Getting started with your personal statement can be a pretty daunting task; you may feel like a lot is riding on those 4000 characters, but with a few simple tips, I hope you’ll be well on the way to getting into your dream course.
When writing your personal statement, it’s important to consider what you’re aiming to achieve. Consider what an admissions tutor wants to know when they read your statement, and tailor it to match. Admissions tutors may look at hundreds or even thousands of personal statements during an application period, so it’s important that you stand out from the crowd.
Why are you interested?
First and foremost, you want to make sure that you get across your interest in what you’re applying for. Talk about your motivation, what drives you to learn, what draws you to the subject. It doesn’t matter if it’s something you’ve been interested in since you were a child, or if you stumbled across the course at an open day and suddenly realised it was the one for you. This is your chance to let the university know that you’ll be a student who wants to learn and engage with your lecturers and fellow students.
Do your research
Another important thing admissions tutors will be looking for in your personal statement is your understanding of the course. You don’t need to pretend you’re an expert in the subject already, but do some research on the course and the modules offered, and show that you know what to expect at university. Talk about any background reading you’ve done on the subject, or any specific modules or parts of the subject you think are interesting. The key is to make it clear that you know what you’re getting in to before committing a potential three years of your life to it.
Tell us about yourself
Finally, your personal statement should show your potential as a student. Admissions tutors are looking for students who will grow, learn and become ambassadors for their universities. Talk about everything else that sets you apart, which shows that you are a well-rounded student. Work experience, student clubs, extracurricular activities: these are all opportunities to demonstrate the kind of contribution you can expect to make to university life. There’s no need to go overboard here – the core of your personal statement should be academic, but this is a great area to show what you can bring to the university community.
Hopefully these words of advice will help you write your own personal statement, and if there’s one thing to consider above all else, it’s to make sure your personal statement is just that – personal.