Applying to university - personal statement tips

I found that the process of applying to university was quite long but the result was straightforward, and simple.

The longest part of my UCAS application was writing and developing my personal statement. I didn’t know how to start my personal statement, what I should include and how I should end it. I was determined to get it right the first time, and that’s one thing I would advise you not to do. Developing your personal statement is not a bad thing, it’s getting the right information and condensing it into the right amount of lines and words to can sell the best of you.

What I also found was the fact that many teachers and peers are willing to help you make your personal statement the best that it can be. Getting advice from a teacher in your chosen subject area helps your personal statement mean something more to you, with the grammar and subject specific vocabulary making sense within the statement itself. I would advise anyone to take all the help that you can get - at the end of the day, they are there to get the best of you and what you can do.

When I first started to write my personal statement I found it quite hard as I didn’t know what where to start. Therefore, I thought about looking at other people’s personal statements as it would give me an idea of what I should write for my own in terms of structure. This really helped me as a starting point because I knew what I would be able to talk about; even though the structure that I am using is not mine, the experiences are personal to me and that’s what counts.

Here are some tips for your personal statement:

  • Don’t copy another personal statement, it wouldn’t mean anything to you. By changing a few words here and there you show no commitment to the course you want to study, and you would not be doing yourself a favour.
  • Do some further reading into you chosen subject. It may not be a lot but you would be able to add it in your personal statement - with knowledge comes power!
  • Use all the help you can get. I used my friends to help proof and check the grammar I used, but my teachers (form tutor and teacher within the subject area) to help with subject specific language in places where there weren’t any. It may be daunting re-writing your personal statement over and over again, but it is so worth it in the end.
  • Always relate whatever you have taken part in in school with what you can bring to the university. Whether it be your enthusiasm, charity participation, empathy etc… universities like to see what you have done outside of school, what you have accomplished and what you can bring to them.
  • Make your introduction and conclusion short and straight to the point, within your chosen subject area.

Hopefully these tips will help you show the best of you to the universities you are applying to.