Tips for writing your personal statement

Friday, October 3, 2014 12:00 AM

Our good friends at the Brightside Trust have all the information you need to write an amazing Personal Statement.

How do I write my personal statement?

Your personal statement is one of the most important parts of your UCAS application. You could be an A* student, but if your statement doesn’t cut the mustard, universities may not give you a second thought. Read these top tips to make sure you get it right.

1: Why do you want to study in higher education?

Show that you have commitment, enthusiasm, self-discipline and motivation.
Be interesting and say how you will benefit from university life and the course itself.

2: Why this course?

Discuss your long-term goals and ambitions. Explain why you enjoy the subject and how you became interested in it and don’t forget to mention what skills you have that are relevant to the course.

3: Recent study

Talk about specific areas you have studied in the past and why that interested you. Give details of any projects you are working on and any work experience that may be relevant.

4: Life skills

Think about the skills you have used in work, school and at home that are relevant to higher education. The following skills are useful to mention but make sure you give examples of where you demonstrated them.

  • Independence
  • Self-motivation
  • Organisation
  • Confidence
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Being approachable and empathic
  • Team-working
  • Interests and hobbies

Try to ensure they are relevant to the course. But, if you have any unusual hobbies, it could be a good conversation point during an interview.

5: Writing your conclusion

Try to summarise the main points of your statement then finish it off with a positive comment about why they should pick you. You could also end with a comment about your career aspirations, if you have not already.

Dos and Don'ts

Your personal statement is the first thing universities have to judge you on, and first impressions really do count! This means that how you write your personal statement is almost as important as what you write, and following these tips should improve your chances.


  • Be enthusiastic. Admissions tutors want to see that you are passionate about the subject. Talking about why you want to study the subject should account for up to 65% of what you write.
  • Make your statement easy to read so it's easier for the admissions tutors to process.
  • Be an early bird and get your application in as soon as possible.
  • Make sure your personal statement is clear, logical and concise.
  • Don’t be afraid to show a bit of your personality on the form. However, avoid humour. What you find funny might not be the same as the course tutor.
  • Try and show how you have learned from your experiences.
  • Keep within the character limit of 4000 characters, including spaces, and line limit of 47. If you don’t, you won’t be able to save your personal statement on the UCAS website.
  • Write several drafts and get feedback from others.


  • Don't start every sentence with “I”.
  • Don't use vocabulary you don't normally use and just looked up in a dictionary.
  • Don't use famous quotes in your statement
  • Don't repeat things already on your UCAS form
  • Don't lie or embellish the truth
  • Don't take any political viewpoints
  • Don’t openly favour one university over another.
  • Evade awkward and negative issues. If there are things from your past that you are not proud of, for example a bad school record, explain how you have changed. Where possible, try to turn negatives into positives.

This article and hundreds of other useful articles are available on the Bright Knowledge website. Have a look!

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