Personal statement advice from a student
Our student vlogger Claire has put together a video guide to writing your personal statement - from knowing how to what to include to making sure you stand out from the crowd.
1. Start your statement as a Word document
Whilst you can write your personal statement on the UCAS website, we don't recommend it. The UCAS website has a tendency to time out, meaning you could lose all your work. Write it in a Word document instead so your work is safe.
Plus, Word has the added benefit of spell check!
Read through your work yourself and also ask someone else to read it for you. It's easy to miss mistakes when you're reading your own work but someone else should be able to spot them easily.
3. Be sure to stand out from the crowd
Admissions tutors might be reading hundreds of personal statements a day! Make sure yours is unique and tells the story that inspired you to study your course of choice.
4. Include both life and work experiences
Just because something isn't academic or related to school, doesn't mean you can't put it into your personal statement. If something in life or work has taught you skills that will be important on your course or in your future career, make sure to include it.
5. Don't mention where you are applying
You only have one personal statement but you may be applying to up to five universities, make sure not to show favouritism in your writing (even if you do secretly have a favourite!).
6. Mention goals and ambitions
Admissions tutors want to know how this course will help you in your future career. Show them that you want to aim high and talk about your goals after university.
7. Make sure that your writing flows
You might have lots of ideas that are difficult to organise into structured paragraphs, but try to make sure your writing flows and that everything has a place in your personal statement.
It might help to put headers over each paragraph and then remove these before you upload your personal statement to UCAS.
8. Be passionate and sell yourself
This is your chance to show your enthusiasm for your chosen subject. Tutors don't want people who aren't bothered on their course! They want students who are engaged and interested in the subject.
9. Talk about what you do in your spare time
Volunteering, work experience, wider reading - it's all relevant and key to show that you're passionate and want to learn more.
10. If you're an International student...
Talk about why you want to study in the UK instead of in your home country, as well as why your chosen subject interests you.