Here’s how to write a shining personal statement

Depending on the course you're applying to, the personal statement may be the only chance or the first encounter that universities have with you, so it’s really important that you stand out and create a good first impression. This guide contains some tips and tricks as well as common dos and don'ts.

Unfortunately, UCAS (the platform through which UK university applications are sent through) has a very limited capacity for how much can be written. Students are capped at 4000 characters and 47 lines, making it crucial to be concise and selective about what you include.

A strong place to start is outlining why you want to study your chosen course. It’s really important to make this reason authentic and genuine. Take the admissions tutor through your journey and avoid using cliches like ‘I’ve always wanted to be a banker, doctor, lawyer, etc ever since I was a baby’ because it just isn’t realistic. Maybe there was a course that you did, books that you read, or a subject that you studied that made you want to pursue your chosen career. Be specific and reflect on exactly what it was that stood out to you and what you learnt from it.

shutterstock 1006646137
JKstock/shutterstock

In the body of your statement, you can include what you have done to actively demonstrate your passion for your future career. It’s all good and well saying you’re enthusiastic and excited but what have you done to show this. Examples of this could include work experience, volunteering, part-time jobs, internships, future learn courses, MOOCs, wider reading (journals, books, articles), or listening to related podcasts. Don’t just name-drop your experiences, make sure you reflect! This is arguably the most important component of your personal statement. You should explore how it has enriched you or what it’s taught you. Depending on the type, of course, you’re applying to (for example Law or Medicine), it’s good to have a meaty part of your statement dedicated to academia. To give you a rough idea 75% of your statement should be to do with academics and about 25% can be related to extra-circulars and hobbies etc.

It’s important to show that you’re a well-rounded individual. This can be shown through the extracurricular that you do. For example, being part of a sports team, playing an instrument, or baking. It’s really personal to you so don’t be shy to share what you have done!

When ending the personal statement, a cyclical structure can be impressive which means that you link the ending back to the beginning in a subtle and clever way. This can be hard to do so don’t try and force it if it’s not possible but do try and make the ending stand out.

shutterstock 1251716233
GaudiLab/shutterstock

Once you’ve written your first draft, expect to write several more. It takes quite a few edits to get it to where you want it to be. Get some advice from your teachers and peers, they might spot mistakes that you missed. And don’t worry if you get writer’s block, there are so many resources out there to help including youtube videos, articles, blogs, and guides.

 

Photo: Ivelin Radkov/Shutterstock

 


You might also like:

How to Write a Killer CV and Get That Job


 

Support us!

All your donations will be used to pay the magazine’s journalists and to support the ongoing costs of maintaining the site.

 

paypal smart payment button for simple membership

Share this post

Interested in co-operating with us?

We are open to co-operation from writers and businesses alike. You can reach us on our email at cooperations@youth-time.eu/magazine@youth-time.eu and we will get back to you as quick as we can.

Where to next?

The Influence of Music on Memory and Cognition

The parts of the brain responsible for memory retrieval, linguistic analysis, emotional processing, and reward anticipation are all revitalized through musical engagement and production. Music aids in recalling previously taught…