One of the challenges many international students face when they prepare for admission into UK universities is struggling to write a personal statement.
What is a personal statement?
A personal statement is a crucial part of the application process for admission into UK universities written by the applicant (student). It’s the only part where students have full control with the opportunity to talk about their unique individuality, demonstrate their talents, passion, ambitions, skills, experience, and why they want to study the university course degree they plan to apply for.
How to write a personal statement?
There is no right formula for how to write a personal statement. Redraft your statement until you’re happy with it. However, it can be a key factor to complement your application and your chance to demonstrate what makes you unique and something memorable about yourself to the university admission team, which would give them a reason to want to meet you in person and offer you a place.
What should your personal statement include?
Since a personal statement is meant to identify your uniqueness, never try to copy from the internet other personal statements. There are plenty of resources online, which you can read for inspiration, but you should never at no cost copy and past.
What is the typical format?
It can be up to 4,000 characters long (equivalent to 47 lines) and no less than 1000 characters. Choose your words carefully, and avoid complicated fancy words to sound smart; simplicity is the key. Try to avoid italics, bold, underlining, fancy fonts, or adding hyperlinks. Make sure you check the grammar, spelling, and punctuation carefully.
Why are you applying?
Your reasons for choosing the course and explanation of why you particularly want to study in the UK. Why does the chosen subject interest you? Include evidence that you understand what’s required to study the course.
What makes you suitable?
You can indicate any particular skills and experience that will help you to succeed in the course. A brief of how you have already gained knowledge of the subject you wish to study. Any work or activity that relates directly to the subject you wish to study, including interests, hobbies, and voluntary work. What do you enjoy most about your current or previous studies? Future career plans (how you will use your qualification after you finish the course).
Here are a few questions you may like to reflect on that may help you when drafting your personal statement –
- Why have you chosen this course?
- What excites you about the subject?
- Is my previous or current study relevant to the course?
- Have you got any work experience relevant to the course that might help you?
- What life experiences have you had that you could talk about?
- What achievements are you proud of?
- What skills do you have that make you perfect for the course?
- What plans and ambitions do you have for your future career?
Tip to consider when writing your personal statement
Remember you have to write it to cover all the courses you’re applying for, so avoid mentioning a university or college by name and ideally choose similar subjects. If you’re planning to apply for varied degree courses, then write about common themes – like problem-solving or creativity. Check what skills and qualities the university(s) you are applying to are seeking that you may have and you can emphasize.
About the Author
The article is written by Shoroq Fandi, Higher Education Advisor & Founder of Wiser Study. She spent over 18 years working as a UK Higher Education consultant & admission expert, where she is a member of many professional educational organizations.
Having dealt with hundreds of students and parents since 2005 and seeing how many struggles with making vital decisions when it comes to educational choices and knowing what would be the best option for them, she understands the questions and concerns many families face during this puzzling but exciting time in the student’s educational journey.
She has successfully guided numerous families and students through the decision and admission process with simplified steps; her first-hand knowledge of the admission world and unique approach helps families and students to identify the best match, with valuable solutions to various problems and concerns faced during their journey.
She is involved in social & government projects and holds various webinar awareness and conference talks to the community on university admission planning and preparation. Her mission was to enable students and families to make informed decisions for their educational path.