Writing your UCAS personal statement is difficult. This could well be the first time youve had to speak about your achievements and aspirations. We all have a tendency towards modesty, and we play down our triumphs. The personal statement, however, is your opportunity to tell your story. This is a chance to divulge all you have achieved in your life to date, what you aspire to do or be in the future, and why you think youll be great in your chosen field.
The following is a practical guide on how to write an effective UCAS personal statement.
1) Gather your evidence
Writing personal statements becomes a lot easier if you have material to write about prepared beforehand. You can do this on your Kloodle profile.
– Fill in your achievements section. This will get you thinking about what you have done in your life. Many college / sixth form students downplay their achievements. Youll be the same. Youll think you havent done anything. Youll shrug your shoulders. Youll be wrong. Really think about what you have done with your life. Have you: –
– Played a sport
– Had a part time job
– Achieved a grade you were proud of
– Done something cool (travelled, won an award)
– Raised money for charity
– Participated in a school event / scheme
– Had a position of authority (prefect / head girl)
If you are really struggling to think of anything, then this might be the time to think about what you can do to improve the situation. You could volunteer, travel, get a part time job, complete an event, raise money for charity ad infinitum.
Write a plan about what you are going to do and take action.
Now complete your bio section. Your bio should answer the following questions: –
– Who are you?
– What are you currently doing?
– What are your aspirations? (What course do you want to study? What career do you want etc etc)
Your opening line should be attention grabbing.
Start with your biggest achievement??example As a current black belt Jiujitsu expert, I am always looking for a challenge, hence the reason I am studying Maths, Physics, Chemistry and German at A Level. You get the drift, The As a structure works well for openings??e.g. as a painter, footballer, linguist, computer scientist polymath I love .. I am interested in .
You should then compose a blog post entitled Why I want to study XXXXX at university. In the post, you should aim to explain why you want to study that particular course.
– Your favourite aspect of the subject
– Previous experiences of the subject and what, specifically, you found interesting
– What you hope to achieve by studying this particular course
– What aspects of the course you are applying to you particularly like (modules, topics, etc)
2) Making your first draft
You are now in a position to write your first draft. You can piece this together from the bits of work you have done already. A good personal statement addresses the following areas: –
1) Who you are and what you are currently doing (your Kloodle bio)
2) What course do you want to study and why (Your blog post)
3) Why you would be a great student of that course (Your achievements)
The first point should be taken from the bio in section 1. In order to get your first draft together: –
– Copy and paste your bio into a draft personal statement on your Kloodle profile
– Copy and paste your blog post into your draft Kloodle profile
– Copy and paste the descriptions of your achievements into your draft personal statement
3) Subsequent Drafts
You are now in a position to start to polish your personal statement. You have the basic content and structure, you can now make your statement more readable, more effective and all-round brilliant.
Here are a few suggestions for the polishing process: –
– Keep a concrete structure in mind. Your ideas need to be organised into a coherent piece of work. A bit like a story. What does every good story have? A beginning, a middle and an end. Your beginning is about you, your middle is about the course you wish to study, and the end is why youll make a great student.
– Get feedback. Ask your teacher to comment on your draft.
– Check spelling and grammar, and get someone else to check too.
– Remove unnecessary words. Start with adverbs (really, actually, definitely).
– Write in the active voice (I kicked the ball, as opposed to the ball was kicked)
– Use verbs to describe your actions. (I crept vs I walked slowly)??replace adjectives with better verbs
– Be positive about yourself??if you dont praise yourself, who will?
4) One Final Check
Once you are happy with your work, get it checked one more time for sense, spelling and grammar. You DO NOT want to get this wrong! One more check wont hurt ..