A new blog from Talia

Monday, August 18, 2014 12:00 AM

Talia, one of our student bloggers, shares some helpful tips for writing a personal statement.

Results day is well and truly over, and you’ll have had plenty of time to celebrate and plan out what subjects to continue with or drop. But, unfortunately, summer is coming to a close, and university applications are beginning to creep closer. Before the school year starts and lessons begin again, the end of summer is a perfect time to start thinking about and drafting your personal statement.

What is your personal statement? It’s an opportunity to show universities that you are the right student for their course. Although personal statements are not the only factor in an application decision, they will play a big part in securing your place at university.

Top five tips for a personal statement:

  1. Plan before you write.  Sitting down to write a personal statement is fairly daunting (I’m in the process of trying to write one for myself), and I’ve found that drawing up a list of what you intend to include will definitely help you create a clear and well-structured statement.
  2. Show that you are right for the course. Make sure to stay on topic about how you will fit the course you are applying for. As you write, keep the course summaries open next to you. Some of the universities may list skills that they look for in applicants, and you can mention these in your statement.
  3. Be specific. Rather than just mentioning a book you have read that suits your course, explain what you found interesting about it. What area did you look further into? What did you agree or disagree with? By developing your writing, you will become a much more desirable applicant.
  4. Check spelling and grammar. Everyone makes errors whilst writing, so double check your personal statement before you submit it later in the year. You want to present a positive and professional image of yourself to universities. Don’t just rely on spell-checker! Ask for feedback from your family.
  5. Be yourself. This tip is perhaps the most important. Don’t mention a book you haven’t read or work experience you haven’t done, as you could be caught out in an interview. Also, all personal statements are screened by UCAS to detect plagiarism, so don’t be tempted to copy someone else’s work. Write your statement as yourself; you are unique - you could be exactly what universities are looking for!

So what are you waiting for? Get planning and writing, and come application time, you’ll be so happy that you started early!

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