Today I’m going to give you some hints and tips and advice on how to prepare and write your personal statement. The personal statement is the most important part of the UCAS application form. Every student who applies to university has to write a personal statement, and this is a written document regarding yourself, why you want to study the course that you’ve chosen on the UCAS form and also a bit about yourself
– Your hobbies, interests, skills.
What makes you stand out and what makes you different? Why do you deserve a place on the course? The personal statement is 4,000 characters long, so that means it’s between 500 – 550 words. You have to write it at font size 12, no more no less so in actual terms it’s one side of A4 printed or typed up. You have to write it in Word and then you cut and paste it onto your electronic UCAS apply form which is completed online on the UCAS website. The admissions tutor will be making a decision on your application and it’s based on your personal statement, your predicted grades and also they will be looking at your GCSE results and your reference. Your teachers, your subject tutors will be writing a reference to back up your application form. So, how to tackle the personal statement? It’s a good idea for you to write a list of things that you’ve been doing in the last three or four years. You don’t need to go back further than three or four years, because it’s not really relevant to what you’re doing at the moment. So, things that you have done to do with the subject that you wish to study, so any evidence of further reading – maybe you’ve been on an interesting visit that’s to do with the course that you want to study. Maybe you’ve read an article somewhere, or you’ve been receiving a magazine or a journal that’s to do with the subject. Something that’s inspired you, something that’s really interesting and different, but it has to be academic as well.
An admissions tutor is very passionate about their subject, so if you can share that enthusiasm and passion with them, with regards to the subject then you will definitely get noticed on the personal statement. And they will be looking for evidence of skills. These skills are good communication skills, problem-solving skills, working independently working as part of a team, being creative, your ability to deal with quite a heavy workload times and also that you can meet deadlines. And maybe things that you have on top of your academic studies. You may have a part-time job and that reflects the fact that you are dependable, that you have good communication skills, good problem solving skills and also that you are reliable. The admissions tutor who will be reading your personal statement will have a little checklist by their side where they will be looking for evidence of these important skills. They will also want to see something new, something different, so make sure that your personality is reflected in the personal statement. They will read hundreds, maybe thousands of repetitive, dull personal statements so try and keep yours interesting.
You don’t need to use elaborate English, be yourself. Don’t lie! If you lie, and are asked into the University an Interview then you may get into some bother. If you’ve been lying on your personal statements they are usually going to ask you questions that derive from what you’ve written down. So if you’ve been lying you’re going to get caught out. So be original, be yourself, and be positive. What’s important for you to remember is the admissions tutors read a lot of these, and they come from 17 & 18 year old students who but please be positive, be confident that you are going to get an offer. There’s more of a reason for them to accept you than to reject you. They want to see the same passion in regards to the course and they themselves will be excited to actually teach you if you have an outside interest in the subject that you wish to study. What an admissions tutor would like to see is a confident applicant, so students who use words such as I am confident, I am hardworking, I am passionate Using a positive tone is very important. Please don’t use the word ‘hope’ as it doesn’t show that you’re really enthusiastic and positive about your ability to study the course. Using confident language will make your personal statement stand out. I think the students who are successful with their personal statement are the students who demonstrate that they are actively involved in the subject in school but also outside. And the way of demonstrating this is to give evidence of further reading and going further than the syllabus. Going further than what you have to on the A Level course or in college on your BTEC or Access Course.
That’s what makes an outstanding personal statement.