I know how anxious you new year 13’s must be feeling if you haven’t got this out of the way yet. We’ve all been there and luckily, I, like all other university students, am familiar with Personal Statements. So here’s the main advice that I’d give you:
Advice about the content/structure
- Start with a passionate paragraph – Explain your passion about the subject. Where did it originate from? How did it grow? You’ll show the university that you really are interested in the subject, which is an expected but desirable quality. DO NOT OVERDO IT! Saying something like, “Since the age of 4, I knew that I only wanted to be a doctor” is going to get your application binned since you’ve most likely started off with a lie. Instead, build it up delicately.
- Action, Benefit, Course or ABC- This method is very effective for your middle paragraphs. What have you done to increase your knowledge on the subject? What skills or qualities has it developed? How will this help you study your course? Just as a brief example, when I wrote my Personal Statement, at the time, I could have (probably did, I cannot remember) said, “I have undertaken the Mathematics Challenge and came out second in the whole year. This gave me an insight into the formulas used for calculating income tax. At university, I want to explore the various formulas for all kind of taxes.” By the way, it’s true, I did finish second at the Mathematics Challenge. You didn’t think I lied did you?
- Extracurricular activities – Try putting some focus on these as they demonstrate extra dedication. Perhaps work experience? A book? A school club? It does not have to be directly related to your subject but should at least show a skill which would be useful to have when studying the course.
Advice for you
- If you cannot start, just start – Usually in life, to find what we are looking for, we must first find what we don’t want. So when you get typing for the first time, don’t stop! Don’t interrupt your subconscious mind. Just let it express itself, then at the end, you can see what needs changing.
- It will take time – Be patient. The ideas will not come to you like some magical glow. You’ll do a lot of editing before being satisfied with the final product.
- Get it checked by a teacher you trust – They check personal statements al the time so they know what separates a good one from a bad one. Use them. After all, they’re free.
Best of luck to you all. If you have any questions, feel free to write a comment.