The UCAS personal statement is probably one of the most important documents that you will create during your undergraduate journey. It can validate a place at your chosen university & leave a great first impression with the institution. Though, a daunting task, it presents an opportunity to showcase your skills, qualities, work experience and how all these elements add value to your chosen course. Given the pressure that comes with writing a good personal statement, it’s important to note that it’s not that hard once you’ve grasped the main tips & tricks. This guide will give you the necessary advice you need on how to write a personal statement & most importantly, stand out from the competition.
What Is A UCAS Personal Statement?
If you think about it, a personal statement is a reflective essay created to sell yourself to your chosen universities. It aims to promote your hobbies and interests, motivational goals and why you feel that you’re the perfect candidate for your undergraduate course. With over 600,000 sixth form students applying to universities every year, A UCAS personal statement is key for institutions to select the right students for their undergraduate courses. Therefore, distinguishing yourself from the pack is key and this is the perspective you should carry when writing your personal statement.
How To Write A Personal Statement For UCAS:
There are specific requirements in writing a personal statement that must be followed. You cannot exceed 4,000 characters & 47 lines of text. Pick a structure that will seamlessly formulate your argument in a logical order. This will impress admission tutors as it shows them, you’re able to organise your points in an effective way. Additionally, these skills will come in handy when you’ll write up your future coursework & exams.
Basic personal statement structure tips:
There’s nothing more off-putting than coming across a bunch of bulky text. Especially if you’re the admission tutor reading the 100th Personal statement of the day. Incorporating a fair number of paragraphs will help illustrate your argument in a clear & welcoming way. Bear in mind that paragraphs will eat into your 47 lines limit so use them wisely!
Have a Beginning, Middle & End:
Think of it as you are telling a convincing story, starting it off with a whopping opener, feeding into it in the middle, and confidently signing it off, leaving the admissions tutor yearning for more! If this is easier said than done, ensure that you convey a sense of passion & enthusiasm as a good opener. There’s nothing better than coming across an applicant that is passionate about their chosen course.
Action, benefit & course. This is a very important part of linking your extracurricular activities to your chosen course. When writing up your experience, make sure that you use this structure to covey the value that it has with your chosen subject.
Question & Answer Time!
Here are some commonly asked questions about UCAS personal statements. Not to worry, you’re not the only one!
– How to write for multiple courses/unis?
Ensure that you’ve chosen similar subjects that share the same themes and the experience that they’re requesting. Avoid being too specific and don’t name the actual course that you’re applying for as that will surely give you away.
– What are administration tutors looking for?
Administration tutors are looking for applicants who present a positive attitude, motivation & commitment for their course & career. To them, these are applicants who are most likely to be successful in their university journey. Show them that you have invested your time in gaining knowledge for your chosen field. Admission tutors appreciate personal statements that include relevant experience such as work placements or voluntary work.
– When should I start writing the personal statement?
It is the 15th of October for candidates applying for medicine, veterinary science, and dentistry, especially to an Oxbridge. For other applicants, it’s generally the 15th of January.
What Should Be Included In A UCAS Personal Statement?
Section 1: Why do you want to study the course?
• Let the admission tutors know why you want to study this course at university. Why it intrigues you and what you’ve learned so far.
Section 2: Academics & Experience
• According to career experts, 75% of your personal statement should be about your studies & 25% should be about your extracurricular activities. Discuss subjects that relate to the course you want to pursue and include any activities or experience gained that adds further value to your argument.
Section 3: Hobbies & Interests
• This is the part where the admission tutors want to know more about you, outside of the academics. They want to know what makes you interesting and a well-round person. Ensure that it is relevant to your course and highlight skills gained from your hobbies as those skills will help you thrive at university.
Section 4: Conclusion
• Use this section to reiterate the key points you made previously and close it off with a confident outlook on the progression of your career. Alternatively, if you’re still unsure of your career path, end it of by stating the invaluable skills & experience you hope to gain by going to university.
UCAS Personal Statement Examples:
Need a little more help?! We’ve got you covered! Below is a list of personal statement examples that you can use for inspiration. Remember, these personal statements are not to be copied but it’s there to gage with different structures and how it can help you with your own personal statement.
Psychology Personal Statement
Marketing Personal Statement
Journalism Personal Statement
Medicine Personal Statement
Voila! Here are the key tips you need on how to write a good University personal statement.