Monday, 16 November 2015

HOW TO WRITE A KILLER PERSONAL STATEMENT



It's that time of the year again, the time when all final year high school students start freaking out about university. If you live in the UK or are planning on going to uni in the UK you'll probably be sick of the words 'UCAS' and 'personal statement' but, let me tell you, it only gets worst. Soz. In my experience, writing my personal statement was the easiest part of the whole application process.

I started the whole application process in January, right after my Christmas holidays - a bit too late, I know. I remember logging into the UCAS website, entering all my grades and then reading I had to submit a 'personal statement'. By that time I had no idea what that was or how important it was meant to be (I am Spanish, the application process is much simpler there). I literally wrote mine in an afternoon, I probably spent a total of 4-5 hours on it. That's it folks, no stressing over it for months, no writing hundreds of drafts, nope, just one afternoon. I got offers from all the universities I applied to and I managed to get into the university of my dreams so I guess I did something right. How did I do it, you may ask. Well, here are a few tips!

1. DON'T STRESS. This the most important thing - and the hardest too. If you are calm and relaxed, it will be easier to put all your ideas together. 

2. DON'T OVERDO IT. You don't want your personal statement to sound fake or tacky. Try to make it sound as natural as possible. Pick a few qualities you want to focus on and write about them instead of writing a thousand different things you can do/have done and not going into detail at all. 

3. SOUND PASSIONATE. If you have to lie, do it. Don't lie about your grades or say you've done something you haven't done. However, do exaggerate the truth a bit and let them know how incredibly passionate you are about your subject, even if you're not. I do chemistry at uni and, even though I've always liked it, I've never really been passionate about it but if you read my personal statement you would think chemistry is all I care about. I would say this is a must  for top universities. 

4. 'LIE ABOUT THE FUTURE'. Okay, this is something I have mixed feelings about. I know a few people who've done that and it worked for them but if you don't feel comfortable about lying, don't do it! Basically, if you want to do science at uni, it may help mentioning you want to do a PhD after your degree. Unis want people who do research as it helps them get a good reputation.

5. BE HONEST. After telling you to lie, I'm telling you to be honest. Makes sense, right? Well, why do you want to study that subject, what motivates you, how/when did you know that's what you wanted to do? These are all things that might explain your attraction to that course and it's good to put them on you personal statement as it shows the reason behind your 'passion'. 

I know people are starting to apply to uni now so if you want to read more posts about applications/interviews, etc let me know in the comments!

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