Preparing a personal statement

When applying for University or some colleges, you will be required to write a personal statement as part of your UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) admission. This is a piece of writing specifically related to you and your individual motivations, and will be used by the institutions you are applying to in order to assist them in deciding whether or not to offer you a place.

It should be very specifically regarding you, your character and past achievements, and addressing why you think that you should be offered a place. Remember, not all courses require an interview, so this may be your only opportunity to prove why you should be offered a place.

The things to focus on when answering these questions:
  1. Why are you applying for this course?
  2. What is it that interests you about the course?
  3. Show that you understand what it takes to study this course and what it will entail.
  4. What qualifications, achievements (not just academic, these could include sports, hobbies, interests, etc.), skills and experience do you have that are relevant to the course?
  5. Why should they offer you a place on that particular course? (Try to show why they should offer you a place over someone else with the same qualifications and experience).
  6. Do your current/previous studies relate to the course in any way? (Explain why this will be beneficial).
  7. Have you been involved in anything that shows you have interest in the course’s field? (Eg. Work experience, jobs, placements or volunteering)
  8. What do you plan to do in the future and how will this course benefit your future plans?
Below are some further important things to focus on:
  • Your personal statement can include up to 4000 characters of text, but this is subject to change. Check the criteria for the start date which you are applying for.
  • A good idea is to look at the ‘Course Descriptions’ online (either on the UCAS website or individual University/college websites) to see what kind of things they look for in an applicant (the qualities, skills, experience, etc.)
  • Remember that you will be using the same personal statement to apply for each institute, so make sure it is generic to the COURSE for which you are applying to, not the institutes themselves. If you have applied for a variety of courses, try to make your personal statement more generic, focusing on common themes (skills, qualities or experience that could be valued in all fields).
  • Try to avoid using the word ‘I’, as it can become quite boring for the reader to see many personal statements at once and for them all to be stating ‘I did this…’, ‘I did that…’, ‘I am good at…’, etc. Try to make yours stand out from the crowd, as this will enable you to make more of an impression and may increase your chances of being offered a place.
  • Ensure your writing is completed to a high standard of English, with the correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. It should also flow well, with each paragraph linking into the next.
  • Do not exaggerate or lie – the institute may either find out the truth or call you out on it one day.
  • Using relevant quotes can be a nice addition to your statement, but make sure it is not one that many other people will also use, also be sure to write it correctly with the correct referencing.
  • It is a good idea to get your personal statement checked by several other people. Be prepared to write a few drafts until you are happy with it.
Personal Statement Review Service

At Express Proofreading, we understand the vital role a Personal Statement plays in the application process today. We’re committed to helping you write to the best of your ability whilst still retaining ownership of your work. As part of our University Personal Statement editing and review service we will not only proofread your Personal Statement to ensure that it has no grammatical errors but we will also recommend changes that may assist you in writing an engaging and compelling Personal Statement that stands out from the crowd.