Need to write a Personal Statement? The Progression Coach offers some initial thoughts
You only have one opportunity to submit a personal statement. It’s crucial to feel that you have written the best possible version - one that tells the story of you, reveals your desire to study your chosen degree and hopefully enables you to stand out from the crowd.
Crafting a unique and memorable personal statement is no easy feat. University admission tutors read hundreds each year. But with a blank screen or piece of paper in front of you and a million different words spinning around your head how do you know what to include or even where to start?
There are some pre-requisites. Any personal statement to be taken seriously needs to be:
- free of mistakes
- within the given character limit
- relevant to the course chosen.
A well-structured statement will flow with the correct balance of information. This will hopefully include your enthusiasm for your chosen topic; your experiences related to the subject; and explanations of how any skills or knowledge learned will convey your potential for the desired course.
However tempting it may be to exaggerate your reading list or your work experience placements - don’t. Universities could well use the information on your personal statement as conversation starters and further questioning at interview, so make sure everything you include in your statement you are able to confidently discuss at a potential interview.
It’s also worth noting that Cambridge or Oxford personal statements differ in that they place less emphasis on extra-curricular activities. Unless you can link these in some way to your suitability for your chosen degree then be careful not to devote too many words to these. However, it’s unlikely you’ll be applying to Oxbridge alone so you’ll also need your personal statement to suit all admission departments.
Be aware that it can take many drafts to get your personal statement just right with flow, cohesion and readability. It’s a great idea to start thinking about it early on in the process. Amongst all the opinions around you about what to include and what to leave out, try to ask yourself, “Does everything that I have written portray my potential for studying this course?” Good luck!
If you would like further advice then head on over to www.theprogressioncoach.com to get in touch.
Next week: Personal Statements Part Two
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