UCAS Personal Statement

Creating your UCAS Personal
This is a guide to what makes a good Personal
Statement and not a template to copy.
The aim of this presentation is to provide
you with enthusiasm for presenting
yourself in your statement in the best
possible way. It will give you the ideas
about what to write and advice on how to
write it, BUT it won’t give you a template
or formula to copy.
The key word in Personal
Statement is ‘Personal’
A good personal statement:
• Focuses on the specific subject or courses
you’re applying for.
• Is personal to you and has the little stamp of
individuality that makes you stand out from
everyone else.
“There is no such thing as a model statement…..each one should
be different”……..A University Academic
DO this while structuring
your statement
• Create a list of your ideas before attempting to write the real thing.
• Expect to produce several drafts before being totally happy.
• Ask people you trust for their feedback.
• Check university and college prospectuses, websites and “Entry
Profiles” as they usually tell you the criteria and qualities that they
want their students to demonstrate.
• Use your best English grammar.
• Be enthusiastic – if you show your interest in the course, it may help
you get a place.
What makes a GOOD
Personal Statement
The purpose of the statement is to convince the admissions officer at your
chosen university that you are the kind of student they want to teach.
Include aspects on the following:
Why you have chosen the course(s), this is particularly important when
applying for a subject that you have not studied before.
The reason why that subject area interests you.
Why you want to go to university.
Any activities that demonstrate your interest in the course(s).
How your current or previous studies relate to the course(s) i.e. if applying
for a psychology course, show that you know how scientific the subject is.
What makes a GOOD Personal
Statement (continued)
If you have undertaken the Extended Project as part the Advanced Diploma or as a
stand-alone option some details of this could be included.
Details of accreditation achieved for any activities in preparation for Higher Education
i.e. ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network)
Details of non-accredited skills and achievements which you have gained through
activities i.e. Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Any other achievements that you are proud of i.e. Being selected for county sports
Details of jobs, placements, work experience or voluntary work, particularly if they are
relevant to your chosen course(s).
Positions of responsibility that you hold/have held both in and out of school i.e. form
Hobbies, interests and social activities that demonstrate your skills and abilities.
DON’T do this while
structuring your statement
Feel that you need to use elaborate language. If you try too hard to impress
with long words that you are not confident using, the focus of your writing
may be lost.
Say too much about things that are not relevant – if you think that you are
starting to, take a break and come back to your statement when you feel
more focused.
LIE – if you exaggerate you may get caught out at interview when asked to
elaborate on an interesting achievement.
Rely on a spellchecker as it will not pick up everything – proof read as many
times as possible.
Leave it till the last minute – your statement will seem rushed and important
information could be left out.
Expect to be able to write your personal statement whilst watching TV or
surfing the internet – this is your future, so make the most of the opportunity
to succeed.
What makes a POOR
Personal Statement
• Don’t write comments that you wouldn’t say in real life, as it won’t
sound personal. (Hide your thesaurus)
• A Statement that has been copied from the internet or a template
can be noticed. (There are now very sophisticated tools around
which can detect this )
• Don’t just say what you do. Expand on all aspects if it is relevant.
• Waffle, remember every word counts and if the text has been
padded out it shows.
• Statement Structure and use of poor grammar.
• Trying to be funny or wacky, once again every word counts.
Further tips
• Talk to your tutor regarding your statement preparation and content.
They know what universities are looking for.
• Statements are limited to: either
– 4000 characters (including spaces)
– 47 lines of 95 characters (including spaces) per line.
(Which ever is shorter)
• No need to talk about qualifications as there is already a section. i.e.
GCSE’s, A-Levels, Btec’s.
• You need something to separate you from the crowd.
• Do not get your parents to write your statement, admissions officers
can tell the change in grammar and writing style.
Useful Web-sites
• The Student Room
– www.studentroom.co.uk
– www.ucas.ac.uk
• Studential
– www.studential.com