So, the October half-term is over and writing your personal statement is at the top of your agenda if you are applying for university in 2018/2019. But, how do you actually write a top-notch personal statement?Your personal statement is a big part of your application and is required by all students applying for university through UCAS.
Keep the date of the 15th January in your calendar – this is the deadline for most courses apart from Oxford and Cambridge university who have a shorter deadline of 15th October!
Why is this so important?
Your personal statement will show your university exactly why you should get a place on your course – and not another potential student who has the same predicted grades.
It will show your university who you are as a person, and what skills and experience you can bring to the course.
If you find yourself going through clearing, then your personal statement could grab that last place on a course!
So, how do you write a personal statement?
Personal statements are hard to get right first time so don’t worry if you need to do lots of drafts before your final version is submitted to UCAS.
Firstly, you need to write an eye catching opening to grab the Admission Tutor’s attention. Admission Tutors have said that the best openings go straight to the point, explaining why you are excited about this course.
Keep it short and capture the reasons why you should get onto the course rather than someone else who has the exact same grade expectations as you.
They have also said that waffling will put them off reading the rest of the application, so explain what you find exciting about the course and what inspired you to apply!
Once you have your opening sorted, it’s good to carry out some research into your 5 UCAS choices. This will give you a better idea what to talk about in your statement, but you need to remember that your personal statement will be seen by all of the universities you are applying for so it’s not the best idea make specific references to one university.
Here are some 5 top tips on what to put in a personal statement:
- Why you are the right candidate for the course. Having evidence that you meet the requirements of the course with some background research to back it up will be really useful to include in your personal statement
- Talk about experiences. It is really important to explain what previous experiences have taught you, while making it relevant to your course.
- Add in your skills that can be used for the course. These could include being able to work in a team or independently, your organisational skills, time keeping skills and a how you are a good listener. Some courses will include these in the description of the course.
- Talk about long-term goals. It’s good to explain what you would like to be in the future, after the course has finished. It will give the university a good idea of your commitment and what you will get from university life
- Keep it relevant. Make sure you do not mention irrelevant information as this could give the wrong impression.
Oxford and Cambridge Applications
If you are applying for Oxford or Cambridge, you will need to be more academically focused and discuss your thoughts on the subject – such as recent hot topics and issues and theories that are relevant to the course.
You may have to also attend an interview and undergo an exam, which will show Oxford/Cambridge your understanding of the subject area.
The most important tip is not to rush – take your time as getting it right through many drafts will give you the best possible chance of getting into your first choice university.
If you get stuck on what to write, talk to a teacher who can look over your statement and suggest some ideas you can talk about!