As we approach the end of the year, no doubt many of your students will be considering applying to university in January 2019.
Writing a personal statement will be at the top of their, and your, agenda. But, how do you actually write a ‘top-notch’ personal statement? It is a big part of their application and is required by all students applying for university through UCAS.
Why is this so important?
A Personal Statement sets one student apart from another when all other variables – grades and extracurricular activities – are the same.
It gives the university admissions team insight into…who the student is, and what skills and experience they can bring to the course.
And, if students find themselves going through clearing, then it might be that their personal statement differentiates them enough to grab that last place on a course!
How do you write a personal statement?
Personal statements are hard to get right first time and often involve lots of drafts before the final version is submitted to UCAS.
Firstly, they need to write an eye-catching opening to grab the attention of the Admissions Team. Admission Tutors have said that the best openings get straight to the point, explaining why the student is excited about the course.
Students need to keep it short and simple and sum-up the reasons why they should get onto the course rather than another person who has the exact same grade expectations.
Admission Tutors have also said that waffling will put them off reading the rest of the application, so students need to succinctly explain what they find exciting about the course and what inspired them to apply.
Here are five tips for students on what to put in their personal statement:
- Why you are the right candidate for the course. Having evidence that the student meets the requirements of the course with some background research to back it up is really useful.
- Talk about experiences. It is really important for the student to explain what they have learned from previous experiences – both academic and extracurricular – while making it relevant to the course. Universities are looking for well-rounded individuals, not just grades.
- Add in skills that can be used during the course. These could include being able to work in a team or independently, organisational skills, time keeping skills and so on. Some universities will include these in the description of the course.
- Talk about long-term goals. It’s good if the student explains what they would like to do in the future after the course has finished. It will give the university a good idea of their commitment and what they will get from university life.
- Keep it relevant. Don’t mention irrelevant information as this could give the wrong impression.
So, how can Kudos help?
Without proper guidance, a student’s skills and experience may not translate into words and vital university places could be missed. Kudos contains the guidance and advice students need to submit a quality UCAS application.
There is a ‘Supporting Information for your Personal Statement’ section, where a student is encouraged to record their achievements, experiences and skills, and provide examples and evidence so this information can be used for content in their personal statement.
Once an evidence base is built up, a student can move on to the personal statement builder. This provides an in-depth guide for every section of their personal statement, including the opening statement, the course, skills and experience, achievements and future aspirations. Kudos provides examples of good and bad paragraphs in each section, to show students how to portray their skills and experience in a way that promotes themselves, showing that generalised statements will not get them noticed.
Once a student has created a draft of their personal statement it can be submitted to you, for you to read, make suggestions and then send back to the student to re-work.
Amongst many other things, Kudos has been created to make the UCAS application simple and easy for students to work through. It allows educators to keep up to date with each application and check personal statements are being completed.
The most important tip is not to rush – your student needs to take their time, getting it right through many drafts will give them the best possible chance of getting into their first-choice university.
Not a customer and interested in learning more about the ‘Personal Statement’ feature and how you can use it to support your students gaining access to their dream universities? We’d love to hear from you – request a demo.