The stress that occurs during the UCAS application and personal statement writing process can get many students worked up. However, if you ensure that you work on your personal statement, even in small and regular intervals, there is nothing to worry about. Sometimes concentrating a lot of effort into the practical writing aspect of the statement can make students forget how to submit a personal statement and the vital steps beforehand.
Towards the end of the journey, you should have hopefully already received feedback either from your personal tutor, careers advisor or teachers – you could even have feedback from all three! Once you have your feedback, it is important to read it all and speak to that individual so that you understand what they mean. Their feedback is vital for your personal statement to flourish. Don’t just put it to one side and believe it is of ‘opinion’!
This all depends on your writing and how much editing you need to do. Feedback can be based on: the structure of your statement, the length of your paragraphs, spelling, grammar, punctuation, writing too much, or not enough and much more. The important thing is to make sure that you understand the feedback and make the changes.
Before you write your final draft, try to get into the habit to keep backup copies of your work and the more you have, the better. There is no need to keep several but two or three is very safe and smart! You can save the document in your folder, another copy in iCloud storage – or other similar online systems – and a hard copy printed. You can find plenty of iCloud storage plans here.
You should also save a backup copy after your final draft, but this is covering your work if there is a problem before you finish your statement. Imagine working hard on your final draft and then find that it has disappeared completely! Therefore try to secure insurance before the very end of your journey.
Your final draft should be the final and completed version. The copy that is ready to be submitted within a minutes’ notice, so ensures that this is the case before looking to submit your work!
Read through your personal statement until you are absolutely sick of it! Read it on the computer, on your smartphone, and print it out and read it again. So that you can spot any errors. It is good practice to start this a week before the deadline/submission so that you can have a day or two away from your work. When you come back with each reading, you would have looked at it with fresh eyes – which makes it much easier to spot any mistakes!
The UCAS personal statement on the application either adds up line count (the number of full lines used in the statement) or character count (which includes each individual letter, punctuation and number). Most word processors and computers can tell you the character count along with the word count – which is not needed.
If you check your character count regularly throughout the process, you will be aware of how far or near you are to the limit. If you haven’t had a chance to check this, then do it before you sign into UCAS. As you may have to add or take parts of your personal statement away.
When it comes to uploading your personal statement, the easiest way is to copy and paste your work from the document file to the web page. The UCAS page also has a character/line counter at the bottom of the text box, and again you can check your count against the limit.
Once it is uploaded read it through again on the web page for any last minute changes or edits that you wish to do. When you are completely happy with your writing you can click save, and that section within the UCAS application will be saved, and you can then move onto to the next one. Remember there is a time limit on the UCAS website and it can log you out after a certain amount of time, which is why we recommend you to write it in our own Personal Statement Editor.
The personal statement is a big part of the UCAS application, especially as it is the part that students allocate the majority of their time to, but it doesn’t symbolise the end. After these students will have to make sure their references are completed and uploaded, or if they will be emailed after submitting the UCAS application.
Therefore the personal statement deadline is not the same UCAS submission deadline. Because there may be some things, students need to complete after finishing their personal statement. Don’t leave it all to the last minute or you may find that you have to send an unfinished version of your application – and this will not impress universities. Set yourself a deadline of at least two weeks prior to the UCAS submission deadline to finish your personal statement. So that you have enough time to work through any final issues.
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