If your course includes a sandwich year in industry or a work placement, its also worth mentioning in your personal statement how excited you are wallpaper about having the opportunity to gain practical experience. . If you have an idea about where you would like to do your placement or even already have something lined up, mention that too — remember, you want to look excited and enthusiastic. Finally, weve mentioned before to steer clear of slang and that humour is inadvisable, but there are some other things to avoid including in your personal statement: clichés and"s. Admissions tutors are sick to death (see what we did there?) of hearing about how students are passionate about their subject, that they have a thirst for knowledge, or that they have been interested in studying history from a young age. These are the sort of bland, statements that everyone makes, and youre trying to stand out, not blend. Tutors have also expressed similar distaste for"s in personal statements. Dont try to show off about how well read you are by taking"s from classic literature — universities want to know what youve got to say, not what Shakespeare said. Helpful Videos Luckily for you, we've got some videos about how to write the perfect personal statement from university staff, students and our very own team!
Dont go overboard and start asking everyone for advice though — youll only get confused if they all have different things to say. Other Things to look out For There are a couple of things to consider that wont affect everyone, but might mean your personal statement needs a bit of extra work. The first is gap years. If youre planning on taking a gap year, youll need to mention it in your personal statement. Explain what youre doing and why, and try to relate it to your course (for example, if you are going to university to study Spanish and you plan on spending part of your gap year in a spanish speaking country). Try and highlight the benefits of what you are doing and work essays it to your advantage — if you are taking a year out to work and earn money for university, this demonstrates that you are sensible and have a strong work ethic, while volunteering. For more advice on gap years, check out our article: Should you go on a gap year Before Uni?
Just keep an eye out for any formatting issues, as sometimes when you copy and paste text it can accidentally delete the spacing between paragraphs, etc. Step 6: Proofreading, once youre happy with the content of your draft, check it, check it and check it again! . Any mistakes in your personal statement could count against your application, so be extra vigilant. Spelling and grammar checking software will do most of the work but dont rely on it completely, as it doesnt pick up everything (for example, properly spelled but misused words like youre instead of your, there instead of their and its instead of its). . These kinds of mistakes are really common, so dont assume you wont make them. Step 7: Second Opinion As a final check, ask for a second opinion. You could swap statements with a friend and compare to see if youve missed anything important, or ask one of your teachers to look it over and let you know if theres anything you could improve. Ideally, aim for both: one friend and one teacher. .
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Just think — what do you they want to see evidence of, and how do your experiences give them this evidence? If you plan on and joining any clubs or societies or even starting one when you get to uni, include that too. The key to personal statement success is realising that universities dont just want to know how youre qualified to join the course (after all, lots of people will be they also want to know what you can offer that no one else can, whether thats. you are unique, like a snowflake — find what makes you special. Step 5: Planning and Drafting your Personal Statement. So, now you know what to include in your personal statement, its time to get writing! . Rather than ploughing straight into it though, you might find it helpful to plan it out first.
Start by jotting down some bullet points — in a word document or just on piece of paper — outlining what you want to write. You could try breaking it up into sections to make it more manageable — for example, you could include sections on why you have chosen your course, your relevant academic achievements and your extra curricular activities. Then, when youre ready to start writing, you can approach it one section or paragraph at a time — that way it will seem a lot less daunting. When you do start writing, consider it a first draft — dont worry too much about the character limit, or what order you write your sections in; just get down what you want to say. Then, once youre sure youve included everything, you can start editing what youve written to keep it within the character count, and to make it flow better. We advise drafting your statement in Word, notepad or similar rather than on your actual ucas application, as it will be easier to edit and much less scary, as you know its not final. . Once youre happy with your draft you can always copy and paste it onto the ucas form. .
be polite, but be personal — learn to strike a balance. Another area where it pays to be personal is when it comes to listing your academic achievements. . Tutors will want to know that you covered relevant material during your a levels, but theres no point just listing the books youve read — after all, everyone else in your class will have read them too. . Instead, use your personal statement to talk about what you thought of the books you read or the topics you covered in class, why they made you interested in studying your course at uni, or how the skills you learned from studying them have equipped. Youll also want to cover any relevant extra curricular activities in your statement; about 80 academic achievements and 20 extra curricular hobbies is a good guide. .
Extra curricular activities are important because universities want to know that youll engage with other areas of the university experience than just your course, and will make a valuable contribution to university life during your three or four years there. Extra curricular activities could cover anything from hobbies, to a part time job, or volunteering — again, its specific to you. . like with your academic achievements, avoid just listing what you do with your spare time, and focus on how it demonstrates your suitability for your course, or for university in general. . For example, a part time job could demonstrate that youre hard working, and playing sport in your spare time could show that you are well rounded and interested in lots of different things. Be sure to mention any work experience placements or internships, particularly if they are relevant to your course or to the job youve said youd like to go on to do, as this will prove that you are ambitious and serious about achieving your goals. When talking about work experience (and, really, any other type of experience you have) it's important that you talk about what you got out of it, rather than just describing what you did. You need to constantly link your experiences back to the things the universities are looking for.
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Lots of students fall into the trap making bland statements like ive always been interested in history, or Im passionate about music, but these dont really writing say anything. Why have you always been interested in history? Why are you passionate about music? . Also ask yourself what you hope to gain from going to university — how will it help you achieve your goals? Answering these questions truthfully will prove to your admissions tutors that youre serious about your studies, and that you want to go to uni to learn and not just to party. . Basically, they want to know that youll actually turn up to class (although were fairly certain 9am lectures are still optional, right?). Step 4: make it Personal, its called a personal statement, after all. . While using slang in your statement is strictly a no-no, and humour should be approached with extreme caution, admissions tutors do want to see your personality, so dont hide it behind unoriginal, overly formal writing, particularly if thats not your natural style; it will come. you want to sound enthusiastic! .
Try scouring newspapers and industry journals for administrator inspiration. Even if nothing new is going on, you still want to make sure that your information is up to date, and you dont accidentally talk about an idea or theory that has since been disproven, for example. The last thing you want is for the person reading your personal statement to think you are this guy: Finally, there are plenty of resources online with sample personal statements you can read. . do not — we repeat — do not copy any part of your personal statement; ucas uses very powerful anti-plagiarism software and you will get caught. However, reading through a few sample statements is a good way to get a grasp of what to include. Looking for a site that has examples of both good and bad personal statements and reading a few of each (between three and five should be more than enough) should give you a good idea of what works and what doesnt. Step 3: Ask Why, why do you want to go to university? . Why do you want to study your course? . These are questions that youll need to address in your personal statement. .
idea to visit the websites of all the places youre applying to and see if they have any tips on what theyre looking for in a statement. Remember, every university you apply to gets the same statement, so its not a good idea to name a specific university in your personal statement, or talk about how you match one institutions exact criteria, but look for the similarities in what each institution asks. Although they might word it differently, youll find that most universities look for similar qualities in potential students — identify what they are, and you can tailor your statement to cover them all. The same goes for courses. Obviously the University of Birminghams English Literature course will differ from the English Literature course at the University of Cardiff, but read the prospectuses and look at what they have in common. If theres a module that comes up on all of them (which is likely in the first year) you can talk about your interest in that particular topic. You should also be able to hone in on the key skills needed to succeed on a particular course by reading the prospectus ; again, these are likely to be very similar for every course (providing youre planning to study the same subject at every. Youll also score bonus personal statement points if you can include a reference to a recent event or development relevant to your subject — itll prove that youre genuinely interested in your subject, and that youll be able to bring interesting and relevant insight.
Step 1: Know your deadline, first things first, youll need to check when the ucas deadline for applying actually. . Its usually at some point in January, but it differs by course and sometimes by institution — for example, the deadline for medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine courses shakespeare and for any subject at Oxford or Cambridge is October (the previous year). Why is this important? . Well, obviously because missing the deadline would be a very bad thing (some courses will still consider your application if you submit it after the deadline, providing they still have places available, but we dont recommend chancing it but also because youll need to leave. We recommend starting to think about it as soon as you get your ucas log in details. Of course its up to you, but whenever you decide to start, the day before your application is due is never a good idea — we guarantee if you rush your personal statement it will show. Step 2: The Importance of Research.
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University is hard work but lots of fun — youll make mates for life and gain the qualifications that will hopefully help you get a great job, even if you dont know what it is yet. Crafting a winning personal statement is the first step towards getting onto your writing ideal course — youll have to explain to admissions tutors why you deserve a place, and all in 4,000 characters or less (no pressure then ). . If the idea of writing your personal statement has you panicking, fear not! . Whatuni is here to save the day with our complete guide to writing a winning personal statement. So, youre logged into your ucas profile, youre looking at the blank space where your personal statement should be, and youre feeling kind of like this: Dont worry. Weve all been there. Youll get through this, we promise. Your personal statement is important, but if you approach it step by step, youll soon find its not so scary. . Luckily for youve weve compiled these essential tips to make perfecting your personal statement a piece of cake.