Writing a personal statement as part of your UK University application can be a daunting task. However, there is much advice and personal statement help out there.  The first thing to remember is the purpose of the personal statement. The aim of this is to demonstrate why you should be offered a place over others. Therefore, it is important to make your personal statement as strong as possible. In this article we set out where you can get further personal statement help from, as well as our tips for writing a strong personal statement.

The Word Count

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) personal statement is limited to 4,000 characters, roughly 700 words. This may sound like a lot, however when you consider all the points that you will want to get across, it is not as much as you would think. Therefore it is important to plan and be well prepared even before you begin writing your personal statement.

What to Cover

University Personal Statement Help & TipsIn your personal statement you need to cover a number of important points, the following are some of the important questions that you should address to make a strong impression;

  • Your reasons for wanting to study the course.
  • Why you are the right candidate for the course.
  • What extracurricular activities have you done.
  • What skills do they demonstrate, how are they relevant to your course.
  • How does this link to your chosen career path.
  • Conclude with a positive summary of your strengths.
Plan and Structure

Before you begin writing you should plan what you want to say, for example for your reasons for wanting to study the course, make a list of them. Then narrow them down to the best and the ones most unique and personal to you. The most important thing when it comes to writing a personal statement is to make it unique and personal, so it stands out and shows what kind of a person you are. Once you have a plan and a structure, start writing. You can find more personal statement help directly on the UCAS website or by consulting their useful personal statement mind map.

Include Academic Interests

The personal statement is a key part of your application to study a particular course at University, it is therefore important to highlight and demonstrate your academic interests. Ideally, you should devote around 60-70% of your personal statement to your academic motivations. In order to address your academic motivations you should ask yourself some of the following questions when preparing:

  • Is there a particular area of the subject that I can demonstrate an interest or insight in? Do I have experience writing an essay which is a core part of the course and shows my enthusiasm for the course?
  • What steps have I taken to demonstrate an awareness and insight into what studying the course involves? Have I studied relevant subjects to the course before? If so, what have I learned about the subject and what is involved in pursuing the subject further? Have I attended lectures, field trips or events dedicated to the subject matter of the course I am applying to?
  • Why do I want to study this subject? What transferrable skills have I obtained from my current subjects that will help me on this course?
Link to Extra-curricular Interests

Extracurricular-Activities for Personal StatementIn addition to your academic interests, it is also important to emphasise your extra-curricular interests, as this demonstrates that you are a well-rounded person with a wide variety of skills. Whilst talking about your extra-curricular interests you can also link this to your motivations for applying to your chosen subject, for example playing a particular sport may demonstrate an attention to detail that is required on your chosen course. There are a number of things that you can refer to:

  1. Any part-time work you have undertaken will demonstrate practical, real life skills, even if it is not in your chosen career it will still highlight skills that are relevant and important.
  2. Volunteering is also good to highlight, whether it was as part of your Duke of Edinburgh, or simply volunteering at a charity shop it will demonstrate empathy and commitment.
  3. Achievements are also important as they will help distinguish you from other applicants, not everyone will have the same achievements and awards therefore it is essential that you emphasise these.
  4. Hobbies and interests, such as your interests in sports, or reading or any other hobbies will also help to personalise your personal statement making it unique and demonstrating a well-rounded character.
Referring to Career Interests

In addition to detailing your academic and extra-curricular interests you should also refer to your career interests. However, the extent to which you cover this will depend upon your chosen course, if for example you are applying to a vocational course such as teaching or medicine, then this will be important. For such vocational courses it will add an extra element highlighting your career ambitions and will show that you have researched the area well.

Even if you are not applying for a vocational course but you know what career you would like to pursue, referring to this will show that you have thoroughly thought through your chosen course. However, it is not essential to discuss your career interests, mentioning that you are keeping an open minded will be just as acceptable.

Writing the Personal Statement

You may think that this is the hardest part, however the hardest part would have been the planning. Once you have a plan it is just about getting those ideas down and elaborating on some of the points. Your aim initially is to make a first draft, this by no means needs to be perfect. However it gives you something to work with and to improve upon.

Personal Statement Proofreading

After you have edited and revised your personal statement a number of times, it is time to proofread your personal statement, this is the final stage, your aim by this point is to make it flawless. Get as many people as possible to check your personal statement, your friends, your family, your teachers. This will give you the peace of mind to submit your personal statement with confidence knowing you have done your best!

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 also recommend changes that may assist you in writing an engaging and compelling Personal Statement that stands out from the crowd.