Feel free to post any advice you have aswell.
Your Personal Statement
If you are using UCASapply your personal statement should be a maximum of 47 lines - one word over and it is automatically deleted! Try leaving a line between each of your paragraphs as indenting is not possible. The only editing options which are available are underlining, bold type and italics. UCASapply sets your personal statement to a default size 12 and font Times New Roman.
Remember to ask your teachers, friends and family to look at your personal statement so that they can give you constructive critisicm on it.
Make sure you relate everything you write to your chosen course(s).
What should it include?
Your personal statement might follow the following format:
- Why you want to study your chosen course(s) - most important
- Career aspiration
- Relevant work experience or conferences attended
- Extra-curricular activities (e.g. Duke of Edinburgh Award; Young Enterprise etc.)
- School activities which you are involved in (e.g. Head Boy/Girl; Prefect; Commitees etc.)
- Hobbies, interests etc
- Conclusion about why you should be picked
Things to avoid
Some things you may want to avoid are:
- Quotes from novels.
- The good ol' 'I was interested in [insert course here] from the age of 6' thing.
- Starting sentences with 'I'.
- Giving information which is already on the UCAS form (you don't need to list the subjects you are taking for 6th year).
- Using long, pompous phrases: it just sounds pretentious!
- Lying: you will in one way or another get caught out!
- When writing about your work experience write what you gained from it; not just what you saw.
- Using colloquial language.
- Studential.com is a fantastic web-site made by an Essex student which offers example personal statements. There is also a secure review section where you can upload your personal statement and ask one of the reviewers to look at it for free - I haven't used it yet so don't know if it is any good. Don't copy any of the example personal statements as you will just get caught and it will lose you a place at University - use them for ideas!
- Another good resource is Completing the Personal Statement by PlanIT Plus, which basically gives you advice on how to go about writing it.
- There is also more example personal statements on the 'Learning Extranet' site which also offers great personal statement advice.
- There is also good advice from UCAS.
- An excellent Personal Statement Writing Guide
Please note that since I am in no way an expert on Personal Statements, the advice given above is opinion and is not fact.