Personal statements guidance
A personal statement is often considered to be the only opportunity students have to 'talk' to an admissions officer, so it is important that they use the words effectively and show them that they are the perfect student for the course. This page provides guidance to Teachers and Advisors who support students with their personal statements.
A Personal Statement is a piece of text which can be up to 4,000 characters (or 47 lines including spaces). It is used by admissions officers to assess a student's suitability for the course that they have applied to. The Personal Statement should reflect the skills and experiences that would make them the ideal student for their specific course. Although students can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS, students only have the opportunity to write one personal statement.
Top Tips to pass onto your students:
- Draft your personal statement using a word processing software such as Microsoft Word first - students don't have to write the perfect personal statement in one go. Many students draft and re-draft many times before they even ask their teachers to read through it.
- Read the statement out loud - this will help you with sentence structures and making sure that the statement follows on nicely. It is a good idea to also read the statement out to family and friends.
- Think very carefully about spelling and grammar (writing in Microsoft will help with this!). Make sure students proofread their statements and double check spellings.
- Don't be tempted to simply list skills and experiences without explaining why you think they are relevant.
Worksheets and Activities:
Below are some resources which our team have developed to assist students in writing their personal statements. The worksheets act as a starting point for students by getting them to think about their skills and abilities which suit their intended course of study. The second worksheet helps students consider how they would structure their personal statement to ensure that all the information that Admissions staff are looking for is included.
We regularly visit schools across the country to deliver a full hour long session (times can be changed according to your needs) which accompanies the worksheets and includes other activities and advice. If you would like a member of our team to visit your school and run this session with your students, please do let us know, we would be more than happy to visit you.
Personal Statements Bullseye Activity (last updated 31/08/2016)
Structuring your Personal Statement (last updated 31/08/2016)