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How to write a personal statement: Part 1

How to write a personal statement: Part 1

How to write a personal statement: Part 1

The summer sun is creeping behind the clouds, the temperature has dropped and the leaves on the trees are falling down; this could only mean one thing – Autumn has arrived. Now that we are approaching the winter months, your university application should be underway and you should focus on deciding on which university to attend. If you’re worried about how to write a personal statement, take a look at some of our advice below.

What is it?
A personal statement is a piece of writing – usually one to two pages – written by you and is addressed to the university or college you want to study at. It will be a part of your UCAS application, and if you apply independently or not via UCAS, it may be in a form of an email or a part of a question and answer style application.

What is it for?
The personal statement is your opportunity to fight your corner and tell everyone at that university why you want to study there, and why you should be offered a place. It is the chance for you to give life to your application and show a bit of your personality.

What to include?
You should write about what you have enjoyed about your studies so far and why they will help you on the course you’re hoping to take. You can include your interests in the subject, and what your intentions are career-wise, and if this degree will help you.

What not to include?
It isn’t a dating profile or your Facebook page. You don’t have to include your thoughts on the education structure of higher education, or what you hated about taking your A-Levels – and that means your teachers too! Universities don’t want to know that you love cat videos and spend hours a day on YouTube. Universities only want to know about things that are related and connected to them and their degree.

Who can help you?
Your family, friends, teachers and staff at your school/college can help you write your personal statement. Even with the strong circle of guidance, it should be mostly written by you and in your own words. If you get your older brother, who holds a master’s in English Language and Creative Writing to write it, the university will know straight away. You can ask your teachers about your strengths and how to include this in your statement.

What if you make mistakes?
You should write three drafts of your personal statement. The first one is for you to write it completely on your own without guidance and write about everything you want to include. Afterwards, when you have had others read it, you can alter your mistakes. Even if you send it off with your UCAS application and then think that you made a mistake on it – it’ll be fine. Universities understand the pressure students have when making the big life decision of where to study for a degree.

What will it say about you?
Well, your personal statement will basically say whatever you want it to say about you! It is your freedom and opportunity to show the university the great parts about yourself (Remember that first impressions count), like the volunteer work you complete every summer, that science project you won first prize in or that documentary you directed during your Film Studies A-Level. Pick out your best bits and include them in your statement.

Writing the personal statement can be one of the most difficult parts of the UCAS application, learning how to write a personal statement is not easy! Although, it can be tough, once you get into the swing of the things you’ll realise that it isn’t so bad after all. If you remember, to be honest and to include all of your wonderful qualities and you’ll be fine!

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