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16 October 2014
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Completing the Personal Statement

Your personal statement is your big chance to sell yourself to admissions tutors. There is no single, right way of doing this, but here are a few tips.

What should I write about?

  • Your reasons for choosing the courses on your form.
  • The background to your interest in these subject(s).
  • Particular interests you have in your current studies.
  • Any field trips and visits.
  • Specific projects you have done.
  • Any employment, work experience, or voluntary work you’ve done, especially if relevant to your course.
  • Any Key Skills you have.
  • Other achievements e.g. Duke Of Edinburgh Award.
  • Your career aspirations.
  • Any non-examined subjects you are studying.
  • Any sponsorships or work-placements you have applied for.
  • Reasons for deferred entry and your gap year plans – if appropriate.
  • Your social, sporting or other interests.

Ten tips for writing your personal statement

1. Make an effort – especially if you’re applying for popular courses or for vocational courses like medicine and teaching.

2. Start by writing down anything you can possibly think of about yourself that might be useful. Ask family and friends for ideas and use your Record of Acheivement or Progress File to remind you of things you’ve done.

3. Always try to link what you say to your chosen course. Don’t go on about long-forgotten, irrelevant hobbies.

4. If you really don’t do anything but watch telly, concentrate on your current studies and your reasons for applying for the course.

5. Structure your statement by using paragraphs and/or headings based on the suggested topics above. Books such as 'Degree Course Offers' by Brian Heap will give information about the structure of personal statement preferred by individual universities. Find it in your local library or Careers Centre.

6. Don’t repeat information appearing elsewhere on the form.

7. Be literate - try to write fluently using correct grammar and spelling.

8. Avoid sounding too stereotyped, as if a teacher has given you a template and you’ve just filled in the gaps.

9. Show your draft to someone else, like a sixth form or college tutor or careers adviser.

10. Use large, clear handwriting (black biro), or word process using black, point 12 font.

Cymraeg (Welsh)


Also see...
How to apply
Which university?

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