Writing the dreaded UCAS personal statement…

Who actually likes writing a UCAS personal statement?

There are only two types of people in the world: those who enjoy writing a UCAS personal statement, and those who don’t. The latter of the two is where the majority stand when it comes to this 4000 character document of carefully crafted sentences with the odd dazzling word that has been thrown in, such as ‘smorgasbord’ or ‘amalgamation’, to show off your skills of finding synonyms. 

If, however, when you approach a fellow year 13 student and you ask them the question: ‘how is writing your UCAS personal statement going?’ and they reply: ‘it’s going really well!’, alarm bells should start ringing and you should back away slowly – it will be kind of like meeting a rare species in the jungle.

Why is a UCAS personal statement so hard to write?

Personal statements are usually so difficult to write because most people are pretty modest. Especially when it comes to scribing 47 lines dedicated to how perfect they would be for the university’s course. So you could expect that the people who are enjoying writing their personal statements equally enjoy talking about themselves in a general conversation. Or maybe they just have a real way with words?

Writing a personal statement comes with some highs and lows. The good thing is that it does give you the opportunity to justify yourself to the university through words rather than grades which aren’t always an accurate representation of who you are as a student or person. The more difficult task is being original and being honest. The amount of times I was tempted to delete everything on the page and just declare: ‘I AM GOOD STUDENT PLS LET ME IN K THX BYE’ was probably one too many.

A good way to write honestly and originally is to write a whole page of what you want to write in as plain English as possible, and then go back and add in those synonyms and rearrange the sentence a bit, always remembering to inject your own personal experience into the statement. Many people may have written that they were part of the football team, but not everyone would have had the same experiences as you – add a personal story of how being on the team led you to become the person you are today. Don’t just say it gave you teamwork skills – remember it is a statement of YOUR personal self. If you keep this in mind, you can’t go far wrong.

For more help and advice, check out the Unichoices YouTube channel where we have a playlist on all things UCAS personal statement related…

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