Opinion: Top tips to writing personal statement

NewVIc principal and CEO Mandeep Gill, offers practical advice on writing a personal statement.

NewVIc principal and CEO Mandeep Gill, offers practical advice on writing a personal statement. - Credit: Archant

It’s that time of the year where many students are preparing their UCAS applications for university. There are a number of things to consider when applying to university: courses, qualifications and references to name a few.

But no consideration is as important as the personal statement. This statement is a chance for students to set themselves apart and show off their skills, ambitions, passions and personality.

Here are my top tips for students writing personal statements and what, as supporting adults, you should be looking out for when asked to read it.

1. The best personal statements effectively link all the student's achievements, interests, skills and experiences to the university's entry requirements. Ensure that everything you mention is relevantly linked. Think about how your skills and experience will be transferable for study at university level or of a particular subject.

2. Do not mention any universities or particular courses by name. Students are only allowed to write one personal statement. Make the reader feel that this was only ever written for them. Look at the course descriptions and identify the key qualities, skills, and experience they require. Write about common themes within them such as leadership, problem solving or creativity.

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3. Don't forget the obvious! Tell the reader why you're applying and your future career ambitions, as well as what interests you about the subject and higher education. Be passionate, interesting and demonstrate enthusiasm, motivation and focus.

4. Try to stand out, but be careful with humour, quotes, or anything unusual. Not everyone will get the joke or find it funny. Write clearly in a concise and natural style. Don't overcomplicate things with complex language. Proof read - again, and again and again… and again.

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5. Remember you have a lot to offer and they are lucky to have you. Be positive and confident and sell the skills and experience you have. You deserve to be there and are capable of achieving this and much more.

UCAS deadline is 6pm, 15 January 2020.

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