Now the Sept term is in full swing, many year 13 students will be turning their minds to university courses for next year and getting started on draafting a personal statement for their university application.
Here are our 10 quick tips to get you started. Often first putting pen to paper can be the hardest part.
- Start with your interest in the course. This is your chance to show why this course is what you want. This should take 60-75% of your statement.
- Be reflective. Where did your interest in the subject start? Don’t say ‘From an early age’! Be specific. A little narrative here is good, but get into some detail which is academic.
- Give some detail: books you’ve read which have deepened your knowledge or thinking; lectures or TED talks you’ve heard. Don’t just list them, engage with the subject and ideas. Don’t lie – only cite books you have actually read.
- DO talk about your A levels or IB! You are applying for an academic subject and these reflect your academic interest and experience. Relate them to the course without forcing the connection.
- Broader experience related to the course is very valuable indeed. If you haven’t had a chance to set some up before applying it’s still worth trying to organise it and say what you’re planning, as this could come up at interview.
- Relate your Work Experience to the course. Even if it’s a retail job you will have learnt transferable skills.
- The UCAS plagiarism software is incredibly sensitive. DO NOT copy models from the internet.
- Write in a formal style but DO NOT get your Mum to write it – it will be obvious.
- If you can, give some idea of your career aspirations, even if these are likely to change. It gives an insight into who you are.
- Don’t mention any problems or health issues – the statement should all be positive. These issues should be dealt with in the reference.