It’s the way it goes for all students. You start college, begin to get used to your new courses, make new friends, and then, before you know it, something very strange happens. Everyone starts freaking out about personal statements.
If you want to go to university, you won’t be able to run from the fabled personal statement. The UCAS application system requires all university applicants to produce a piece of writing, written by yourself, which outlines why you’re the perfect choice for your course of choice.
Sounds straight-forward? So it is. Unless you’re one of those individuals that sits down to big themselves up on paper and then immediately breaks into a cold sweat and suffers from a major wobble of the old confidence levels. And funnily enough, that tends to be most of us…
Now, there’s no need to panic! There are a few simple steps and rules to bear in mind, read on to find out the answer to the question, how do you write a personal statement?
Major mistakes to avoid…
- Dodgy spelling and grammar. More people slip up on this than you might think – so make sure you check before you send! No matter how wonderful the things you say in your personal statement might be, the truth is that if it’s riddled with grammatical mistakes and typos, that’s all the administrator will see.
- Irrelevancies. Don’t stray from anything but the most relevant facts. The administrator wants to know about your achievements and hobbies, of course, but draw the line at such fascinating facts such as the amount of hot dogs you can eat in one minute etc. You get the picture…
- Don’t state a preference of one university over another. The majority of university candidates have their heart set on one particular university, but your statement will be read by all of your shortlisted universities. Nothing is set in stone until you get an offer and achieve the grades, so sure, aim for your top choice, but don’t offend your other options and burn any bridges you could need on results day.
- Finally, the biggy: do yourself a huge favour and don’t lie. Many statements could lead to an interview, and you won’t be able to cover up any fibs in that situation. Be honest from the very beginning about your interests and achievements, and you’ll come up with a much more appealing statement that you’ll be able to speak about without holding back.
Don’t forget to…
- Sound passionate about your chosen subject. Pick out your favourite elements of what you want to study to include in your statement. Let your genuine interest shine through. Passion for your subject is key!
- Tell a story. Avoid clichés and talk about your own personal reasons for wanting to study your chosen course. How has your interest, commitment and love for the subject grown over time? Why do you want to deepen your knowledge in this area?
- Include any achievements that demonstrate not just academic achievement, but anything that would also show you’d make a great contribution to life at university. Sports team member? Charity involvement/ Duke of Edinburgh Award? It’s all good stuff to include!
- Have a little something there to make you memorable. Perhaps there’s an inspiring quote from your studies that means a lot to you? A particularly interesting fact for you from your chosen subject?
Want to make your life easier?
We know that creating a personal statement is a tricky task, and we want to make it easier. We’ve developed an online tool that does the hard work for you, and creates a personal statement so good that the universities will be knocking on your door.
Sounds good, how can I access it?
There are two options! To make sure you get the best possible experience using ULAS, your school or teacher needs to sign-up to use the tool first. That way, they can help guide you through creating your CV or personal statement, and give you feedback and advice along the way. If you’d like to use the tools that ULAS has on offer, just let your teacher know about us and that it is totally free! Alternatively, click here to fill out your teacher’s details and we will get in touch with them to let them know about this useful tool.
The other option is to become a ULAS ambassador, where you will represent ULAS at your school and work alongside your teachers – which would be great for your CV or personal statement!
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