non-academic.

More information.

2) Evidence

Supply concrete evidence of your enthusiasm for it. What can you draw on from your studies or work experience which help to demonstrate your suitability for the course? If the course leads to a professional qualification, what qualities do you have which lend well to that professional area? 

Try to use the STAR technique - talk about your experiences by stating the Situation, Task, Action, and Result. 

Remember: Anything you can show that may be “Super-curricular” or “above and beyond” the usual school work, is a must include! 

3) Check, check and check again

The UCAS system doesn’t have any spelling or grammar checks so you need to check your statement is perfect before submitting your application. Ask as many people as possible (teacher, careers adviser, family member or friend) to look over it and give you some feedback.

A useful technique to use is the Pomodoro system. It is a way of breaking up the task at hand into smaller chunks. It goes like this:

  1. Pick a small section to write ("Why I chose the course", etc.)
  2. Set a 25 minute timer
  3. Work on the task without distractions for the full 25 minutes
  4. Take a 5 minute break
  5. Repeat the 25/5 timings until your have gone around four times (or two hours)
  6. Take a 30 minute break
  7. Start over

It's simple, but surprisingly effective at whittling any big job down into manageable portions!

Remember: Use words with precise meanings, avoid giving the impression you just swallowed a dictionary.

More information.

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