How To Write The Perfect UCAS Personal Statement | Free Template Here
The UCAS deadline is looming and we can’t even fathom how nervous you must be feeling in this festive period.
Who’s even got the time to think about Christmas when the application deadline is so close after? Well – not us!
To put it bluntly, once you’ve hit submit on your UCAS university application, the fate of your future is in the hands of the uni’s you selected *dramatic pause*
Feeling prepared, set and ready to smash it? If yes, you’re one of the lucky ones!
If you’re leaning more towards no, that’s okay and we’re here to help!
The admissions tutor will be thoroughly scanning through your application, looking at your grades and, most importantly, reading through your personal statement.
Not to scare you in any way, shape or form, but one personal statement can make all the difference to whether you’re selected for a particular course, or not!
It’s a super important step and we want to make sure you’re fully clued up on how to perfect your personal statement.
You’re more than likely going to be inundated with questions from your family members and teachers, so by reading this blog, you’ll be able to answer them confidently with no hesitation.
Grab a pen, some paper and get writing a bunch of notes down – you’re going to need them!
When Is The UCAS Deadline For 2022?
The UCAS Deadline for submission in 2022 is by 18:00 (UK time) on 26 January. This is when you will submit the following:
- Your personal details
- Education history
- Employment history
- The course choices you would like (up to 5)
- Your personal statement
What Is A Personal Statement?
A definition of a personal statement is an important piece of documentation which describes your future ambitions, skills and experience to university admissions tutors.
It’s submitted to UCAS, and provides you the opportunity to showcase yourself and stand out against other candidates.
Writing a personal statement gives you a chance to articulate exactly why you want to go to this specific university or college, and why you want to study your chosen course.
You can go into depth about your strengths, your previous work experience and the passion you feel for your chosen field.
A personal statement is for university and college courses only, so if you’re focusing your efforts on an apprenticeship, you will just need to prepare a CV.
How To Write A Personal Statement
Personal statements will become second nature to you after reading this – we promise!
So bookmark this page and take in allllll the hints, tips and hacks we give you, because we want you to smash this just as much as you do.
1. Organisation Is Key
The key to a good personal statement always starts with being organised.
If you’re not organised, or you forget to plan, don’t be surprised if you find it difficult to get the uni and course of your dreams.
A well written personal statement is built from strong, organised foundations, and you will reap the rewards once it’s submitted.
Think about these few key trigger questions to form the basis of your personal statement:
- Why do you want to study at University?
- Why do you want to study this particular course?
- What are your strengths, how do they link to your course?
- What are your greatest achievements?
- Overall, what qualities and relevant skills do you have that make you stand out from the crowd?
These 5 individual questions should jog your brain and give you the perfect starting point when it comes to beginning your statement.
2. Be Honest
Admissions tutors can read straight through a personal statement that is full of lies – honestly!
Don’t under any circumstance provide false information, ‘cos think about it, what good would that bring?
3. Give Yourself Enough Time
You’re never going to hear the end of this but…don’t leave your statement till the last minute!
Try getting ahead of the game and preparing thoroughly, linking back to point #1.
Organisation is key, and giving yourself enough time comes part and parcel with this tip.
4. Maintain A Strong Structure
The best personal statements have a strong structure.
There will be a clear introduction, and instead of opening with a catchy opening, begin by telling the reader your interest in the course and why you chose it.
The main body of the text will be your experience, key skills and academic achievements that make you the perfect candidate.
To sum it all up, the closing paragraph will summarise the key points you’ve made throughout and intend to persuade the reader that you should be selected for the course.
5. Triple Check Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation
If you want to make your personal statement stand out from the crowd, you need double, triple and EVEN quadruple check your grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Grammatical errors can have a negative effect on your submission, because it alludes to the idea that you’re careless and not thorough with your work.
6. Get Someone You Trust To Give Feedback
Our last tip when completing your personal statement is to make sure someone reads over your work.
A fresh pair of eyes can spot mistakes you might’ve missed, and areas you can improve on.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, or your tutor in college, this is a tip we urge you NOT to miss!
Your Free Personal Statement Template
The best personal statements get to the point quickly.
Especially when you think about how many words you have to write with, the last thing you want to be doing is introducing a length opening which doesn’t add anything to the reader’s knowledge.
Start the opening sentence with why you’re excited about studying this course.
Keep it focused on you and your enthusiasm, the admissions tutor wants to see your personality and passion shine!
Here are some of the most common phrases UCAS have said to avoid in your opening paragraph:
- ‘From a young age…’
- ‘For as long as I can remember…
- ‘I am applying for this course because…’
- ‘I have always been interested in…’
- ‘Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…’
Too many people use them and it can become repetitive for the reader – make yours stand out!
Spend the second section of your personal statement focusing on the key question – ‘what have you done that makes you suitable for the course?’
Popular universities will have so many people applying, therefore you need to prove to your chosen subject that you have a passion that no one else does.
Mention any relevant experience, specific skills or even your future career goals. How do they link to the course you want to study?
Illustrate to the admissions staff how you’ve gone beyond your teachers expectations and shown an interest in the relevant course.
Think about the question – ‘what else have I done?’
What qualities and personal experiences do you think make you stand out from the crowd? Even if you don’t think they’re relevant to your course, we bet they are (one way or another).
Examples include hobbies, voluntary work, paid employment etc.
This final section could be the make or break when comparing you and another candidate, so make sure to put just as much effort in!
Another top tip from us, if you’re mentioning a hobby (for example), make sure to LINK back to the qualities your uni expects from your course and how you feel you’ve achieved that.
Linking back shows that you understand the relevance your hobbies or experience has on your course and how it will help you thrive at university.
You will have most likely picked up a range of transferable skills that will put a huge grin on your admissions tutors face – so make sure to mention them!
How Long Should A Personal Statement Be?
UCAS has a very specific way of assessing how long a personal statement should be. And this is what they say:
You have 4,000 characters and 47 lines.
This may sound a lot, but it’s a word limit of around 550–1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4
Is A Personal Statement The Same As A Cover Letter?
Nope! They have similarities in the sense that you’re trying to convince the reader of why you should be chosen, but a cover letter is used mainly when applying for jobs. A personal statement is for UCAS university submission only.
How Should I Write My Personal Statement If I’m An International Student?
Your personal statement will be extremely similar to that of a domestic student, however, we would urge you to think about answering questions such as:
- What are your reasons for studying in the UK?
- Touch upon your English skills, and any English courses/tests you have taken
- Why do you want to be an international student, rather than studying in your own home country?
Well, well, well – we’ve finally finished! We hope you’ve picked up a whole heap of tips and tricks with this in depth personal statement guide. Now’s the time to stop reading and start writing. The quicker you do, the quicker it will be over – and then you will be one step closer to moving to university!