Writing your personal statement is one of the most important things you’ll do when applying to university – it should be personal, engaging, and most importantly, written by you.
It’s extremely important to write your personal statement yourself. This might sound obvious, but you shouldn’t rely on websites or other people to write one for you.
Remember, your personal statement is all about you, so you should use it to showcase your personality, experience, achievements, and future ambitions. Universities want to get to know you, and why you’d be an asset to the course – they don’t want to read something that’s written by someone else.
While it’s good to get inspiration from previous personal statements, make sure you don’t just copy and paste someone else’s work. We put all personal statements through our Similarity Detection Service to test for similarities or plagiarism.
During an interview or audition, universities might want to discuss certain aspects of your personal statement, so you don’t want to be caught off-guard or end up being stuck for an answer. Imagine you’re having an interview about an English literature course, and the interviewer asks why you like gothic fiction – if someone writes your personal statement for you, you’ll have no idea what they’re talking about! This could ruin your chances of getting a place on the course, so make sure you know your personal statement inside and out.
If you’re stuck or have no idea how to start your personal statement, we have a huge number of resources available – you can use our personal statement tool and personal statement worksheet to start jotting down some ideas, or you can watch our personal statement video for top tips and advice.
While there’s lots of helpful advice and information on our website,you can also ask your teachers, parents, and friends for help if you’re stuck on what to write. Tell them why you’re passionate about studying a specific course, as it’ll help you to write down your thoughts and ideas, and create a brilliant personal statement that you’re proud of.
Ten places to get personal statement pointers
- The UCAS website
Start your planning at www.ucas.com/personalstatement. There are tips on how to get started and what to include. It also covers the technical aspects you need to bear in mind, such as the character count.
- Personal statement timeline
Check out our personal statement timeline. It’s packed with advice on how to spread out the planning and writing stages so you’re not cramming at the last minute.
- Our blog
A few years ago we asked uni admissions tutors to tell us what they’re looking for in the personal statement and the advice they shared has been so well received that it’s still our most popular blog post to date! Have a read of it here.
- Teachers and tutors
Speak to your teachers and tutors at school to find out from them what they think your strengths are – they might point out a few areas that you hadn’t even considered, but that are really relevant when it comes to showing that you’d be a dedicated and hard working undergraduate student.
- Open days
Open days are not only your chance to find out what a uni has to offer, but also to find out what they expect from their students. Take the opportunity to ask as many questions as you can – speak to course tutors to find out what they want to see in your personal statement, and what will make you stand out. Find out when open days are happening in our open days search.
- Students’ top tips
No one knows more about the task at hand than your peers. We asked our Facebook fans who had already applied to uni for their personal statement top tips – here’s what they said:
- Video guide
This brilliant video with Jane Marshall from Imperial College has everything you need to know about how to write your personal statement.
- Personal statement mind map
Although it might look a bit chaotic, this personal statement mind map is a great way to get your thoughts in order.
- Search for course details
Every course you can apply for is listed in our search tool, together with entry requirements and a description of what it covers. Find the courses you’re interested in and try to match up your strengths and experiences to the course requirements.
- Friends and family
Once you’ve got your personal statement drafted, try reading it aloud to people you trust. They’ll be able to offer fresh insight in to how your statement flows and any areas you might have missed.