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No two personal statements should be the same the clue is in the personal! But there ARE certain rules to approaching it, regardless of your subject. You have a precious amount of space in your personal statement. Here are 10 things you can drop to save room for what's essential.
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Starting before the summer holidays is ideal: We think it is better to start off by working off-line so that you don't feel under time pressure and can cut and paste as much as you want. You can paste the results into UCAS online later. Write down this vital information and keep checking it as your Personal Statement takes shape.
Just write down as many ideas as you can under each heading, in whatever order the ideas come to you. You need to explain why you have chosen the course you want.
Even if it follows directly from one of your A levels you should explain why you want to spend three more years studying that subject. In this part of the Statement you want to show that:. If you are applying for more than one subject area you have two choices. One is to emphasise the subject which is most competitive, while at the same time making the point that you have a real interest in the safety-net subject too.
The second is to find reasons which are applicable to both courses but beware of vague generalities. Advice on what to say may be more than usually useful here. Work through the checklist below to write down a list of things you might include. Show the list to friends, teachers, parents, etc. At least half of the UCAS Personal Statement needs to show that you have chosen carefully and that you meet the course entry profile.
The more competetive the course is, the more you need to emphasise your adacemic and personal suitability. To quote an admissions tutor: Other Achievements, experience and interests will occupy most of the rest of the Statement, leaving a final line or two for a conclusion.
You can enter up to 4, characters including spaces or 47 lines of text including blank lines between paragraphs , whichever comes first. This limit applies to the offical UCAS form you fill in online. Thin out points which emphasise the same area of achievement eg lists of sporting interests, books read etc. In the next stage you will focus on finding the right words for the points you want to make. Another option is simply to say more about each of the points you have got.
This often fits naturally at the very end of the Personal Statement. Start with your reasons for choosing the course, particularly if you have good supporting information e.
Putting the rest of the Personal Statement in order may be more awkward, but the following example shows how to tackle it. Suppose you have these points to fit in:. You could start with 2 leading to 6 both school-based and responsible , on to 7 and 8 same sort of things, and 6, 7 might have counted towards the award.
Then move onto sport. Each person is different, has different points to make, different details to add, but the principle of finding links to make the ideas flow into each other is the same for all.
The first sentence should ease the reader into what follows. The ending is probably a bit easier. Like the conclusion to an essay, you need to finish in a way that rounds the writing off. The best stylestyle to aim for for is one of relaxed intelligence. Spelling, accuracy of grammar and effective vocabulary are all important in creating the right impression. Supporting detail makes your writing come alive.
When describing experiences, add something about what you got out of it — a highlight, an impression, a useful skill. Find something fresh to say. If you have fewer things to say you can go into more detail. However, the writing must remain concise, and it is better to leave empty space than to fill it all with vague sentences. You know what you want to say and how to order your material. Now put it into effective prose by writing it out as a first draft.
Getting this first draft down on paper is the hardest bit. Read your draft out loud to yourself. Then show your first draft to people whose opinion you respect and ask for feedback. If the feedback makes sense, rewrite the statement! You will be lucky to get away with rewriting it only twice. Our Advice page links to more cife articles. Six top tips for an outstanding UCAS form. Last revised July
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Personal statements often accompany some of the most important and stressful parts of your life, you need to write them when trying to get into school, or trying to get a job, when you need to express to an institution who you are and why you are deserving, beyond things like qualifications and accomplishments, but by who you are as a person. Writing personal statement professionally is your only opportunity to stand out among other applicants, not your grades and achievements. So define the context and get the ball rolling! A General Procedure of Completing Personal Statements.
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