Before you start writing, you need to recall some special memories and decide your unique properties.
Take some time, brainstorm first and take notes and come back later.
The following question may guide you:
The personal statement allows admissions tutors to form a picture of who you are. So, for the opener, think about writing down things, such as:
Try not to overthink the opening sentence. You need to engage the reader with your relevant thoughts and ideas, but not go overboard.
The opening is your chance to introduce yourself, to explain your motivation for studying the course and to demonstrate your understanding of it.
The best personal statements get to the point quickly. Go straight in. What excites you about the course and why do you want to learn about it more?
Think about why you want to study the course and how you can demonstrate this in your written statement:
Your interest in the course is the biggest thing. Start with a short sentence that captures the reason why you’re interested in studying the area you’re applying for and that communicates your enthusiasm for it.
Don’t waffle or say you want to study something just because it’s interesting. Explain what you find interesting about it.
Try to avoid cliches and the most obvious opening sentences so you stand out from the very first line.
UCAS publishes a list of common opening lines each year. Here are just some overused phrases to avoid using in your personal statement:
Quotations are top of the list of admissions tutors’ pet hates.
Concentrate on the main content of your statement and write the introduction last. The opening line is the hardest one to write, so it might be better to leave it until the end.
It may be easier to get on with writing the main content of your statement and coming back to the introduction afterwards –that way you will also know what you’re introducing.
Think about making a link between your opening sentence and closing paragraph – a technique sometimes called the ‘necklace approach’.
You can reinforce what you said at the start or add an extra dimension. For example, if you started with an interesting line about what’s currently motivating you to study your chosen degree course, you could link back to it at the end, perhaps with something about why you’d love to study this further at uni.
Admissions Tutors will be reading a lot of personal statements. Remember, it can only be 4,000 characters, which is about two sides of A4. So, you’ll need to use your words wisely to fit everything in. Please read what we advice for the whole process.
Don’t worry about your personal statement
You don’t need to stress or feel anxious about writing your personal statement because you have plenty of time to complete it, and you also have access to resources and support to help you in the process.
It’s a reassurance that there is no immediate rush, and you can take your time to craft a strong and well-thought-out personal statement without feeling pressured. It’s a reminder to stay calm and confident as you work on this important component of your university application.