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How To Write A Good University Personal Statement

When looking beyond your time after College or Sixth Form, one option is to further your education at university. An exciting time when exploring what courses are available and what locations suit your wish list depending on their credentials, reputation, and nearby attractions to make you feel at home.

Once you have selected your top choices, it’s time to get to work on a Personal Statement which is a vital part of the application process. 


What is a Personal Statement? 


A standard requirement when applying for university is that you’ll need to submit a Personal Statement. Think of it as an opening letter if you were to apply for a job; alongside your CV. 


It’s an opportunity to promote yourself to your potential university about why you should be selected for enrolment. What makes you stand out from competitors in terms of skills and experience, and why that particular course is the one for you?


Why do you need a Personal Statement?


A Personal Statement is a requirement of the UCAS application process which puts your ambitions in black and white, what you bring to the table and how the university will benefit from having you as one of their students. 


It’s a chance to demonstrate your academic achievements, any extracurricular activities you participate in, and relevant experience that showcases why you’re a perfect fit for the course. 


How to structure a Personal Statement for University


When looking at what a personal statement should include, be wary of block text and think carefully about the readability of the paragraphs. University admissions teams receive hundreds of these every year, so it needs to be presented in a way that won’t make them fall asleep. 


Keep it punchy with paragraphs and bullet points to break it up. The content is the most important aspect and there are several topics in particular that are generally recommended to include. This ranges from the reasons for wanting to study - instead of going straight into the job market or taking on an apprenticeship - and how your current studies are relevant to the course. Say, for example, you want to work in finance, and Mathematics is one of your chosen A-Levels, this demonstrates that you're going down the correct route for the career. 


Also include why you’re a suitable student for the course, whether that’s by showcasing your passion for the industry, your dedication to delivering results with your skills, or your achievements in the field. It’s also worth including related hobbies, work experience, and interests within your personal statement too. If you are applying for a media course, share your experiences of working on a school newspaper, volunteering at a radio station, or writing your own blog. 


How Long Should a University Personal Statement Be?


Due to the nature of the application, Personal Statements for your chosen university need to be detailed but should be no more than 4,000 characters, according to UCAS - think of it as two sides of an A4 paper. 


How to Start a Personal Statement for University?


It’s never easy getting started when trying to promote yourself to others, especially on paper. The important thing is to be yourself. Avoid any waffle that can take up your word count and go straight in with your personality and enthusiasm for the subject. You want to keep it relevant and simple, but most importantly grab their attention from the first sentence. 


Tell them about the moment that motivated you to want to get into a certain career or draw upon some figures you’re inspired by. How will that course or university help you become the best version of yourself? Above all, don’t overthink it. Focus on showing your knowledge, understanding, and ambitions and how they can help you achieve your career aspirations. 


How Should a Personal Statement End?


Think of a Personal Statement as a journey. You want to end on a high where the person reading will remember you for your unique assets and how foolish they would be if they did not enlist you on the course. 


Connect the beginning of your statement to the end, reinforcing your enthusiasm for the university and course, whilst in a nutshell persuading them on why you should be offered a place. Always put forward what makes you stand out against others. 


Dos and Don'ts for a University Personal Statement


When looking at how to write a university Personal Statement, there are a number of things to consider before you hit that send button. Have you proofread the entire piece? Whether you run it through spelling and grammar checks, read it out loud, or reword sentences so that they’re not too long-winded, you’ll be surprised at what you pick up on. 


It’s one of those basic tick boxes that admission teams look for in Personal Statements because they want to see your attention to detail. Ask friends, family, or a careers advisor to take a look and provide honest feedback on any changes they feel need making. You may think it’s great, but it’s good to get a second opinion from others who will be able to offer better suggestions that could move you one step closer to that university place. 


Refrain from using any garish fonts and colours. This will only act as a distraction from the words you have taken hours to write, and in most cases will put readers off because it doesn’t show professionalism or maturity. 


See how Rendcomb can Prepare You For University


At Rendcomb College we support every student in Year 13 who has decided that university is the right step for them. We’ll advise and guide them on their UCAS applications during the Michaelmas Term and provide assistance on what path is best for their chosen career. 


It’s a precious time when parents and students search for a university that offers everything they need, and our careers advisors are on hand to assist. We’ll also provide guidance on tuition fees, loans, budgeting, and student current accounts so that they are fully prepared for the independence that comes with starting university. 


We want all our students to flourish after Rendcomb College and do our utmost to offer tailored one-on-ones to help them achieve their desired course and place.