5 Tips to Write your Best Personal Statement
Making your UCAS personal statement stand out among hundreds of other very bright students is a difficult task. Luckily, as an individual, if you structure and phrase your personal statement carefully, you can truly take advantage of your unique experiences and personality to show the admissions officer why they should give you an offer for their course!
1. Be honest, but don’t be humble!
Some students are too wary of sounding boastful by claiming they have certain skills or qualities, but exuding confidence is key to making a good impression in the personal statement. Don’t be afraid to write: ‘I believe I am well-organised’, or ‘I would be a valuable addition to your course’
2. Don’t list what you’ve done; explain what you’ve learned.
It can be tempting to try to list as many extracurriculars and achievements as possible in the short word count, but it would be even more impressive if you explain exactly what skills or traits you have developed from these, and how they may apply to your course. This may even save you some words, if you group them together. For example, you could describe how being on the basketball team and debate team helped you build leadership and teamwork skills.
3. Keep it relevant
This ties in nicely with not listing. Although it is important to include as many activities and experiences as possible, you will need to carefully pick out the things that will be the most worthwhile mentioning. You may also want to choose relatively recent achievements, rather than ones from many years ago.
4. Start strong and finish strong
Admissions officers have hundreds of personal statements to read through, and making yours stand out will be no easy feat. Ultimately, the overall quality of your essay will be the biggest contributor to your impression on the reader, BUT it certainly helps to pique their interest if your beginning and ending sentence is captivating. Perhaps start with an anecdote, or a fact that you consider personal or unique to you. Don’t worry if you can’t think of one to begin with, you can come back to it after you’ve written the rest of your essay!
5. Don’t just stop at one draft
You should give yourself several months to write your personal statement, so that you have time to write, proofread, and rewrite your essay several times. While you might be able to get away with writing other essays in a day (or night!), of all the essays you may write in your lifetime, your personal statement is one you should dedicate a lot of time and consideration to. Think carefully about every phrase or statement you write, and how it builds your impression on the reader.