How To Start a Personal Statement

The blank page can be daunting to many students like you. Everybody has the friend who has an incredible talent for writing and everything they have done seems more exciting than what you can write. Do not be disheartened by this. The UCAS Personal Statement is about YOU and only you. This is your chance to get across your personality beyond your grades. It gives you the opportunity to explain why you want to do the subject you are applying for.

Right, so you are ready to start writing but don’t know where to start.

Step 1 – Ideas Generation
Start writing. Write anything about yourself. The purpose of this is to get the ideas in your head into writing. It is unlikely that everything will make sense, but don’t worry about that you will refine, edit and delete later.

Step 2 – Why the Subject
Focus in on your subject. What sparked why you want to study the subject. Give evidence which supports that you really want to do this subject. This could include work experience, clubs and societies, further reading etc. Again this does not need to be perfectly written; it is a rough draft.

Step 3 – Your Transferrable Skills
This is where you explain how you can cope with the course. You will need to think about aspects like essay writing, communication and leaderships skills. Again, you need to consider evidence. Remember though that evidence has different weightings. For example, “I show leadership through starting x society at school” is much better than “I show leadership because I am the leader in my group of friends.” (In fact you should avoid writing things like the second example!)

So, you now have lots of ideas written down. You may have well over the 4,000 character limit UCAS has. Your notes will look messy. Do not worry, everybody’s notes will look like that at this stage.

You can now take those notes and move on to your first draft. Remember to stay positive. Where possible show your excitement to be going to university and studying the subject.

Step 4 – Introduction Paragraph (Passion)
This first paragraph is very important. It is the one where you want to grab the admissions officers attention. You need to convey your passion for the subject and that you understand what will be involved in studying the course.

Step 5 – Middle Paragraph (Evidence)
This is where you will need to present the evidence for why you are serious about the subject. It should be your largest paragraph. You should include things like further reading you have done about the subject, which work experiences you have done that relate to the subject, projects at school, lectures you have attended. Ideally you should also introduce some of your transferable skills which show your good qualities.

Step 6 – Final Paragraph (About you)
In some ways this is the easiest paragraph. It is about why you are unique. It is about the activities you find interesting. Remember though, you are applying to university so you want to bring the points you share back to why you are suitable for university.

So first draft is complete. If you are ready to show it to others, remember that Go Enrol offers a professional review service.

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