How To End A Personal Statement So The Admissions Committee Remembers You

  • Published January 20, 2023

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Students are often unsure of  how to end a personal statement.  A strong conclusion makes all the difference in whether your application gets noticed by admissions officers or not.

If you’ve just finished writing your personal statement and you’re stuck on your ending, then don’t worry! This article will walk you through the essentials of personal statement conclusions.

Avoid writing a tedious and forgettable ending for your personal statement by following these rules.

Talk About Your Main Points

Don’t end your final paragraph by stating what you’ve never mentioned in the body of your personal statement. Remember, the purpose of your conclusion is to  wrap up  the package.

You shouldn’t say, “My experiences kindled my passion for engineering,” if you didn’t mention these “experiences” in the first place!

So actually summarising your key main body points is a great conclusion in many cases.

Summarise Your Key Points In A Simple Way

After reading thousands of personal statements, the admissions committee will be happy to see you concluding your personal statement with a clear summarisation of the vital points. 

Go over your personal statement and jot down the main takeaway of each paragraph. Once you have that list, find a way to integrate them into your conclusion.

You can dedicate a sentence to each key point, tie them all together, and you now have a conclusion that does what it’s supposed to do!

how to end a personal statement with 11 tips

Use Your Key Points To Restate Your Passion For Your Course

If you’re wondering how to end your personal statement using your key points, use them to restate your passion for the course you’re applying for.

Say your key points including your skills and experiences, and wrap them up by saying, “With the [your specific skills] and [your specific experiences] I’ve gained over the years, I’m committed to [mention your course].”

By doing so, you’re hitting two birds with one stone. One, you’re reminding the admissions committee that you have the skill set necessary to succeed in your course. Two, you’re demonstrating your dedication to your desired course.

Double Down On Your “Why”

Another powerful ending is to remind the reader of your “why.” Many students pursue their chosen course because they’re not sure what else to take.

So being clear on your purpose immediately sets you apart from the rest. 

To do this, take the most heart-moving story from the body of your personal statement on what inspired you to apply for your course. Mention the main idea of it in a sentence or two, then end with a “for this reason, I believe pursuing [mention course] is the best way to achieve my [state your why].”

If your course is related to education, perhaps your “why” is to help children learn by allowing them to show how they learn best.

Say you’re writing a medical personal statement . Maybe your “why” is to forward technology that helps safeguard the elderly from falling accidents because you witnessed your grandparent suffer injuries from a fall when you were young.

Doubling down on your “why” shows your conviction and direction on why you’re applying for your course.

Mention The Next Step Of Your Application Process

What’s the next step after the admissions committee accepts your personal statement? For many courses, they’ll call you up for an interview . Go ahead and mention this in your conclusion!

Write along the lines of “I’m looking forward to dedicating myself to this course, and I would love to receive an invitation for the interview.”

The reader will right away recognise that you’ve done your research. You know what the next step should be. You  are  serious about this application!

Make The Universities Excited To Have You As Their Student

Studying at a university is not merely a means to an end. It’s a profound journey in and of itself! You’ll meet new colleagues, form lifelong communities, and discover mentors who will guide you along with your future career.

Think of them when you’re pondering on how to end a personal statement. What can you contribute as a student to make the university a better place? Demonstrate your excitement in meeting them, building relationships with them, and serving them!

A statement as straightforward as “I am eager to establish new, lifelong relationships and use my [mention your skills] to help make the university a better place for learning and community-building.”

Demonstrate Your Willingness To Learn

Universities exist to train and mould students, not the other way around! A little humility goes a long way. Show yours by demonstrating your willingness to learn. Nothing excites teachers more than willing students.

To pull this off, make sure you know what values your course upholds. It could be service, excellence, inclusivity, and so on. State in your conclusion that “I’m looking forward to learning how to embody [write down the course’s values you resonate with], to grow and succeed in [mention your field of study].”

There’s so much value packed in this simple personal statement ending. Tweak it and make it yours!

Avoid Famous Quotes

Many students insert famous quotes from well-known persons when ending their personal statements. Avoid this tactic as much as possible because you’re driving attention  away  from YOU as the applicant.

If you want to include famous quotes, put them at the beginning of your personal statement to grab attention. To keep your reader’s attention focused on you in the end, why not come up with a memorable, relevant quote of your own?

Use The Bookend Strategy

Bookends are sturdy objects placed at either end of upright books to keep them standing. When you translate that into writing, the bookend strategy is when the introduction and conclusion statements connect to support the body between them.

You may start your personal statement with a heart-wrenching story about how you watched your beloved pet die of the wrong diagnosis. Then, for your conclusion, you can call back on this story and state how this event fuels you to pursue veterinary practice.

The bookend strategy is a clean and efficient way how to end your personal statement.

Ask Help From Your Family And Friends

If you’re still stuck on how to end a personal statement, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Approach your family and friends because they know you more than anyone. Read to them the introduction and body of your personal statement.

Ask them what particular line struck them the most. Maybe they know something about you that you missed including in your personal statement. What characteristics do they see in you that will help you succeed in your course?

Gather their answers in one place, and after reading them in one go, you now have a decent idea of what to emphasise in your conclusion statement.

Never State That It’s The “Conclusion” Or “Summary”

The most boring, generic way to end a personal statement is to write “In conclusion” or “In summary.” It’s actually one of the topics we cover in  what not to put in a personal statement .

Avoid this writing style at all costs. A good conclusion statement doesn’t require explicit announcements.

By its style and structure alone, the reader knows immediately they’re about to read a lasting statement. So don’t hesitate to proceed straight to the major points. As long as the conclusion connects seamlessly with the previous paragraph, you’re good to go!

Stay Authentic

Universities hold honesty in high esteem. Show authenticity and honesty in your personal statement beginning with an attention-grabbing introduction to a strong conclusion.

The best way to radiate honesty in your personal statement is to write from the right mindset. When you work on your personal statement, your objective is to show  who you are and demonstrate why you are a worthy candidate for the course .

Don’t try to impress. If you come from that standpoint, you’re more likely to add embellishments. The experienced admissions committee can smell insincere personal statements from a mile away. So stick with who you are and let your personality shine through.

Give Yourself A Break, Then Come Back To It

When working on how to conclude a personal statement, you need to give yourself time. After writing a rough draft of your conclusion statement, take a break and return to it after a few days. 

When you return to it, you’ll be surprised to notice details you haven’t seen before. Edit as you like, and make it better. Keep the old versions of your conclusion at hand so you can readily compare them with your newest, edited text. Compare and choose which one sounds better.

5 Bad Examples For A Personal Statement Conclusion

These are 5 personal statement examples for conclusions that don’t meet the criteria outlined above.

  • In this application essay, I have made it clear I am an outstanding candidate for a degree because I think everyone will love my positive attitude and I deserve it.
  • In summary, you can see my highlighted qualifications and experience, I know they’re not the best, but I want to stress that my passion for this field is what sets me apart as a candidate. It shouldn’t matter if the others are more qualified or experienced than me.
  • Remember the skills I have, that’s really what sets me apart from other students, they don’t have what it takes to break the rules creatively and not follow the book.
  • Finally, I would like to thank you for considering me for this opportunity and I hope you will make the right decision by choosing me, otherwise, I may cry and be disappointed.
  • As a final note, it’s easy to see how qualified I am for this degree and how I will excel in it – but you should accept me because I’m cool and will get along with everyone else.

5 Amazing Examples Of A Personal Statement Ending

  • In conclusion, I am excited about the opportunity to study computer science at this university. My passion for technology, combined with my programming skills and experience, make me an ideal candidate for the program. I am eager to learn from the esteemed faculty and contribute to the research community. I am confident that this program will enable me to achieve my career goals and make a meaningful impact in the field of technology.
  • In summary, I have always been fascinated by the human body and its functions. My experience in volunteering in hospitals, combined with my academic record, makes me confident in my ability to handle the rigours of a medical degree. I am excited about the opportunity to study at this esteemed university and to contribute to the field of medicine through research and patient care.
  • To wrap things up, I am excited to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at this university. My passion for designing and building, combined with my experience in physics and mathematics, make me confident that I have the knowledge and skills to excel in this program. I am eager to learn from the esteemed faculty and contribute to the field of mechanical engineering through research and innovation.
  • Finally, I am honoured to be considered for a law degree at this university. My passion for justice, combined with my research skills and experience, make me an ideal candidate for the program. I am excited about the opportunity to learn from the esteemed faculty and to contribute to the legal field through research and practice.
  • As a final note, I am excited to pursue a degree in Environmental Science at this university. My passion for the environment, combined with my experience in environmental research, makes me confident that I have the knowledge and skills to make a meaningful impact in this field. I am eager to learn from the esteemed faculty and contribute to the field through research and conservation efforts.

How Long Should the Conclusion To A Personal Statement Be?

A personal statement conclusion should be 150-200 words long and leave a positive lasting impression on the reader. A UCAS personal statement should be 4000 characters long, making the conclusion 705-940 characters long – this is just a rough estimation based on the average number of characters per word (4.7).

Do You Feel More Confident Writing A Personal Statement Conclusion?

To  end your personal statement  in the best possible way, you need to know the body’s key points. Use them as pillars when deciding which direction your conclusion takes. 

Will you highlight your future goals? Maybe you want to focus on your why? Take the time to decide. And if you’re stuck, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your family and friends so you can leave a lasting impression on the applications committee.

How much did this article help you out? Don’t forget to bookmark this page for future reference!

Related Content

What are ucas points – an introduction.

how do i end my ucas personal statement

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How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement [With Examples]

how do i end my ucas personal statement

James is senior content marketing manager at BridgeU. He writes and directs content for BridgeU's university partners and our community of international schools

What are the big challenges students should be aware of before writing their UCAS Personal Statement?

  • The essential ingredients for writing a great Personal Statement
  • How to write the UCAS Personal Statement [with examples]

Final hints & tips to help your students

Join 10,000 other counsellors & educators & get exclusive resources delivered straight to your inbox.

The UCAS Personal Statement can sometimes be a student’s only chance to impress a UK university. Read our in-depth guide to helping your students plan & write a winning application.

There are hundreds of articles out there on how to write a UCAS Personal Statement that will grab the attention of a UK university admissions officer.  

But if you’re working with students to help them perfect their Personal Statement in time for the  relevant UCAS deadlines , we can sum up the secret to success in three words.

Planning, structure and story. 

The UCAS Personal Statement is a student’s chance to talk about why they want to study for a particular degree, course or subject discipline at a UK university. 

As they set about writing a personal statement, students need to demonstrate the drive, ambition, relevant skills and notable achievements that make them a  suitable candidate for the universities they have chosen to apply to . 

But the UCAS Personal Statement requires students to write a lot about themselves in a relatively short space of time. That’s why lots of planning, a tight structure and a compelling story are essential if a student’s Personal Statement is to truly excel. 

As important deadlines for UK university applications grow closer, we at BridgeU have put together a guide, outlining some of the strategies and techniques to help your students to write a personal statement which is both engaging and truly individual.

Handpicked Related Content

Discover the simple steps that will boost the confidence of your native English speaking & ESL students alike in  University Application Essays: The 5 Secrets of Successful Writing .

As they begin to plan their Personal Statement, students may feel intimidated. It’s not easy to summarise your academic interests and personal ambitions, especially when you’re competing for a place on a course which is popular or has demanding entry requirements. In particular, students will likely come up against the following challenges.

Time pressure

Unfortunately, the Personal Statement (and other aspects of university preparation) comes during the busiest year of the student’s academic life so far.

Students, and indeed teachers and counsellors, must undertake the planning and writing of the personal statement whilst juggling other commitments, classes and deadlines, not to mention revision and open day visits!

Because there is already a lot of academic pressure on students in their final year of secondary school, finding the time and headspace for the personal statement can be hard, and can mean it gets pushed to the last minute. The risks of leaving it to the last minute are fairly obvious – the application will seem rushed and the necessary thought and planning won’t go into  making the personal statement the best it can be . 

Sticking closely to the Personal Statement format

The character limit which UCAS sets for the personal statement is very strict – up to 4,000 characters of text. This means that students have to express themselves in a clear and concise way; it’s also important that they don’t feel the need to fill the available space needlessly.  Planning and redrafting of a personal statement is essential .

Making it stand out

This is arguably the greatest challenge facing students – making sure that their statement sets them apart from everyone else who is competing for a place on any given course; in 2022 alone, UCAS received applications from 683,650 applicants (+1.6k on 2021) students. In addition, UCAS uses its own dedicated team and purpose built software to check every application for plagiarism, so it’s crucial that students craft a truly  original personal statement which is entirely their own work .

The essential ingredients for writing a great UCAS Personal Statement 

We’ve already mentioned our three watch words for writing a high quality Personal Statement.

Planning. Structure. Story. 

Let’s dig deeper into these three essential components in more detail.

Watch: How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement with University of Essex

Planning a ucas personal statement.

It might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s vital that students plan their Personal Statement before they start writing it. Specifically, the planning phase could include: 

  • Students thoroughly researching the UK university courses they plan on applying to. 
  • Deciding on what relevant material to include in their Personal Statement (we’ll cover this in more detail later on). 
  • Writing an unedited first draft where they just get their thoughts and ideas down on paper. 

Structuring a UCAS Personal Statement

As we’ve discussed, the UCAS Personal Statement requires students to be extremely disciplined – they will be required to condense a lot of information into a relatively short written statement. This means that, after they’ve written a rough first draft, they need to think carefully about how they structure the final statement. 

A stand out Personal Statement will need a tight structure, with an introduction and a conclusion that make an impact and really help to tell a story about who your student is, and why they are drawn to studying this particular degree. 

This brings us nicely to our third and final ingredient…

Telling a story with a Personal Statement

The UCAS Personal Statement is a student’s opportunity to show a university who they are and how their life experiences have shaped their academic interests and goals. 

So a good Personal Statement needs to offer a compelling narrative, and that means making sure that a student’s writing is well-structured, and that every sentence and paragraph is serving the statement’s ultimate purpose –  to convince a university that your student deserves a place on their subject of choice. 

How to help your students start their UCAS Personal Statement

In order to ensure that a personal statement is delivered on time and to an appropriate standard, it’s essential to plan thoroughly before writing it. Here are some questions you can ask your students before they start writing:

How can you demonstrate a formative interest in your subject?

It may sound obvious but, in order for any UCAS personal statement to have the necessary structure and clarity, students need to think hard about why they want to study their chosen subject. Ask them to think about their responses to the following questions:

What inspired you to study your chosen subject?

Example answer:  My desire to understand the nature of reality has inspired me to apply for Physics and Philosophy

Was there a formative moment when your perspective on this subject changed, or when you decided you wanted to study this subject in more detail?

Example answer:  My interest in philosophy was awakened when I questioned my childhood religious beliefs; reading Blackburn’s “Think”, convinced me to scrutinise my assumptions about the world, and to ensure I could justify my beliefs.

Can you point to any role models, leading thinkers, or notable literature which has in turn affected your thinking and/or inspired you?

Example answer :  The search for a theory of everything currently being conducted by physicists is of particular interest to me and in “The Grand Design” Hawking proposes a collection of string theories, dubbed M-theory, as the explanation of why the universe is the way it is.

Asking your students to think about the “why” behind their chosen subject discipline is a useful first step in helping them to organise their overall statement. Next, they need to be able to demonstrate evidence of their suitability for a course or degree. 

How have you demonstrated the skills and aptitudes necessary for your chosen course?

Encourage students to think about times where they have demonstrated the necessary skills to really stand out. It’s helpful to think about times when they have utilised these skills both inside and outside the classroom. Ask students to consider their responses to the following questions. 

Can you demonstrate critical and independent thinking around your chosen subject discipline?

Example answer :  Currently I am studying Maths and Economics in addition to Geography. Economics has been a valuable tool, providing the nuts and bolts to economic processes, and my geography has provided a spatial and temporal element.

Are you able to demonstrate skills and competencies which will be necessary for university study?

These include qualities such as teamwork, time management and the ability to organise workload responsibly.

Example answer:  This year I was selected to be captain of the 1st XV rugby team and Captain of Swimming which will allow me to further develop my leadership, teamwork and organisational skills.

How have your extracurricular activities helped prepare you for university?

Students may believe that their interests outside the classroom aren’t relevant to their university application. So encourage them to think about how their other interests can demonstrate the subject-related skills that universities are looking for in an application. Ask students to think about any of the following activities, and how they might be related back to the subject they are applying for.

  • Clubs/societies, or volunteering work which they can use to illustrate attributes such as teamwork, an interest in community service and the ability to manage their time proactively.
  • Have they been elected/nominated as a team captain, or the head of a particular club or society, which highlights leadership skills and an ability to project manage?
  • Can they point to any awards or prizes they may have won, whether it’s taking up a musical instrument, playing a sport, or participating in theatre/performing arts?
  • Have they achieved grades or qualifications as part of their extracurricular activities? These can only help to demonstrate aptitude and hard work. 

How to write the UCAS Personal Statement [with examples] 

If sufficient planning has gone into the personal statement, then your students should be ready to go!

In this next section, we’ll break down the individual components of the UCAS Personal Statement and share some useful examples.

These examples come from a Personal Statement in support of an application to study Environmental Science at a UK university. 

Watch: King’s College London explain what they’re looking for in a UCAS Personal Statement

Introduction.

This is the chance for an applying student to really grab an admission tutor’s attention. Students need to demonstrate both a personal passion for their subject, and explain why they have an aptitude for it .  This section is where students should begin to discuss any major influences or inspirations that have led them to this subject choice. 

Example :  My passion for the environment has perhaps come from the fact that I have lived in five different countries: France, England, Spain, Sweden and Costa Rica. Moving at the age of 15 from Sweden, a calm and organized country, to Costa Rica, a more diverse and slightly chaotic country, was a shock for me at first and took me out of my comfort zone […] Also, living in Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, definitely helped me realize how vulnerable the world is and how we need to take care of it in a sustainable manner. 

This opening paragraph immediately grabs the reader’s attention by giving the reader an insight into this student’s background and links their academic interests with something specific from the student’s personal backstory. 

Discussing Academic Achievements 

The next paragraph in this Personal Statement discusses the student’s academic achievements. Because this student has had an international education, they frame their academic achievements in the context of their personal background. They also cite useful examples of other curricula they have studied and the grades they have achieved. 

Example : 

Throughout my academic life I have shown myself to be a responsible student as well as a hard working one, despite the fact that I have had to move around a lot. I have achieved several other accomplishments such as a high A (286/300) in AS Spanish at age 15, and also completed a Spanish course of secondary studies for ‘MEP’(Ministerio de Educacion Publica), which is a system from Costa Rica.   

You’ll notice that this student doesn’t just list their achievements – their strong academic performance is always linked back to a wider discussion of their personal experiences. 

Showcasing Extracurricular Activities

As well as discussing academic achievements, a good Personal Statement should also discuss the student’s extracurricular activities, and how they relate back to the student’s overall university aspirations. 

By the third/fourth paragraph of the Personal Statement, students should think about incorporating their extracurricular experiences, 

Another valuable experience was when my class spent a week at a beach called ‘Pacuare’ in order to help prevent the eggs of the endangered leatherback turtle from being stolen by poachers who go on to sell them like chicken eggs. We all gained teamwork experience, which was needed in order to hide the eggs silently without scaring the mother turtles, as well as making it more difficult for the poachers to find them. 

When the poachers set fire to one of the sustainable huts where we were staying, not only did I gain self-awareness about the critical situation of the world and its ecosystems, I also matured and became even more motivated to study environmental sciences at university.

This is a particularly striking example of using extracurricular activities to showcase a student’s wider passion for the degree subject they want to study. 

Not only does this Personal Statement have a story about volunteering to save an endangered species, it also illustrates this applicants’ wider worldview, and helps to explain their motivation for wanting to study Environmental Science. 

Concluding the UCAS Personal Statement

The conclusion to a UCAS Personal Statement will have to be concise, and will need to tie all of a student’s academic and extracurricular achievements. After all, a compelling story will need a great ending. 

Remember that students need to be mindful of the character limit of a Personal Statement, so a conclusion need only be the length of a small paragraph, or even a couple of sentences. 

“ After having many varied experiences, I truly think I can contribute to university in a positive way, and would love to study in England where I believe I would gain more skills and education doing a first degree than in any other country.  “

A good Personal Statement conclusion will end with an affirmation of how the student thinks they can contribute to university life, and why they believe the institution in question should accept them. Because the student in this example has a such a rich and varied international background, they also discuss the appeal of studying at university in England. 

It’s worth taking a quick look at a few other examples of how other students have chosen to conclude their Personal Statement. 

Medicine (Imperial College, London) 

Interest in Medicine aside, other enthusiasms of mine include languages, philosophy, and mythology. It is curiously fitting that in ancient Greek lore, healing was but one of the many arts Apollo presided over, alongside archery and music.   I firmly believe that a doctor should explore the world outside the field of  Medicine, and it is with such experiences that I hope to better empathise and connect with the patients I will care for in my medical career. 

You’ll notice that this example very specifically ties the students’ academic and extracurricular activities together, and ties the Personal Statement back to their values and beliefs. 

Economic History with Economics (London School of Economics)

The highlight of my extra-curricular activities has been my visit to Shanghai with the Lord Mayor’s trade delegation in September 2012. I was selected to give a speech at this world trade conference due to my interest in economic and social history. […] I particularly enjoyed the seminar format, and look forward to experiencing more of this at university. My keen interest and desire to further my knowledge of history and economics, I believe, would make the course ideal for me.

By contrast, this conclusion ties a memorable experience back to the specifics of how the student will be taught at the London School of Economics – specifically, the appeal of learning in seminar format! 

There’s no magic formula for concluding a Personal Statement. But you’ll see that what all of these examples have in common is that they tie a student’s personal and academic experiences together – and tell a university something about their aspirations for the future.

Watch: Bournemouth University explain how to structure a UCAS Personal Statement

how do i end my ucas personal statement

Know the audience

It can be easy for students to forget that the person reading a personal statement is invariably an expert in their field. This is why an ability to convey passion and think critically about their chosen subject is essential for a personal statement to stand out. Admissions tutors will also look for students who can structure their writing (more on this below). 

Students should be themselves

Remember that many students are competing for places on a university degree against fierce competition. And don’t forget that UCAS has the means to spot plagiarism. So students need to create a truly honest and individual account of who they are, what they have achieved and, perhaps most importantly, why they are driven to study this particular subject.

Proof-read (then proof-read again!)

Time pressures mean that students can easily make mistakes with their Personal Statements. As the deadline grows closer, it’s vital that they are constantly checking and rechecking their writing and to ensure that shows them in the best possible light. 

Meanwhile, when it comes to giving feedback to students writing their Personal Statements, make sure you’re as honest and positive as possible in the days and weeks leading up to submission day. 

And make sure they remember the three key ingredients of writing a successful Personal Statement. 

Planning, structure and story! 

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how do i end my ucas personal statement

The University Guys

UCAS Personal Statement and Examples

What is the ucas personal statement .

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) Personal Statement is the main essay for your application to colleges and universities in Great Britain. UCAS gives a nice explanation here , but in short, this is your chance to stand out against the crowd and show your knowledge and enthusiasm for your chosen area of study.

You’ve got 4,000 characters and 47 line limit to show colleges what (ideally) gets you out of bed in the morning. How long is that, really? Use your “word count” tool in Google or Word docs to check as you go along, but 4,000 characters is roughly 500 words or one page.

HOW IS THE UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT DIFFERENT FROM THE US PERSONAL STATEMENT?

Think they’re the same? Think again. Here are some key differences between the UCAS and the US Personal Statement:

When you apply to UK schools, you’re applying to one particular degree program, which you’ll study for all, or almost all, your time at university. Your UCAS personal statement should focus less on cool/fun/quirky aspects of yourself and more on how you’ve prepared for your particular area of study.

The UCAS Personal Statement will be read by someone looking for proof that you are academically capable of studying that subject for your entire degree. In some cases, it might be an actual professor reading your essay.

You’ll only write one personal statement, which will be sent to all the universities you’re applying to, and it’s unlikely you’ll be sending any additional (supplemental) essays. Your essay needs to explain why you enjoy and are good at this subject, without reference to any particular university or type of university.

Any extracurricular activities that are NOT connected to the subject you’re applying for are mostly irrelevant, unless they illustrate relevant points about your study skills or attributes: for example, having a job outside of school shows time-management and people skills, or leading a sports team shows leadership and responsibility.

Your personal statement will mostly focus on what you’ve done at high school, in class, and often in preparation for external exams. 80-90% of the content will be academic in nature.

A QUICK STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO WRITING THE UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT

This may be obvious, but the first step to a great UCAS Personal Statement is to choose the subject you’re applying for. This choice will be consistent across the (up to) five course choices you have. Often, when students struggle with a UCAS personal statement, it’s because they are trying to make the statement work for a couple of different subjects. With a clear focus on one subject, the essay can do the job it is supposed to do. Keep in mind you’re limited to 47 lines or 4000 characters, so this has to be concise and make efficient use of words.

To work out what information to include, my favourite brainstorming activity is the ‘Courtroom Exercise’. Here’s how it works:

The Courtroom Exercise

Imagine you’re prosecuting a case in court, and the case is that should be admitted to a university to study the subject you’ve chosen. You have to present your case to the judge, in a 47 line or 4,000 character statement. The judge won’t accept platitudes or points made without evidence–she needs to see evidence. What examples will you present in your statement?

In a good statement, you’ll make an opening and a closing point.

To open your argument, can you sum up in one sentence why you wish to study this subject? Can you remember where your interest in that subject began? Do you have a story to tell that will engage the reader about your interest in that subject?

Next, you’ll present a number of pieces of evidence, laying out in detail why you’re a good match for this subject. What activities have you done that prove you can study this subject at university?

Most likely, you’ll start with a class you took, a project you worked on, an internship you had, or a relevant extra-curricular activity you enjoyed. For each activity you discuss, structure a paragraph on each using the ABC approach:

A: What is the A ctivity?

B: How did it B enefit you as a potential student for this degree course?

C: Link the benefit to the skills needed to be successful on this C ourse.

With three or four paragraphs like these, each of about 9 or 10 lines, and you should have the bulk of your statement done. Typically two of these will be about classes you have taken at school, and two about relevant activities outside of school.

In the last paragraph, you need to demonstrate wider skills that you have, which you can probably do from your extracurricular activities. How could you demonstrate your time management, your ability to collaborate, or your creativity? Briefly list a few extracurricular activities you’ve taken part in and identify the relevant skills that are transferable to university study.

Finally, close your argument in a way that doesn’t repeat what you’ve already shared. Case closed!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What if I’m not sure what I want to study? Should I still apply? 

There are a number of broader programs available at UK universities (sometimes called Liberal Arts or Flexible Combined Honours). However,  you should still showcase two or three academic areas of interest. If you are looking for a broader range of subjects to study and can’t choose one, then the UK might not be the best fit for you.

What if I haven’t done much, academically or via extracurriculars, to demonstrate that I’ll be able to complete the coursework for my degree? Should I still apply?

You certainly can, but you will need to be realistic about the strength of your application as a result. The most selective universities will want to see this evidence, but less selective ones will be more willing to account for your potential to grow in addition to what you’ve already achieved. You could also consider applying for a Foundation course or a ‘Year 0’ course, where you have an additional year pre-university to enable you to develop this range of evidence.

If I’m not accepted into a particular major, can I be accepted into a different major?

It’s important to understand that we are not talking about a ‘major,’ as what you are accepted into is one entire course of study. Some universities may make you an ‘alternative offer’ for a similar but perhaps less popular course (for example you applied for Business but instead they offer you a place for Business with a Language).At others, you can indicate post-application that you would like to be considered for related courses. However, it’s not going to be possible to switch between two completely unrelated academic areas.

What other information is included in my application? Will they see my extracurricular activities, for example? Is there an Additional Information section where I can include more context on what I’ve done in high school?

The application is very brief: the personal statement is where you put all the information. UCAS does not include an activities section or space for any other writing. The 47 lines are all you have. Some universities might accept information if there are particularly important extenuating circumstances that must be conveyed. This can be done via email, but typically, they don’t want to see more than the UCAS statement and your school’s reference provides.

Now, let’s take a look at some of my favourite UCAS personal statement examples with some analysis of why I think these are great.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR CHEMISTRY

When I was ten, I saw a documentary on Chemistry that really fascinated me. Narrated by British theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili, it explained how the first elements were discovered and how Chemistry was born out of alchemy. I became fascinated with Chemistry and have remained so ever since. I love the subject because it has very theoretical components, for example quantum Chemistry, while also having huge practical applications.

In this introduction, the student shows where his interest in Chemistry comes from. Adding some additional academic detail (in this case, the name of the scientist) helps guide the reader into more specific information on why this subject is interesting to him.

This aspect of Chemistry is important to me. I have, for example, used machine learning to differentiate between approved and experimental drugs. On the first run, using drug molecules from the website Drug Bank, I calculated some molecular descriptors for them. I started with a simple logistic regression model and was shocked to find that it had apparently classified almost all molecules correctly. This result couldn’t be right; it took me nearly a month to find the error. I accidentally normalized the molecular-descriptor data individually, rather than as a combined data set, thereby encoding the label into the input. On a second run, after fixing the error, I used real machine learning libraries. Here I actually got some performance with my new algorithm, which I could compare to professional researchers’ papers. The highest accuracy I ever saw on my screen was 86 percent. The researchers’ result was 85 percent; thanks to more modern machine learning methods, I narrowly beat them. I have also studied Mathematics and Physics at A Level and have been able to dive into areas beyond the A Level syllabus such as complex integration in math and the Schrödinger equation in Physics.

This paragraph outlines a clear case for this student’s aptitude for and interest in Chemistry. He explains in detail how he has explored his intended major, using academic terminology to show us he has studied the subject deeply. Knowing an admissions reader is looking for evidence that this student has a talent for Chemistry, this paragraph gives them the evidence they need to admit him.

Additionally, I have worked on an undergraduate computer science course on MIT Opencourseware, but found that the content followed fixed rules and did not require creativity. At the time I was interested in neural networks and listened to lectures by professor Geoffrey Hinton who serendipitously mentioned his students testing his techniques on ‘Kaggle Competitions’. I quickly got interested and decided to compete on this platform. Kaggle allowed me to measure my machine learning skills against competitors with PhDs or who are professional data scientists at large corporations. With this kind of competition naturally I did not win any prizes, but I worked with the same tools and saw how others gradually perfected a script, something which has helped my A Level studies immensely.

Introducing a new topic, the student again uses academic terminology to show how he has gone beyond the confines of his curriculum to explore the subject at a higher level. In this paragraph, he demonstrates that he has studied university-level Chemistry. Again, this helps the reader to see that this student is capable of studying for a Chemistry degree.

I have been keen to engage in activities beyond the classroom. For example, I have taken part in a range of extracurricular activities, including ballroom dancing, public speaking, trumpet, spoken Mandarin, and tennis, achieving a LAMDA distinction at level four for my public speaking. I have also participated in Kaggle competitions, as I’m extremely interested in machine learning. For example, I have used neural networks to determine the causes of Amazon deforestation from satellite pictures in the ‘Planet: Understanding the Amazon from Space’ competition. I believe that having worked on projects spanning several weeks or even months has allowed me to build a stamina that will be extremely useful when studying at university.

This penultimate paragraph introduces the student’s extracurricular interests, summing them up in a sentence. Those activities that can demonstrate skills that are transferable to the study of Chemistry are given a bit more explanation. The student’s descriptions in each paragraph are very detailed, with lots of specific information about awards, classes and teachers.

What I hope to gain from an undergraduate (and perhaps post-graduate) education in Chemistry is to deepen my knowledge of the subject and potentially have the ability to successfully launch a startup after university. I’m particularly interested in areas such as computational Chemistry and cheminformatics. However, I’m  open to studying other areas in Chemistry, as it is a subject that truly captivates me.

In the conclusion, the student touches on his future plans, using specific terminology that shows his knowledge of Chemistry. This also reveals that he aims to have a career in this field, which many admission readers find appealing as it demonstrates a level of commitment to the subject.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR VETERINARY MEDICINE

This next statement has to accomplish a number of tasks, given the subject the student is applying for. As a vocational degree, applicants for veterinary medicine are committing to a career as well as a subject to study, so they need to give information demonstrating they understand the reality of a career in this area. It also needs to explain their motivation for this interest, which quite often is demonstrated through work experience (something which is often a condition for entry into these programs). Finally, as this is a highly academic subject to study at university, the author should include a good level of academic terminology and experiences in the statement.

There is nothing more fascinating to me than experiencing animals in the wild, in their natural habitat where their behaviour is about the survival of their species. I was lucky enough to experience this when in Tanzania. While observing animals hunting, I became intrigued by their musculature and inspired to work alongside these animals to help them when they are sick, as a veterinarian.

In an efficient way, the applicant explains her motivation to become a vet, then squeezes in a bit of information about her experience with animals.

As a horse rider and owner for nearly ten years, I have sought opportunities to learn as much as I can about caring for the animal. I helped around the yard with grooming and exercise, bringing horses in and out from the fields, putting on rugs, and mucking out. I have also been working at a small animal vet clinic every other Saturday for over 2.5 years. There, my responsibilities include restocking and sterilising equipment, watching procedures, and helping in consultations. Exposure to different cases has expanded my knowledge of various aspects, such as assisting with an emergency caesarean procedure. Due to a lack of staff on a Saturday, I was put in charge of anaesthesia while the puppies were being revived. I took on this task without hesitation and recorded heart and respiration rate, capillary refill time, and gum colour every five minutes. Other placements following an equine vet, working on a polo farm, and volunteering at a swan sanctuary have also broadened my experience with different species and how each possesses various requirements. During pre-vet summer courses, I was also introduced to farm animals such as pigs, cows, sheep and chicken. I spend some time milking dairy cows and removing clustered dust from chicken feet, as well as tipping sheep in order to inspect their teats.

In this paragraph, she synthesizes personal experience with an academic understanding of vet medicine. She demonstrates that she is committed to animals (helping in the yard, regular Saturday work, assistance with procedures), that she has gained a variety of experiences, and that she understands some of the conditions (caesareans, clustered dust) that vets have to deal with. Note that she also briefly discusses ‘pre-vet summer courses,’ adding credibility to her level of experience.

I have focused on HL Biology and HL Chemistry for my IB Diploma. I was particularly excited to study cell biology and body systems because these subjects allowed me to comprehend how the body works and are applicable to animal body functions. Topics like DNA replication as well as cell transcription and translation have helped me form a fundamental understanding of genetics and protein synthesis, both important topics when looking into hereditary diseases in animals. Learning about chemical reactions made me consider the importance of pharmaceutical aspects of veterinary medicine, such as the production of effective medicine. Vaccines are essential and by learning about the chemical reactions, I f developed a more nuanced understanding about how they are made and work.

Now, the statement turns to academic matters, linking her IB subjects to the university studies she aspires to. She draws out one particular example that makes a clear link between school and university-level study.

I have also written my Extended Essay discussing the consequences of breeding laws in the UK and South Australia in relation to the development of genetic abnormalities in pugs and German shepherds. This topic is important, as the growing brachycephalic aesthetic of pugs is causing them to suffer throughout their lifetime. Pedigree dogs, such as the German shepherd, have a very small gene pool and as a result, hereditary diseases can develop. This becomes an ethical discussion, because allowing German shepherds to suffer is not moral; however, as a breed, they aid the police and thus serve society.

The IB Extended Essay (like an A Level EPQ or a Capstone project) is a great topic to discuss in a personal statement, as these activities are designed to allow students to explore subjects in greater detail.

The first sentence here is a great example of what getting more specific looks like because it engages more directly with what the student is actually writing about in this particular paragraph then it extrapolates a more general point of advice from those specificities.

By choosing to write her Extended Essay on a topic of relevance to veterinary medicine, she has given herself the opportunity to show the varied aspects of veterinary science. This paragraph proves to the reader that this student is capable and motivated to study veterinary medicine.

I have learned that being a veterinarian requires diagnostic skills as well as excellent communication and leadership skills. I understand the importance and ethics of euthanasia decisions, and the sensitivity around discussing it withanimal owners. I have developed teamwork and leadership skills when playing varsity football and basketball for four years. My communication skills have expanded through being a Model U.N. and Global Issues Network member.

This small paragraph on her extracurricular activities links them clearly to her intended area of study, both in terms of related content and necessary skills. From this, the reader gains the impression that this student has a wide range of relevant interests.

When I attend university, I not only hope to become a veterinarian, but also a leader in the field. I would like to research different aspects of veterinary medicine, such as diseases. As a vet, I would like to help work towards the One Health goal; allowing the maintenance of public health security. This affects vets because we are the ones working closely with animals every day.

In the conclusion, she ties things together and looks ahead to her career. By introducing the concept of ‘One Health’, she also shows once again her knowledge of the field she is applying to.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING

Standing inside a wind tunnel is not something every 17 year old aspires to, but for me the opportunity to do so last year confirmed my long-held desire to become a mechanical engineer.

This introduction is efficient and provides a clear direction for the personal statement. Though it might seem that it should be more detailed, for a student applying to study a course that requires limited extended writing, being this matter-of-fact works fine.

I enjoy the challenge of using the laws of Physics, complemented with Mathematical backing, in the context of everyday life, which helps me to visualise and understand where different topics can be applied. I explored the field of aeronautics, specifically in my work experience with Emirates Aviation University. I explored how engineers apply basic concepts of air resistance and drag when I had the opportunity to experiment with the wind tunnel, which allowed me to identify how different wing shapes behave at diverse air pressures. My interest with robotics has led me to take up a year-long internship with MakersBuilders, where I had the chance to explore physics and maths on a different plane. During my internship I educated young teenagers on a more fundamental stage of building and programming, in particular when we worked on building a small robot and programmed the infra-red sensor in order to create self-sufficient movement. This exposure allowed me to improve my communication and interpersonal skills.

In this paragraph, the student adds evidence to the initial assertion that he enjoys seeing how Physics relates to everyday life. The descriptions of the work experiences he has had not only show his commitment to the subject, but also enable him to bring in some academic content to demonstrate his understanding of engineering and aeronautics.

I’m interested in the mechanics side of Maths such as circular motion and projectiles; even Pure Maths has allowed me to easily see patterns when working and solving problems in Computer Science. During my A Level Maths and Further Maths, I have particularly enjoyed working with partial fractions as they show how reverse methodology can be used to solve addition of fractions, which ranges from simple addition to complex kinematics. ­­­Pure Maths has also enabled me to better understand how 3D modelling works with ­­­the use of volumes of revolution, especially when I learned how to apply the calculations to basic objects like calculating the amount of water in a bottle or the volume of a pencil.

This paragraph brings in the academic content at school, which is important when applying for a subject such as engineering. This is because the admissions reader needs to be reassured that the student has covered the necessary foundational content to be able to cope with Year 1 of this course.

In my Drone Club I have been able to apply several methods of wing formation, such as the number of blades used during a UAS flight. Drones can be used for purposes such as in Air-sea Rescue or transporting food to low income countries. I have taken on the responsibility of leading and sharing my skills with others, particularly in the Drone Club where I gained the certification to fly drones. In coding club, I participated in the global Google Code competition related to complex, real-life coding, such as a program that allows phones to send commands to another device using Bluetooth. My Cambridge summer course on math and engineering included the origins of a few of the most important equations and ideologies from many mathematicians such as, E=mc2 from Einstein, I also got a head start at understanding matrices and their importance in kinematics. Last summer, I completed a course at UT Dallas on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The course was intuitive and allowed me to understand a different perspective of how robots and AI will replace humans to do complex and labour-intensive activities, customer service, driverless cars and technical support.

In this section, he demonstrates his commitment to the subject through a detailed list of extracurricular activities, all linked to engineering and aeronautics. The detail he gives about each one links to the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in these subjects at university.

I have represented Model UN as a delegate and enjoyed working with others to solve problems. For my Duke of Edinburgh Award, I partook in several activities such as trekking and playing the drums. I enjoy music and I have reached grade 3 for percussion. I have also participated in a range of charitable activities, which include assisting during Ramadan and undertaking fun-runs to raise money for cancer research.

As with the introduction, this is an efficient use of language, sharing a range of activities, each of which has taught him useful skills. The conclusion that follows is similarly efficient and to the point.

I believe that engineering is a discipline that will offer me a chance to make a tangible difference in the world, and I am certain I will enjoy the process of integrating technology with our everyday life.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL POLICY

Applying for a joint honours course presents a particular challenge of making the case that you are interested in the first subject, the second subject and (often overlooked) the combination of the two. In this example, the applicant uses her own academic studies and personal experiences to make her case.

I usually spend my summer breaks in Uttar Pradesh, India working at my grandparents’ NGO which produces bio-fertilizers for the poor. While working, I speak to many of the villagers in the nearby villages like Barokhar and Dharampur and have found out about the various initiatives the Government has taken to improve the production of wheat and rice. I understand the hardships they undergo and speaking to them has shown me the importance of Social Policy and the role the government plays in improving the lives of people and inspired me to pursue my university studies in this field.

In the introduction, this applicant explains where her interlinking experiences come from: she has personal experiences demonstrating how economics impacts the most vulnerable in society. In doing so, she shows the admissions reader that she has a deep interest in this combination and can move on to discussing each subject in turn.

My interest in these areas has been driven by the experiences I had at high school and beyond. I started attending Model United Nations in the 9th grade and have been to many conferences, discussing problems like the water crisis and a lack of sustainability in underdeveloped countries. These topics overlapped with my study of economics and exciting classroom discussions on what was going on how different events would impact economies, for instance how fluctuations in oil prices will affect standards of living. Studying Economics has expanded  my knowledge about how countries are run and how macroeconomic policies shape the everyday experiences of individuals.

Unusually, this applicant does not go straight into her classroom experiences but instead uses one of her extracurricular activities (Model United Nations) in her first paragraph. For students applying for subjects that are not often taught at school (Social Policy in this example), this can be a good idea, as it allows you to bring in material that you have self-studied to explain why you are capable of studying each subject at university. Here, she uses MUN discussions to show she understands some topics in social policy that are impacting the world.

By taking up history as a subject in Grade 11 and 12, I have seen the challenges that people went through in the past, and how different ideas gained momentum in different parts of the world such as the growth of communism in Russia and China and how it spread to different countries during the Cold War. I learned about the different roles that governments played in times of hardships such as that which President Roosevelt’s New Deal played during the Great Depression. From this, I gained analytical skills by scrutinizing how different social, political and economic forces have moulded societies in the past.

In this paragraph, she then takes the nearest possible class to her interest in Social Policy and draws elements from it to add to her case for Social Policy. Taking some elements from her history classes enables her to add some content to this statement, before linking to the topic of economics.

To explore my interest in Economics, I interned at Emirates National Bank of Dubai, one of the largest banks in the Middle East, and also at IBM. At Emirates NBD, I undertook a research project on Cash Management methods in competitor banks and had to present my findings at the end of the internship. I also interned at IBM where I had to analyze market trends and fluctuations in market opportunity in countries in the Middle East and Africa. I had to find relations between GDP and market opportunity and had to analyze how market opportunity could change over the next 5 years with changing geo-political situations. I have also attended Harvard University’s Youth Lead the Change leadership conference where I was taught how to apply leadership skills to solve global problems such as gender inequality and poverty.

Economics is explored again through extracurriculars, with some detail added to the general statement about the activities undertaken during this work experience. Though the level of academics here is a little thin because this student’s high school did not offer any classes in Economics, she does as well as she can to bring in academic content.

I have partaken in many extra-curricular activities which have helped me develop the skills necessary for this course. Being a part of the Press Club at school gave me an opportunity to hone my talent for the written word and gave me a platform to talk about global issues. Volunteering at a local library taught me how to be organized. I developed research and analytical skills by undertaking various research projects at school such as the sector-wide contribution of the Indian economy to the GDP in the previous year. As a member of the Business and Economic Awareness Council at school, I was instrumental in organizing many economics-based events such as the Business Fair and Innovation Mela. Being part of various Face to Faith conferences has provided me with an opportunity to interact with students in Sierra Leone, India and Korea and understand global perspectives on issues like malaria and human trafficking.

The extracurricular activities are revisited here, with the first half of this paragraph showing how the applicant has some transferable skills from her activities that will help her with this course. She then revisits her interest in the course studies, before following up with a closing section that touches on her career goals:

The prospect of pursuing these two subjects is one that I eagerly anticipate and I look forward to meeting the challenge of university. In the future, I wish to become an economist and work at a think tank where I will be able to apply what I have learnt in studying such an exciting course.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR HISTORY OF ART & PHILOSOPHY

This applicant is also a joint-honours applicant, and again is applying for a subject that she has not been able to study at school. Thus, bringing in her own interest and knowledge of both subjects is crucial here.

At the age of four, I remember an argument with my mother: I wanted to wear a pink ballerina dress with heels, made for eight-year-olds, which despite my difficulty in staying upright I was determined to wear. My mother persistently engaged in debate with me about why it was not ok to wear this ensemble in winter. After two hours of patiently explaining to me and listening to my responses she convinced me that I should wear something different, the first time I remember listening to reason. It has always been a natural instinct for me to discuss everything, since in the course of my upbringing I was never given a simple yes or no answer. Thus, when I began studying philosophy, I understood fully my passion for argument and dialogue.

This is an unusual approach to start a UCAS Personal Statement, but it does serve to show how this student approaches the world and why this combination of subjects might work for her. Though it could perhaps be drawn out more explicitly, here she is combining an artistic issue (her clothes) with a philosophical concern (her debate with her mother) to lead the reader into the case she is making for admission into this program.

This was first sparked academically when I was introduced to religious ethics; having a fairly Christian background my view on religion was immature. I never thought too much of the subject as I believed it was just something my grandparents did. However, when opened up to the arguments about god and religion, I was inclined to argue every side. After research and discussion, I was able to form my own view on religion without having to pick a distinctive side to which theory I would support. This is what makes me want to study philosophy: it gives an individual personal revelation towards matters into which they may not have given too much thought to.

There is some good content here that discusses the applicant’s interest in philosophy and her own motivation for this subject, though there is a lack of academic content here.

Alongside this, taking IB Visual Arts HL has opened my artistic views through pushing me out of my comfort zone. Art being a very subjective course, I was forced to choose an opinion which only mattered to me, it had no analytical nor empirical rights or wrongs, it was just my taste in art. From studying the two subjects alongside each other, I found great value, acquiring a certain form of freedom in each individual with their dual focus on personalized opinion and taste in many areas, leading to self- improvement.

In this section, she uses her IB Visual Arts class to explore how her interest in philosophy bleeds into her appreciation of art. Again, we are still awaiting the academic content, but the reader will by now be convinced that the student has a deep level of motivation for this subject. When we consider how rare this combination is, with very few courses for this combination available, the approach to take slightly longer to establish can work.

For this reason, I find the work of Henry Moore fascinating. I am intrigued by his pieces, especially the essence of the ‘Reclining Nude’ model, as the empty holes inflicted on the abstract human body encouraged my enthusiasm for artistic interpretation. This has led me to contemplate the subtlety, complexity and merit of the role of an artist. Developing an art piece is just as complex and refined as writing a novel or developing a theory in Philosophy. For this reason, History of Art conjoins with Philosophy, as the philosophical approach towards an art piece is what adds context to the history as well as purpose behind it.

Finally, we’re given the academic content. Cleverly, the content links both the History of Art and Philosophy together through a discussion of the work of Henry Moore. Finding examples that conjoin the subjects that make up a joint-honours application is a great idea and works well here.

Studying Philosophy has allowed me to apply real life abstractions to my art, as well as to glean a deeper critical analysis of art in its various mediums. My IB Extended Essay examined the 1900s Fauve movement, which made a huge breakthrough in France and Hungary simultaneously. This was the first artistic movement which was truly daring and outgoing with its vivid colours and bold brush strokes. My interest expanded to learning about the Hungarian artists in this movement led by Henri Matisse. Bela Czobel was one of the few who travelled to France to study but returned to Hungary, more specifically Nagybanya, to bestow what he had learned.

Again in this paragraph, the author connects the subjects. Students who are able to undertake a research project in their high school studies (such as the IB Extended Essay here, or the A Level Extended Project or AP Capstone) can describe these in their UCAS personal statements, as this level of research in an area of academic study can enliven and add depth to the writing, as is the case here.

As an international student with a multicultural background, I believe I can adapt to challenging or unfamiliar surroundings with ease. I spent two summers working at a nursery in Hungary as a junior Assistant Teacher, where I demonstrated leadership and teamwork skills that I had previously developed through commitment to sports teams. I was a competitive swimmer for six years and have represented my school internationally as well as holding the school record for 100m backstroke. I was elected Deputy Head of my House, which further reflects my dedication, leadership, teamwork and diligence.

As in the previous examples, this statement gives a good overview of the applicant’s extracurricular activities, with a mention of skills that will be beneficial to her studies at university. She then concludes with a brief final sentence:

I hope to carry these skills with me into my university studies, allowing me to enrich my knowledge and combine my artistic and philosophical interests.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR LIBERAL ARTS

A good range of UK universities now offer courses called ‘Liberal Arts’ (or similar titles such as ‘Flexible Combined Honours’), which allows students to study a broader topic of study–perhaps combining three or four subjects–than is typically available in the UK system.

This presents a challenge in the personal statement, as within the 47 line / 4000 character limit, the applicant will have to show academic interest and knowledge in a range of subjects while also making the case to be admitted for this combined programme of study.

As a child I disliked reading; however, when I was 8, there was one particular book that caught my attention: The Little Prince. From that moment onwards, my love for literature was ignited and I had entered into a whirlwind of fictional worlds. While studying and analysing the classics from The Great Gatsby to Candide, this has exposed me to a variety of novels. My French bilingualism allowed me to study, in great depth, different texts in their original language. This sparked a new passion of mine for poetry, and introduced me to the works of Arthur Rimbaud, who has greatly influenced me. Through both reading and analysing poetry I was able to decipher its meaning. Liberal Arts gives me the opportunity to continue to study a range of texts and authors from different periods in history, as well as related aspects of culture, economy and society.

Here we have a slightly longer than usual opening paragraph, but given the nature of the course being applied for this works well. A personal story segueing from literature to modern languages to history and cultural studies shows that this student has a broad range of interests within the humanities and thus is well-suited to this course of study.

Liberal Arts is a clear choice for me. Coming from the IB International Baccalaureate Diploma programme I have studied a wide range of subjects which has provided me with a breadth of knowledge. In Theatre, I have adapted classics such as Othello by Shakespeare, and playing the role of moreover acting as Desdemona forced me to compartmentalise her complex emotions behind the early-modern English text. Studying History has taught me a number of skills; understanding the reasons behind changes in society, evaluating sources, and considering conflicting interpretations. From my interdisciplinary education I am able to critically analyse the world around me. Through studying Theory of Knowledge, I have developed high quality analysis using key questions and a critical mindset by questioning how and why we think and why. By going beyond the common use of reason, I have been able to deepen greaten my understanding and apply my ways of knowing in all subjects; for example in science I was creative in constructing my experiment (imagination) and used qualitative data (sense perception).

Students who are taking the IB Diploma, with its strictures to retain a broad curriculum, are well-suited to the UK’s Liberal Arts courses, as they have had practice seeing the links between subjects. In this paragraph, the applicant shows how she has done this, linking content from one subject to skills developed in another, and touching on the experience of IB Theory of Knowledge (an interdisciplinary class compulsory for all IB Diploma students) to show how she is able to see how different academic subjects overlap and share some common themes.

Languages have always played an important role in my life. I was immersed into a French nursery even though my parents are not French speakers. I have always cherished the ability to speak another language; it is something I have never taken for granted, and it is how I individualise myself. Being bilingual has allowed me to engage with a different culture. As a result, I am more open minded and have a global outlook. This has fuelled my desire to travel, learn new languages and experience new cultures. This course would provide me with the opportunity to fulfil these desires. Having written my Extended Essay in French on the use of manipulative language used by a particular character from the French classic Dangerous Liaisons I have had to apply my skills of close contextual reading and analysing to sculpt this essay. These skills are perfectly applicable to the critical thinking that is demanded for the course.

Within the humanities, this student has a particular background that makes her stand out, having become fluent in French while having no French background nor living in a French-speaking country. This is worth her exploring to develop her motivation for a broad course of study at university, which she does well here.

Studying the Liberal Arts will allow me to further my knowledge in a variety of fields whilst living independently and meeting people from different backgrounds. The flexible skills I would achieve from obtaining a liberal arts degree I believe would make me more desirable for future employment. I would thrive in this environment due to my self discipline and determination. During my school holidays I have undertaken working in a hotel as a chambermaid and this has made me appreciate the service sector in society and has taught me to work cohesively with others in an unfamiliar environment. I also took part in a creative writing course held at Keats House, where I learnt about romanticism. My commitment to extracurricular activities such as varsity football and basketball has shown me the importance of sportsmanship and camaraderie, while GIN (Global Issue Networking) has informed me of the values of community and the importance for charitable organisations.

The extracurricular paragraph here draws out a range of skills the student will apply to this course. Knowing that taking a broader range of subjects at a UK university requires excellent organizational skills, the student takes time to explain how she can meet these, perhaps going into slightly more detail than would be necessary for a single-honours application to spell out that she is capable of managing her time well. She then broadens this at the end by touching on some activities that have relevance for her studies.

My academic and personal preferences have always led me to the Liberal Arts; I feel as though the International Baccalaureate, my passion and self-discipline have prepared me for higher education. From the academics, extracurriculars and social aspects, I intend to embrace the entire experience of university.

In the final section, the candidate restates how she matches this course.

Overall, you can see how the key factor in a UCAS statement is the academic evidence, with students linking their engagement with a subject to the course of study that they are applying to. Using the courtroom exercise analogy, the judge here should be completely convinced that the case has been made, and will, therefore issue an offer of admittance to that university.

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Tips for writing a UCAS personal statement

A personal statement is a short, reflective piece of writing that you submit as part of your UCAS application to universities. We use it during the admissions process to decide if you’re suitable for the course you’re applying for – and so we can understand why you want to study your chosen subject.

Tips for writing your UCAS personal statement

Your personal statement

A good personal statement can mean the difference between receiving an offer and being unsuccessful, so it’s important you take the time to consider what you want to include in it.

Your personal statement is where you highlight you have what it takes to study on one of our undergraduate courses.

The personal statement is one of the most important parts of your UCAS application and gives you the chance to tell us how you stand out from other candidates.

For some of our courses you may be invited for interview, but for the majority the personal statement is the only opportunity that you will have to sell yourself.

Plan your personal statement

You can only submit one personal statement for the five courses and universities you apply for, so it is a good idea to plan out what you want to say before writing your personal statement.

There is no one-size fits all method when you are writing your personal statement, so try to be original and engaging.

We are looking for evidence of your interest in, enthusiasm for, and understanding of your chosen course.

Think about:

  • why you are interested in the subject
  • your ambitions and how taking the course will help you achieve them
  • why you are interested in progressing on to higher education.

It is also important to tell us about:

  • your reasons for choosing the course (this is the most important part of the statement)
  • your skills (and their relevance to your chosen subject)
  • wider reading you’ve undertaken
  • work experience (especially where this is relevant to the subject)
  • any achievements or prizes you have won during your study or work
  • your wider interests and hobbies (providing they are relevant)
  • any career plans you might have.

You may want to apply for a variety of different courses – if this is the case, write about common themes relevant to all courses.

If you are a mature student you can use your personal statement to talk about your wider experience and the skills and knowledge you have gained; as well as why you are now thinking about returning to education.

Be sure to include any personal circumstances that may have affected your education. For example, a physical or mental health condition, caring for a family member or changing schools due to being from an Armed Forces family. You can also let us know about any financial hardships you may have experienced during your studies.

Structure your personal statement

Use a clear structure in your personal statement and make sure each paragraph logically follows on from the one before. You are limited to 4,000 characters (and 47 lines).

Start and end your personal statement by highlighting your positivity and passion for the course and your future career options (if you have any at this stage).

When writing your personal statement, you should:

  • be honest and write in your own words – the best statements are always the most genuine
  • use clear language and avoid extravagant claims
  • be analytical rather than just descriptive – don’t just tell us what you’ve read or what you’ve done, we want to see what you gained from this, or how it changed your perception of your chosen subject
  • explain your motivations in choosing the degree you’re applying for and demonstrate your existing passion for the subject (whether that’s from studies you’ve already undertaken in school or college or wider reading you’ve pursued)
  • where you are applying to courses linked to a particular profession (such as Teaching or Social Work), also reflect on your understanding of that vocation. For example, this may be reflections on what you gained from relevant work experience or it could be other research you’ve undertaken which has given you an insight into that profession
  • draw on your other experiences – for example, are you a member of a society, have you won any awards, scholarships or prizes?
  • provide evidence of your transferable skills, including research, critical thinking, communication, organisation, planning and time-management
  • highlight any career aspirations you might have and show how the course will help you achieve them
  • use accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • proofread your statement and ask a friend or relative to read it.

Make sure you allow enough time to plan and structure your personal statement, ensuring you include everything you want to say. You may need to redraft your statement a number of times.

If you are invited to interview, go back to your statement so that you can familiarise yourself with the information you have given us.

For more advice, see UCAS tips for writing a personal statement .

Use our UCAS personal statement checklist to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

You might also be interested in:

  • how to apply for undergraduate courses
  • student support
  • your offer and confirming your place
  • transferring from other universities
  • writing a Masters personal statement .

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How to decide your next steps, choosing what to study after gcses, life after your ucas discovery exhibition, how can i make it great, so, how do i tackle this, what do i need to remember, who am i writing it for, writing a personal statement.

Always write in a way that's true to yourself, but remember there’s someone on the other side of the paper reading what you’ve got to say.

how do i end my ucas personal statement

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What can I start doing now?

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Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Be you — you’re great.

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how do i end my ucas personal statement

Writing a personal statement takes practice. You’re putting yourself out there in a way that you’ve probably not had to do before. It’s both an art and a science, and the topic is YOU. With a bit of planning, it’s not just doable but a really good experience in learning about yourself.

So, how do you begin to sell yourself to someone you’ve never even met?

The short answer: With confidence and a bit of structure.

The longer answer: An admissions officer or hiring manager is looking to see what kind of person you are and why you want to do something. It’s not just what you say, but how you say it, why you think it’s important, and what you’ve done to show it. Don’t be afraid to share those ambitions and interests. Let them out!

My advice is to always think carefully about the course you want to study and if it’s something you find interesting.

how do i end my ucas personal statement

Start with who you are as a person, your skills and interests, and why a subject or apprenticeship matches you. End it with how you hope this will influence the future, small or big, it’s the beginning step of something great.

Be authentic

No one knows you better than you know yourself, so show your interests, achievements, goals and personality.

Don’t get stuck in cliches like “I’ve always wanted to…” It’s not about the goal — your ambition is real and important. Tell them the why and why it matters to you.

how do i end my ucas personal statement

Talk about your experiences and what they’ve meant to you. No two people have lived the same life and that makes your perspective unique.

You’ve 4,000 characters, which seems like a lot until it’s not enough. Before you start, set out the points you want to make, and work out what you need to say in order to land your point.

There’s no way like just starting, and once you get into it, the less awkward it is.

Your first draft won’t be your final draft, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t immediately come together.

“You are you.

Now, isn’t that pleasant?”

how do i end my ucas personal statement

If you’re stuck, talk to someone. Friends, parents, teachers — they all see you in a different light.

Speaking to them can help you get an idea of some of your best qualities and how much you’ve grown.

It’s easier to write about yourself when you’re talking about things you’re passionate about.

If you love reading, building things, understanding why things are — then let it show.

how do i end my ucas personal statement

Give yourself time

Explain the why

Don’t be shy

Talk about the future

Walk away from your computer for a day or two. Come back and ask yourself, “Can I say this in a more direct way?” If you can, then change it.

Do you love reading? Interested in sustainability? Ask yourself why you’re drawn to something and share it.

In or out of school. Climbed mountains? Part of a local climate change group? Chief recycler in the house? Think about including these — they say a lot about who you are.

Even if you’re still figuring things out, how you want to be contributing to the world or what you want from it is great to share.

Oh, and remember: you won’t be able to submit your personal statement if it’s over the word limit — the system literally won’t let you. Happy writing.

how do i end my ucas personal statement

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How to write a UCAS personal statement

A student writing a personal statement on a laptop

Writing a great personal statement

Read our guide on what it is, what to include, how to start, length and what makes a good personal statement 

Once you've decided which universities and courses to apply for, completing your application is pretty simple – until it comes to how to write your UCAS personal statement.

This guide covers everything you need to know about how to write a personal statement for university. We look at what it is and how you can start your personal statement. We've also got questions to guide you and a suggested personal statement structure you can use so you know what to put in it.

If you'd like even more resources, support and UCAS personal statement examples, you can sign up to access our personal statement hub .

What is the UCAS personal statement?

How universities use your ucas personal statement, how to start a ucas personal statement.

  • Get feedback on your UCAS personal statement

The personal statement is part of your UCAS application. It's how you show your chosen universities why you'll make a great student and why they should make you an offer.

Your personal statement also helps you think about your choice of course and your reasons for applying, so you know you’ve made the right decision.

Get feedback on your personal statement

Sign up to our personal statement hub to get feedback on your draft. You'll also get access to videos, help sheets and more tips.

Sign up now

UCAS personal statement word limit

Your personal statement length can be up to 4,000 characters long. 

This may sound a lot, but it's a word limit of around 550–1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4 paper.

You need to keep it concise and make sure it's clear and easy to read.

Applying for multiple courses

Although you can apply for up to 5 courses on your UCAS application, you can only submit 1 personal statement. So it needs to cover all your course choices.

If you really want to show your commitment to applying for different courses, we will accept a second personal statement from you to reflect your application e.g. if you are applying for Law elsewhere, but Criminology and Criminal Justice with us.

Lots of students who apply to university have achieved the basic entry requirements and many more students apply than there are places available. Admissions teams can use your UCAS personal statement to get to know you and decide why you're more suitable than other applicants.

Some universities read every personal statement and score them. Then they use them alongside your qualifications and grades to decide whether to offer you a place or interview. Other universities put less emphasis on the personal statement and use it with students who have borderline entry requirements.

Universities might refer to your personal statement again on results day if you don't get the grades you need. So a good personal statement could clinch you a uni place even if your grades aren't what you hoped for.

Starting your personal statement can seem scary when you're staring at a blank screen. But, things will seem less daunting once you start.

  • Set aside some time in a place where you're comfortable and won't be disturbed. Grab a notepad or computer.
  • Write down anything and everything that's influenced your decision to go to university and study your chosen subject. Jot down your skills and experience too.
  • Use the questions below to guide you. Don't worry about the personal statement length at this point – you can cut things out later.

When to start your UCAS personal statement

Ideally, you want to leave yourself plenty of time – a few weeks or even months – to plan and write your personal statement.

Try not to leave it to the last minute, as tempting as this may seem when you've got so many other things to think about.

Questions to guide you

Your motivation.

  • Why do you want to study at university?
  • Why do you want to study this subject?
  • How did you become interested in this subject?
  • What career do you have in mind after university?

Academic ability and potential

  • How have your current studies affected your choice?
  • What do you enjoy about your current studies?
  • What skills have you gained from your current studies?
  • How can you demonstrate you have the skills and qualities needed for the course?
  • What qualities and attributes would you bring to the course and university?

Your experience

  • What work experience (including part-time, charity and volunteer work) do you have and what have you learnt from it?
  • What positions of responsibility have you held? (For example, prefect, captain of a team or member of a committee)
  • What relevant hobbies or interests do you have and what skills have they helped you develop?
  • What transferable skills do you have, such as self motivation, team working, public speaking, problem solving and analytical thinking?

Research and reading

  • How do you keep up with current affairs or news in your chosen subject?
  • What journals or publications relevant to your chosen subject do you read?
  • Which people have influenced you, such as artists, authors, philosophers or scientists?

Now it's time to write your personal statement using your notes. It's best to draft it on a computer, and remember to save it regularly.

You can copy and paste it into your UCAS application when you're happy with it.

Personal statement structure

While there's no set template for a personal statement, you may find it useful to follow this personal statement structure when you decide what to put in your statement.

What to include in a personal statement

  • Reasons for choosing this subject(s)
  • Current studies and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Experiences and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Interests and responsibilities and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Your future after university
  • Summary including why you'll make a great student

Further tips for a good UCAS personal statement

  • Use information on university websites and the UCAS website. This often includes the skills and qualities universities are looking for in applicants
  • Ask friends, family and teachers to remind you of activities you've participated in. They might remember your successes better than you do
  • Don’t include lists in your application, like a list of all your hobbies. Focus on 1 or 2 points and talk about them in depth to show their relevance to your application
  • Explain and evidence everything. It’s easy to say you have a skill, but it's better to demonstrate it with an example of when and how you’ve used it
  • Avoid clichéd lines such as ‘I've always wanted to be a teacher’ as it says nothing about your motivations or experiences
  • If you’re applying for a joint degree or different subjects, give equal time to each area and try to find common aspects that show their similarities
  • Never lie or plagiarise another statement – you'll be caught and it could result in your application being automatically rejected
  • Proofread your personal statement by reading it out loud and ask friends, family or a teacher to check it for you

Sign up to our personal statement hub

Watch videos, get top tips and download our help sheets – that's what our personal statement hub is for. It's for you to write your story, so you can show your strengths, ideas and passion to your chosen universities.

You'll also be able send us your draft, so you can get feedback and feel confident about what you've written.

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Personal statement

2020 Undergraduate Application

Make sure your personal statement is your own work

We'll carry out checks to verify your personal statement is your own work.

Provided it is your own work, you can use your personal statement from your application last year. If it appears to have been copied from another source, we'll inform the universities and colleges to which you have applied. They will then take the action they consider appropriate. We'll also contact you by email to tell you this has happened.

My Application example pages

  • Centre link – Buzzword, school or college
  • Centre link – Buzzword, terms and conditions
  • Centre link – Buzzword
  • Centre link – Buzzword, confirm school
  • Centre link – Centre preferences
  • Centre link – Wrong school
  • Choose & Send – Choices
  • Choose & Send – Overview 01
  • Choose & Send – Overview 02
  • Choose & Send – Contact details
  • Choose & Send – Course cards
  • Choose & Send – Education
  • Choose & Send – Education – Add qualification
  • Choose & Send – Education – Add qualification details
  • Choose & Send – Education – Add qualification with modules
  • Choose & Send – Education – Add qualification with modules 02
  • Independent reference – sign in
  • Independent reference – accept/decline
  • Independent reference – predicted grades
  • Independent reference – reference
  • Independent reference – thank you
  • Choose & Send – Personal details
  • Choose & Send – Personal statement – preview
  • Choose & Send – Personal statement
  • Receive & Review – Overview
  • Receive & Review – Substitute choice 01
  • Receive & Review – Substitute choice 02
  • Receive & Review – Withdraw choice
  • Receive & Review – Personal statement
  • Receive & Review – Application details
  • Receive & Review – Personal details
  • Receive & Review – Contact details
  • Receive & Review – Education
  • Receive & Review – Work experience
  • Receive & Review – Nationality
  • Receive & Review – Supporting information
  • Receive & Review – English skills
  • Receive & Review – Diversity and inclusion
  • Receive & Review – Finance and funding
  • Receive & Review – Letters
  • Receive & Review – View all updates
  • Receive & Review – Visa
  • Receive & Review – VARIANTS Application status
  • Receive & Review – Overview Extra
  • Receive & Review – Confirm your choices 01
  • Receive & Review – Confirm your choices 02
  • Receive & Review – Confirm your choices 03
  • Receive & Review – Overview Confirmed Choices
  • Receive & Review – Decline all offers
  • Receive & Review – Edit Contact details
  • Receive & Review – Embargo Overview
  • Receive & Review – Withdraw your application
  • Receive & Review – Add choice
  • Receive & Review – Decline place
  • Receive & Review – Referee details
  • Receive & Review – No reference
  • Receive & Review – Centre provided reference
  • Receive & Review – Confirm your choice (one option)
  • Receive & Review – Correspondence example
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  • Choose & Send – Residency and nationality
  • Similarity report
  • Choose & Send – Submit – Check your application
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  • Choose & Send – Work experience

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The Ultimate Guide To UCAS And Personal Statements

by The Oxford Scholastica Team | 16 May, 2024 | Blog Articles , Get the Edge

A student preparing their UCAS application

Table of Contents

What does UCAS stand for?

UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. It is the centralised online service in the UK that everyone has to use in order to apply to any undergraduate University course in the UK.

How many courses can you apply to on UCAS?

Through UCAS, you can select up to five different courses to apply to. These can be at the same university, different ones, or a combination of both. It’s completely up to you! If you’re struggling to choose what to study, read our guide on how to find the right university course for you .

How does UCAS work?

You write and submit your application via UCAS, and UCAS sends this to the admissions teams for each of the courses you’ve selected. They will then consider your application along with all the others they have received from different students around the world, and decide who they would like to offer places.

So, UCAS is effectively the link between you and the universities you’re applying to. This means you have to sell yourself as best you can on your UCAS application, since this may be all that the admissions teams are basing their decisions on.

UCAS deadlines

UCAS have two major deadlines for undergraduate application submissions. The earlier deadline is for anyone wanting to apply to Oxford or Cambridge, and for most medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry courses across the country. This early deadline is usually 15th October . But be sure to double check that this is true for your year! The deadline for all other undergraduate courses is usually 15th January . However, many universities and colleges continue to accept applications from international students until later in the year as part of the regular college admissions cycle .

There’s quite a big gap between these two deadlines. This is because all courses with the earlier cut off point require you to go for an interview before they make their offers, so they need time to schedule these. This means you need to decide quite early in the year (by the summer before your deadline) whether you’re going to apply to any of the courses with the 15th October cut off, so that you have enough time to write your application!

UCAS application

You fill out your application using UCAS’s online hub. There are several sections to the form; some require information that you can fill out quickly and others need more time. You don’t have to do it all at once though. You can save your progress and come back to it as many times as you want.

What information are they looking for?

Most obviously, UCAS will want to know your 5 course choices! You don’t have to place them in order of preference at this point and none of the admissions officers will see the other courses you have applied to. They will, however, have access to this information after you reply to any offers you receive, but it can’t impact your application in any way.

Under the current system, a personal statement will also be required, showing your vested interest in your chosen subject. It should also demonstrate your motivation and enthusiasm, as well as any skills you have picked up so far that will help you do well at university. This is your chance to tell admissions teams why they should offer you a place on their course.

Please note: In January 2023, UCAS announced some changes to the admissions process, and the personal statement will be different for admissions cycles from 2024/25. This article will be updated when the changes are confirmed.

There will also be some additional questions for monitoring purposes. These don’t affect how likely you are to be offered a place in any way. The information is not shared with the universities until the end of the application cycle, when you’ll already know their decisions. If you’re applying from the UK, you will be asked questions about your ethnic origin, national identity and what your parents do for a living. There are also some optional questions about religion, sexual orientation and identity.

Within the additional questions section, there will be optional queries relating to your personal circumstances. These will be shared with the university if you wish to provide information about, for example, your parental education or whether you’ve been in care. This is known as ‘contextualised admissions’ and allows the university to form a more complete understanding of you as an individual so that they can provide support if necessary. If you want to know more about how a university will use this information, you can ring their admissions team directly and ask. Don’t be scared to do this at any point as, again, it won’t affect your likelihood of being offered a place!

Other information that UCAS will require is listed below:

  • Full education history: GCSEs and predicted A-Level/IB qualifications
  • Full employment history
  • Reference from teacher, adviser or professional who knows you academically.

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Thanks for signing up, how do i write a good ucas personal statement.

There isn’t a ‘correct’ way to write your personal statement. The key is in the title – the statement is personal. And so it should be as unique to you, your experiences and your interests as possible. That being said, there are some ways you can structure your statement to ensure clarity. Also, there are key things you can include to make sure you are providing the information admissions tutors want to know, so that you come across as an enthusiastic, mature and motivated student.

What do I put on my UCAS application?

Why you find the subject interesting.

Explain what it is that attracts you to your subject, and why you want to study it at university level. Mention particular areas you want to find out more about, for example something you’ve briefly covered on the course at school, or something you’ve read about in your own time.

Detail the relevant things you’ve read that you found the most engaging, and talk about why you found them interesting. Whether or not you’re applying for a literature-based course, make sure you’ve done some reading around the subject. And don’t just regurgitate views you’ve heard in class, read in a textbook or seen online. Remember, the admissions teams want to hear your personal opinion. This is one reason why attending a summer programme like an Oxford summer course is so helpful: it introduces you to wider perspectives about your subject, and good ideas for further reading (please note, our programme in Oxford is not affiliated with the University of Oxford)! For inspiration, check out these recommended lists of best books for English literature students , best psychology books and top law books to read .

Employment or volunteering experiences

There is a different section in which to detail your complete employment history, so only pick the most relevant to discuss in your personal statement. Choose the ones that have either taught you useful skills or made you more passionate about your subject.

Work experience / Summer schools / Taster Courses

Talking about any relevant work experience, summer schools or Higher Education taster courses can be really valuable in your personal statement. Again, choose the ones that are most representative of your engagement with your chosen subject, and detail the skills and knowledge you gained. For example, if you’ve ever attended our Oxford Summer School that’s a great one to talk about here! Going to an academic summer school like Oxford Scholastica shows your dedication to your subject outside school, which all admissions tutors are looking for.

Extracurricular activities

Clubs and societies you are a part of at school, or have leadership roles in, can be useful to discuss here, as long as you explain what you’ve gained from them. More on this in the next section!

Extra qualifications

You can also mention the skills you may have developed through any extra courses or qualifications you’ve completed, such as Duke of Edinburgh (DofE), National Citizen Service (NCS), Young Enterprise, etc.

Note for International students:

If you’re applying from outside the UK, you should also mention: why you want to study here, your English language skills, and any English courses or tests you’ve taken. It can also be good to mention why you want to be an international student, rather than studying in your own country.

UCAS personal statement structure

  • Universities are quite clear about the skills and qualities they are looking for in their students; make sure you read the course descriptions for each course you’re applying to and structure your statement to demonstrate that you have met everything they are looking for.
  • You have a maximum of 4,000 characters and 47 lines when you input your personal statement into UCAS. This means you need to think carefully about how many paragraphs to have and what information it is most important to include.
  • Try to present your achievements and interests in a clear and concise manner. This means having different paragraphs for different experiences where possible, and not repeating yourself. Link anything you have done to what you have learnt from it and how that better prepares you or makes you more interested in the course.
  • Avoid presenting a list of things you have done. Admissions teams won’t care about how many charity projects you’ve been involved with unless you tell them what you have gained from each one.

8 top tips for the best UCAS application

1. Keep it focused on you. Don’t try to define your subject or explain it to the admissions tutor – they are already experts!

2. Write in a natural style – show your understanding of your subject but without going into too much detail or trying to make it sound too complex. Again, you don’t have that many characters available and you need to prioritise talking about yourself. The most important thing is to come across as enthusiastic and eager to learn MORE – don’t focus on trying to show off what you already know.

3. Equally, don’t pretend to know more than you do, or exaggerate your achievements – this is especially important if you are going to be interviewed because they will ask you to elaborate on things you mentioned in your statement.

4. Be careful with humour or quotes – the admissions tutor may not have the same sense of humour as you and it could be a waste of characters!

5. Proofread it aloud , and get as many people to check it as possible so that you have a lot of different perspectives – ask your teachers, friends, and family.

6. Make sure the spelling, punctuation and grammar are completely correct as errors will suggest that you’re careless.

7. You will probably produce several drafts of your personal statement before you’re completely happy with it. This is why it’s important to start writing as early as possible – this is not something to be left to the last minute!

8. Don’t copy bits of another personal statement or share yours with anyone applying for similar courses or similar universities. All personal statements are checked for similarity and if yours is flagged as being too similar to someone else’s, it might reduce your chance of being offered a place.

How much extracurricular content should I include?

Most universities like to see that you have been engaged in extracurricular activities throughout your time at school. They show that you can juggle several commitments at once, and also that you know how to balance work and play – something that is very important at university! However, your personal statement should be mainly focused on the course you’re applying for and why you want to do it. Extracurriculars should only make up one small paragraph towards the end. That said, it shouldn’t be the focus of the final paragraph – you should wrap up with something about your relationship with your chosen subject.

Extracurriculars relevant to the course you’re applying for are amazing, but you can include ones that aren’t directly relevant too. The key is to mention what you do, and then link it back how it has helped you develop the skills and attributes that the university wants to see. These could include commitment, dedication, confidence, teamwork, resilience and interpersonal skills – all important qualities for a university student to have. For medical school applicants, see our tips on the best extracurriculars for medical students .

What if I’m applying to different courses at different Universities?

Applying to different courses at different Universities is difficult because unfortunately, you are usually only allowed to submit one personal statement.

If just one of your choices is completely different from the others, a University may accept a separate personal statement for that course, but it has to be sent directly to them – not through UCAS. You have to call the university’s admissions team to ask if this is possible or speak to them on an open day. Speaking to them individually is the only way you can find out, but you should try to get some advice from a teacher or advisers before you do this. If one of your courses is fairly unusual and only offered by a small number of universities, the admissions team will have probably received calls like this many times before and so may be more lenient, but it’s definitely best to just ask.

There may be slight differences between the five courses you’re applying for, for example, if they are all joint or combined degrees with slightly different subject combinations. In this case, writing one statement shouldn’t be too much of a problem. You just have to make sure that you make your statement as relevant as possible to all of them – so make sure each subject is covered by what you are saying.

However, if there are big differences between all of your course choices, you will have much more difficulty writing a great personal statement. You can try to make your statement appropriate to all courses by demonstrating your skills and academic interests more generally. Alternatively, you can openly state that you are applying to several different courses and try to explain as best as possible why you have done this based on your academic interests. The focus here should be on a strong interest in all the courses and the different things they offer. Make sure you don’t come across as simply indecisive or not sure what you want from a course!

Both are risky strategies so we would advise you to apply for five courses that have some clear common ground that you can focus on in your statement.

Students writing their UCAS applications on laptops

When can I expect to hear back from UCAS?

Once you’ve sent off your application, the UCAS hub will allow you to check how your application is progressing. Most interview invitations (although not all – some course providers may email you directly), offers and rejections will be shown on there.

Unfortunately, each university’s application monitoring process takes a different amount of time, so it’s difficult to know for sure when you’ll have all of your decisions back. However, UCAS says that if you met their application deadline (15th January), you should have heard back by the 31st March and will definitely hear by the 9th May. Having said that, many universities will get back to you within just two or three weeks of applying.

If you applied at the earlier deadline (15th October), this probably means you’ve applied to one or more courses that require an interview. If you’re applying for medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine, different universities hold their interviews at vastly different times. Generally, the earliest are in December and the latest are in March.

There is also a big range in how much time different universities give you between letting you know you have an interview, and the interview itself. Once you’ve decided where you want to apply, you might like to contact the admissions teams of each university directly, so that you have a rough idea of your personal timeline of events and deadlines.

What’s the difference between conditional and unconditional offers?

An unconditional offer means the university is very keen to have you on their course. If you accept it, they will automatically confirm your place regardless of the exam results you receive. Many universities (such as the University of Birmingham) will often state that if you accept an unconditional offer from them, you have to put it as your firm choice – you can’t have it as your insurance. The terms ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ are explained in the next section.

A conditional offer is one that is dependent on the grades you are yet to receive. In the offer, they will outline which grades you need to get in order to take up your place on their course. Most universities provide their usual grade offers for each course on their website, so you know before you apply.

This is something you should bear in mind when discussing your predicted grades with your teachers. Your predicted grades on your application need to match, be close to or exceed what the university usually asks for, or it’s unlikely that you’ll be offered a place. You should think optimistically but realistically about what you can achieve.

Responding to offers – firm and insurance choices

Once you have received all your decisions, you have until a fixed deadline to reply to any offers through UCAS. This deadline is usually 31st March, as long as you’ve heard back from all five choices by then. If you have two or more offers, you have to choose one to make your ‘firm’ choice, and one to make your ‘insurance’. Your firm choice is your preferred option, so if it’s unconditional, or it’s conditional and you meet the grade requirements on results day, you will have a place on that course. Your insurance choice is your back-up, so it makes sense to choose a course with lower offer conditions, in case you don’t meet your first choice offer. You should make sure this is still a university you would be happy to go to, though!

Think carefully before you respond – you can’t change your mind on Results Day (unless you do much better than expected – see our section on ‘Adjustment’). Remember that there’s no rush as long as you meet the deadline: the universities can’t take back their offers because you’re taking too long!

You’ll then have to decline any other offers you receive that you haven’t made your firm or insurance option.

If you have a complete change of heart, you can decline all of your offers and apply to more courses using UCAS’s ‘Extra’ service.

What if I miss my offer? What is Clearing?

If you don’t get the grades you needed for your first-choice offer, your first port of call should be ringing your chosen university’s admissions team directly. They may still give you a place, especially if you only just missed your grades, because other prospective students may have missed their grades too. There’s no harm in trying, and, if there’s a particular reason as to why you achieved lower grades than anticipated, this context could help explain to them why you didn’t make the offer.

If you miss the grades for your insurance choice too, and you don’t have any luck with ringing either university, you can turn to UCAS’s Clearing Service. This allows you to find a similar course, usually at a different university, with entry requirements that match the grades you have. In 2021, Clearing ran from 5th July to 19th October (2021), but again you should check the dates for your own year of application. The application process works differently to the initial submission process.

When you apply to clearing, you are given a ‘clearing number’ – a form of ID. There are two routes you can take; Clearing Plus matches can be found in your UCAS Hub, register your interest with a course that appeals and have your application sent directly to them to make a decision. You can also search for all the available course vacancies, which means contacting the university directly if you find a course you’d like to apply to. You provide them with your clearing number and Personal ID over the phone so that they can look up your application, and then ask them if they’d accept you.

If they give you an informal offer over the phone, you can then add the course as a clearing choice in the UCAS Hub. You can only add one course at a time, and if the university confirms it, you definitely have that place and can’t apply anywhere else. Many universities have spare places on their courses after results day, so this is a very common option for people whose grades don’t align with their original universities’ requirements.

Better results than expected? What is Adjustment?

If you get better results than expected (i.e. you have met and exceeded the conditions of your firm offer and think you could be accepted onto another course which typically gives out higher offers), you may be able to apply to that course through Adjustment. You register for Adjustment via the UCAS Hub.

Adjustment is only available for a small, fixed amount of time, so you have to act fast! In 2021, this was from 10th August – 18th August (as always, check the exact dates for your year of application!). Adjustment is different to Clearing, as there isn’t a list of available courses for you to search through. Instead, you have to find out the grade requirements of courses you’d be interested in on a university’s website, and then contact the admissions office of those universities directly to ask about any possible vacancies. You have to provide your Personal ID so they can check you’ve exceeded the conditions of your original firm choice, and that you meet their own conditions of entry.

Then, if you are absolutely sure you want a place at that university, you can verbally agree an offer with them. The university will then add themselves to your application, your UCAS Hub will be updated, and you’ll have a place on that course!

Ready to get a head start on your future?

Next steps for applying to university through UCAS

Check out these useful resources to help you on your way to completing your university applications through UCAS.

  • UCAS’ key dates timeline
  • Taking the International Baccalaureate? Read this article on applying to UK Universities while studying for IB
  • Not from the UK? Have a look at UCAS’ application tips for international students
  • Which? University article on ‘How to write a personal statement that works for multiple different courses’

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  • UCAS Personal Statements Are Changing in 2025

Last Updated: 16th January 2023

Author: Matthew Amalfitano-Stroud

Table of Contents

It was announced by UCAS in January of 2023 that traditional Personal Statements will be removed from the university application process in the UK. 

Since 1993, UCAS has required university applicants in the UK to submit a 4,000-character Personal Statement during the application process, which would then be accessed by university admissions teams to assist in the shortlisting process. 

However, it has been confirmed by UCAS that this process will be changing as soon as 2025. Here, we dissect the announcement, discuss what we currently know about this change and explain how this could affect your university application. Let’s begin:  

In short, this is what you need to know:

  • UCAS Personal Statements are being replaced by a multi-question survey that gives applicants the chance to explain various aspects of their application.
  • This change could be implemented as early as the 2025 admissions cycle for 2026 Entry in the UK.
  • This will affect all applicants, both home and internationals, looking to attend a UK university in 2026 and beyond.
  • Students will need to learn how to take on these new questions rather than traditional Personal Statement writing.
  • Teachers will need to be prepared to do research on this new system and provide support for students in order to maximise their chances of success.
  • We at UniAdmissions are keeping a very close eye on the situation and will update this guide as new information surfaces. We will also ensure that our support systems are up-to-date and effective at helping students through these changes.

What are Personal Statements Being Replaced with?

With the announcement that the current system for UCAS Personal Statements will be getting replaced, it is only natural to be asking what will be replacing it. Thankfully, we have already been given some idea of what to expect. 

Unlike the other major shake-up to the 2024 admission process, the removal of various admissions tests including the BMAT , the official announcement has provided us with an explanation of what UCAS is seeking to implement instead of traditional Personal Statements. 

Put simply, the current format of providing a 4,000-character piece of writing will be replaced with a series of specific questions which applicants must answer. These questions will still allow you to write your answers out, but you will be answering set questions instead of having to plan and structure a full statement from scratch. 

The specifics of this system have not been announced yet, including the number of questions and the character limits. We also don’t know what the questions will be yet as they are still being developed. However, we do know the key areas that these questions will focus on (all points are taken directly from the UCAS report): 

  • Motivation for Course – Why do you want to study these courses?
  • Preparedness for Course – How has your learning so far helped you to be ready to succeed on these courses?
  • Preparation through other experiences – What else have you done to help you prepare, and why are these experiences useful?
  • Extenuating circumstances – Is there anything that the universities and colleges need to know about, to help them put your achievements and experiences so far into context?
  • Preparedness for study – What have you done to prepare yourself for student life?
  • Preferred Learning Styles – Which learning and assessment styles best suit you – how do your courses choices match that?

Of course, this is all subject to change as UCAS is still actively working with universities to determine what they want most from applicants. However, it seems that they are aiming to cover the same ground as traditional Personal Statements while also allowing applicants to discuss more personal factors such as motivation, preference and extenuating circumstances. 

At UniAdmissions, we ensure all of our students receive the most up-to-date support.

At UniAdmissions, we’re working tirelessly to ensure that our tutors, curriculum and resources are ready to get our students through these changes. You can join them today and ensure you get the support you need to make it through the 2024 admissions cycle . 

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When Are UCAS Personal Statements Being Replaced?

The initial announcement stated that these reforms to the Personal Statement system will be introduced in the 2024 admissions cycle for 2025 entry. However, UCAS have since gone back on this and delayed the change to as early as 2025 (for 2026 Entry). However, this change could also occur the following year for 2027 Entry. 

UniAdmissions contacted UCAS directly to confirm if a date had been set for the implementation of the new Personal Statement format. The representative stated the following: 

The current discussion around the Personal Statement changes are to improve the application process for all applicants. At the moment the earliest this change would take place is in the 2026 application cycle. There won't be any changes this year. UCAS Representative

It’s worth mentioning that these plans have been in place for a fair amount of time, with discussions of reforming the application process starting in April 2021. However, this change still won’t be implemented for another year, so applicants applying for 2025 (and potentially 2026) Entry will still need to submit a traditional Personal Statement. 

Why Are UCAS Personal Statements Being Removed?

The announcement of these reforms was made on January 12th 2023 via a blog post on the official HEPI website. This post highlights the amendments being made to the Personal Statement process and the research that was conducted to influence this change.  

Interestingly, the data quoted in this post states that the majority of applicants surveyed were happy with the current Personal Statement process, with 72% feeling positive about it. However, the same survey indicated that 83% of applicants found the process stressful and 79% felt unable to complete theirs without support. This is the data that most likely influenced the changes. 

The post’s writer, Kim Eccleston, states that they are aiming to provide better support for both applicants and universities, creating “a more supportive framework” that allows applicants to write about what the universities need to know in a less restrictive way. It is also stated in a more detailed outline of the announcement that both students and teachers preferred the use of specific questions instead of free-form writing. 

However, a previous post released in November 2022 provides even more insight into the reasoning behind this decision. Based on data featured in HEPI Debate Paper 31 , various industry professionals had commented on the challenges facing applicants of certain background when it comes to the current style of Personal Statement. 

Within the quotes featured here, the traditional UCAS Personal Statement was described as “ambiguous” , “unfair” and “barometers of middle-class privilege” . These comments may potentially be in reference to the current importance of work experience, which can be difficult to obtain without connections in certain industries, as well as additional experiences which may not be available to all applicants.  

Therefore, this new system should presumably reduce the barriers for disadvantaged applicants by shifting focus to each individual’s own interest and abilities within their chosen subjects. 

Other Changes being Made by UCAS

Personal Statements are only one of five key areas being altered by UCAS, as highlighted in the blog post. This is certainly the most significant action taking place, but other changes to the application process include: 

  • Academic references are being reformed, moving from a free-text approach to a set of three questions, similar to the Personal Statement reforms.
  • The 'Entry Grade Report' will be created, which allows applicants to see grade profiles that have been accepted for courses over a five year period.
  • A 'Course Recommendation Tool' is being created to provide applicants with personalised suggestions for courses based on their current grades and preferences.
  • A 'Fair Access Programme' is being created to encourage widening access and participation.

Overall, it seems these changes all have the same intent; to level the playing field and make university applications more achievable for everyone. 

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How will this affect my university application?

As previously stated, if you are applying to university this year for 2025 Entry, you will not be affected by these reforms and will need to submit a traditional Personal Statement to UCAS like previous years. 

For applicants applying for 2026/27 Entry and beyond, your application will follow this new process, meaning you won’t have to submit a full Personal Statement but will instead need to answer a series of questions relating to your application and abilities for your chosen course. 

When hearing that the whole process will be changing, this typically instils a feeling of dread as you’ll be treading new ground that no one else has experienced before. However, it’s important to understand that UCAS states these changes are being made for the benefit of both the applicants and the universities. 

As we’ve already discussed, a key part of the reason this change is being implemented is that a high percentage of applicants found writing a traditional Personal Statement stressful, which is counterintuitive to what UCAS is trying to achieve. By providing applicants with a strong framework, in the form of specific questions, this new process should allow more applicants to provide better quality statements for universities. 

This change is also set to be particularly beneficial to those from disadvantaged backgrounds, as the process will allow them to better express their ability regardless of any areas that may be lacking due to factors out of their control. Essentially, the new process should allow more people to stand a better chance of making a good impression despite limitations. 

How Can I Start Preparing?

If you’re starting your preparations early, the main barrier you’ll face at this stage of preparation is not knowing what the questions will be, as they have yet to be announced. There are no resources available currently that cover this system, so you’re going to have to be independent with your preparation here.

Since we have a rough outline of what the questions to focus on, you should still be able to practice your responses. Although they won’t be as relevant any more, it would still be helpful to check out Personal Statement guides and examples as these can help you pin down the language and writing style you use. 

With all this information now available to us, you should be able to get a sense of what to do for your application in the coming years. The initial introduction of this system in 2024 will act as a test of its effectiveness, so elements could be changed in the years following. However, the important thing is that you understand how things are changing from the current system and how you can make the most of the new system. 

If you are applying for university in 2023 for 2024 Entry, you will need to make sure you’re ready to write your Personal Statement. Thankfully, UniAdmissions have plenty of resources to help you through it, including our Ultimate UCAS Personal Statement Guide and our collection of successful Oxbridge Personal Statements . 

If you’re looking for more in-depth support that covers the whole application process for Medicine, Law and Oxbridge courses, them find out how you can enrol in one of our Premium Programmes .  

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Personal Statement FAQs

Our personal statement FAQs will help ease the pain of writing a personal statement for your UCAS form . More advice can also be found on our blog .

What can I find in this article?

1. When should I start writing my personal statement?

It's never too early to start thinking about it! Unfortunately, UCAS deadlines have a tendency to creep up on most students, especially if you are applying to Oxbridge where the deadline is much earlier than other universities ( 15th October ).

However, you probably want a good idea of what course you're going to apply for before you launch in to actually writing the thing .

Check out Choosing A Degree if you're still deciding what subject to take.

On the other hand, don't leave it too late - you'll probably need a few weeks to write it and a week or so to get a reference written.

As a general guide we would say start writing it when you come back to school or college after the summer, though it might be worth jotting down a few ideas during the holidays.

We know some people are extremely organised and get at least their first draft done by the end of the summer!

2. How long can the personal statement be?

There is no actual word limit - instead, you have a maximum of 47 lines or 4000 characters to work with.

This is all the space UCAS give you on their online system, Apply . You can check that your statement will fit in the area provided by using our handy Personal Statement Length Checker .

3. How do I start writing my personal statement?

Most people won't be able to just start writing their personal statement off the top of their head - so it's a good idea to jot down a few notes first.

The main things to think about are:

  • why do you want to study your chosen course?
  • how do your skills, experiences and interests prove you are passionate about and committed to taking this course?

These are the two main things to start with, and if this still doesn't help you can look at a few more detailed starting points .

Many people have trouble writing about themselves and their personal qualities.

So if you're having trouble pop down to a library or bookstore and get a book on writing CVs that will go into this process in much more depth.

4. What are admissions tutors looking for?

Usually the sort of things you've written about for the part above!

Obviously the things admissions tutors are looking for will differ but in general: "Do we want this student on this course?" And "Do we want this student at this university?".

The idea of your personal statement is to show this - so once you've written it, have a read through and see if it answers these questions.

Individual universities and departments often publish information on applying and writing personal statements, so surfing the admissions scetion of their website should turn up more specific information on exactly what they're looking for.

Our blog post, 8 Things Not To Put In Your Personal Statement , will help you avoid making any obvious errors. Then check out What You Should Include In Your Personal Statement to make sure you don't miss anything important.

Read through our Personal Statement Writing Tips and How To Write A Personal Statement Guide for more comprehensive information and advice.

5. What's the most important part of the personal statement?

From our days of GCSE English, we would say either the beginning or the end.

A good first sentence will get the reader interested and ensure they actually read your statement rather than skim it.

A good ending will ensure the reader remembers your personal statement, though it also helps to have a good middle section as well.

The first line is probably the most important thing to work on. Most people put their reasons for studying the subject at the top, and this is generally regarded to be the most crucial part of the statement, as you need to hook the reader and make them want to read more.

However, the rest of your statement should make you shine as a candidate too, so there isn't really a definite answer to this question!

Just try to make your personal statement as interesting and polished as you can.

6. How do I write a statement for two different courses?

There's no easy way to write a personal statement for two totally unrelated courses.

If the courses are similar (i.e. Business Studies and Economics ) you may find you can write a personal statement that is relevant to both subjects without mentioning either subject by name.

If the courses are totally unrelated it may be impossible to write for both subjects without your personal statement sounding vague and unfocused.

Instead, you will need to concentrate on just one subject and just ignore the other, although you may want to question whether it's a good idea to apply for such different course, and re-think your subject choice .

7. Should I talk about what I want to do after university?

You could, but only if you have a good idea of what you want to do.

If you sound sure about what you want to do after university , it gives the impression that you've thought carefully about your course and what you want to do with it.

It is also a nice way to round off your personal statement , rather than just finishing on less important stuff like extra curricular activities.

If you don't have any future plans then leave it out - you don't want to be asked about them at interviews .

8. How should I structure my personal statement?

Most people write their personal statement in an essay style, usually starting off with the course and why they want to do it, then talking about their relevant work experience and skills, and finishing off with extra curricular activities.

However, you can use any style that you feel works best for you.

As a guide, spend around 50% of the space talking about your course and how you're suited to it and 50% on your work experience and other activities.

Exactly how you write your personal statement depends on your subject - generally people write more about work experience for vocational subjects like Medicine and Law than they would for Maths or English , where work experience is less important.

9. Is it worth doing loads of extra-curricular stuff to make my statement sound good?

There's no point doing extra things just to try and make yourself look good to universities - you won't enjoy it and it probably won't help much either.

From what we've seen, an interest and aptitude for the course is more important to admissions tutors than lots of extra curricular activities.

If you do want to do something to boost your application, read relevant books or do work experience related to the subject instead.

10. Should I talk about my qualifications?

No. There's already a section on the UCAS form for this, so don't waste space talking about them on your personal statement.

If you have something important that doesn't go in the qualifications section, ask your referee to put it down in your reference - it will sound better if it comes from them than from you.

11. Where can I see some example personal statements?

We have loads of free personal statement samples that you can browse through, broken down into subject categories so you can hopefully find what you are looking for quite easily!

Looking at what other students have written and submitted on their application is a useful way of seeing what makes a great personal statement (and what doesn't!).

Just make sure you don't copy sentences or whole chunks of these examples though, as UCAS has plagiarism detection software and your application will be rejected if it's found you've cheated!

12. What should I do after I've written my statement?

Ask for opinions on it!

Show it to your friends, parents, teachers, career advisors, etc and note down their comments.

The most useful comments are likely to come from your teachers in the subject and the people at your school or college who handle UCAS applications.

If you have enough time, leave your personal statement for a couple of weeks or a month and come back to it - if you're not still happy with what you wrote, it's time to start redrafting.

13. Should I post my personal statement online?

It's generally not a good idea to post it on an internet forum or discussion board before you've started university.

Anyone can steal information off a website and pass it off as their own, and with something as important as a personal statement, you don't want that to happen.

You should be OK sending it to people you trust by email - see the next question for a better way of getting people to look at it.

14. Where can I ask for feedback on my personal statement?

To get people to look at your personal statement without the risk of plagiarism visit the personal statement review section.

You can also get your personal statement professionally edited and reviewed here at Studential, through one of our very popular personal statement editing and critique packages.

We offer a range of services covering a variety of prices, so there's bound to be a package suited to you.

15. I'm still stuck with my personal statement - where can I find more in-depth advice?

Some people say writing a personal statement is easy – maybe it is, but it’s difficult to write a personal statement well. As this is such a big topic to cover, we suggest taking a look at our personal statement examples to help give you some inspiration for what to write, and then read through our  personal statement writing guide  when you’re ready to put pen to paper. Browse through the  other information and advice  we have in our personal statements section, and if you still feel you need a little extra help, you can always get your personal statement  professionally edited and reviewed  by one of our editors. We offer a range of UCAS personal statement editing and critique services , so there’s bound to be one suited to your needs. Don’t forget to ask your family, friends, teachers and careers adviser to look through your personal statement drafts, and incorporate any feedback they give you until you are 100% happy with it. Remember - it doesn’t matter how many times you have to redraft your personal statement – the most important thing is you get it right so you give yourself the best possible chance of being offered places by your chosen universities/colleges.

IMPORTANT:  When writing your personal statement, it’s vital you remember  not to copy from anyone else’s personal statement  (not even just a sentence!). Not only is it wrong and unfair, but any plagiarism will be detected by the Copycatch Similarity Detection Software. If UCAS discover you have plagiarised your personal statement, whether you have copied someone else’s entirely or parts of it, they will cancel your application.

You can also try looking through our personal statement guide for extra guidance.

This takes you through how to write a personal statement step-by-step, and goes into far more detail than this FAQ does.

If you feel you need more help, check out our personal statement editing and critique services  where our professional editors will review your statement to make it a success.

16. How do I write a personal statement if I'm a mature student?

Don't worry if you're a mature student applying to university - your qualifications, skills and extra experience will count as an advantage! Universities want to take on students from all walks of life, and this includes mature ones with more life experience.

Focus on what you can bring to the university if they offered you a place on the course, and how your degree fits into your future plans.

Read through some of our Mature Student Personal Statement Examples for inspiration.

17. How do I write a personal statement if I'm an international student?

As mentioned previously, universities want students from a range of backgrounds, and this includes those who want to study at their institution from abroad.

Again, try to convey how your experiences in your own country will benefit you on your course, and how they make you a valuable asset to the university.

To give you an idea of what other international students have written in the past, read through some of our International Student Personal Statement Examples for inspiration (but please remember not to copy them, or your application will be penalised!).

A few last tips

What have you done, relevant to your subject, that is unique and no one else is likely to put down?

Many people have the same old boring interests and work experience - you need something to separate you from the crowd, and while it's a gamble to make an individual personal statement, anything individual you do related to your chosen field can only look good.

Have a think - what makes you so special? If you can't think of anything then you can't complain if you get rejected! Finally, remember it's your personal statement, and you can write whatever you want in it.

If everything in this guide conflicts with what you've got already but you think you still have a killer personal statement, then use that.

A personal statement is about you, and you shouldn't let anyone tell you what to put in it - sticking blindly to the formula mentioned here will just stop your true personality showing through.

Further information

For more tips and advice on writing your personal statement, please see:

  • The 15th January UCAS Deadline: 4 Ways To Avoid Missing It
  • Analysis Of A Personal Statement
  • Personal Statement Editing Services
  • Top 10 Personal Statement Writing Tips
  • Personal Statement Advice From A Teacher
  • Personal Statement Writing Guide
  • What To Do If You Miss The 15th January UCAS Deadline .

Best of luck with your personal statement!

Has lots of valuable

Mon, 19/09/2011 - 05:17

Has lots of valuable information

Thu, 06/10/2011 - 20:30

very good site!! Helped a lot!!!!

Wed, 12/10/2011 - 17:21

Great info, i appreciate it.

Fri, 14/10/2011 - 14:35

i wana apply for a science

Tue, 25/10/2011 - 10:22

i wana apply for a science faculty but what i did in the past were only related to English (eg:joining competitions in sos verse speaking,public speaking;volunteered to teach english;being chairman of english society at school./) and seems almost nth for science.... so should i write those experience also?but how can i link them to the content.... thanks

Wed, 26/10/2011 - 22:56

Excellent website, I have searched high and low for a website like this. Very impressed.

wow this has just simply

Fri, 28/10/2011 - 21:15

wow this has just simply saved my life:)

Sun, 30/10/2011 - 11:11

Thank you for the guidance, its very simple and straight forward

Disabilities

Fri, 04/11/2011 - 06:38

I have Aspergers should I include this in my PS because it has affected my involvement in extra curricular activities

like to point out that it is

Wed, 09/11/2011 - 15:13

like to point out that it is 47 lines and not 37 :) that aside, very helpful - thanks!

The best site I have found to

Fri, 02/12/2011 - 22:29

The best site I have found to help with personal statements, got so much useful infomation and straight to the point, will definately recommend to others in my class who are in the middle of their personal statments!

I have read that you should

Tue, 06/12/2011 - 14:57

I have read that you should write about why you wish to study at university and what inspires you to, and i want to but the real reason i want to study at uni is because of a very personal reason and im not sure wether to mention it as i feel i may come across as an attention seeker? the real reason i want to go is because of a very abusive relationship with an ex boyfriend that made me realise i should make the most of my life and do exactly what i want and never let anyone bring me down... do u think it would be too much if i said this - I was very unsure whether to write about the real reason I want to pursue what I’m passionate about, because its very personal. The truth is that is wasn’t a good experience. A traumatising abusive relationship with an ex boyfriend woke me up and made me see I should make the most out of my life.

Tue, 06/12/2011 - 15:03

Tue, 06/12/2011 - 15:08

Amazing Stuff

Mon, 13/02/2012 - 13:06

I'm so glad I found this site

Thu, 01/03/2012 - 15:46

I'm so glad I found this site. It's helped alot.

I'm so glad I found this site. It's helped alot. :)

Thu, 01/03/2012 - 15:47

Lying on your personal statement

Tue, 10/07/2012 - 20:27

I was very disappointed to see this included in your FAQs. Even more to see it answered in the way it was. If someone can lie and "get away with it" does that not suggest we could potentially have a generation of useless, brainless, incompetent potential lawyers, doctors, politicians heading our way? Oh, wait...how long have you been giving this advice out?

do we have to write about our

Tue, 31/07/2012 - 19:13

do we have to write about our interests and hobbies???

if yes what if we dont have enough space and gone over max line limit??

thx a lot for the post..lots

Thu, 13/09/2012 - 23:21

thx a lot for the post..lots of info :)

you get 47 lines not 37 as it

Thu, 20/09/2012 - 11:35

you get 47 lines not 37 as it says

Wed, 17/04/2013 - 11:16

Some of the universities I'm applying to offer different courses to other unis I'm also applying to. Is it possible to send two different personal statements depending on which uni? For Edinburgh and Manchester, I want to apply for English Literature, but for Aberystwyth, East Anglia and Manchester Metropolitian they offer English Lit and Creative Writing.

Any advice would be great, thanks!

Wed, 24/07/2013 - 03:11

Say, you got a nice article.Much thanks again. Awesome.

Wrong information

Thu, 25/07/2013 - 16:15

The maximum on UCAS for personal statements is 47 lines and 4000 characters, not 37 lines as stated on this page.

This is really helpful and

Fri, 27/09/2013 - 14:15

This is really helpful and informative but I'm fairly sure the number of lines allowed is 47, not 37 as written here.

Retaking year 12

Sun, 29/09/2013 - 12:22

I have recently retook year 12 and I am now in the process of writing my personal statement. Having gathered differing opinions on this matter i was wondering for your input on whether or not its worth putting it down on my personal statement.I have changed subjects, left one out for a year and returned to it and retaken a subject. This now leaves me with 5 As levels.

Mon, 30/09/2013 - 20:06

"Have a think - what makes you so special? If you can't think of anything then you can't complain if you get rejected!"

As if we're not under enough stress already!

Previous Work

Tue, 29/10/2013 - 20:33

can I put links in to websites I have professionally made

wow very good much

Fri, 15/11/2013 - 09:25

wow very good much informative

Very informative. I really

Wed, 15/01/2014 - 14:57

Very informative. I really appreciate your site.

Not required

Mon, 30/06/2014 - 14:27

Comment Content

how do i end my ucas personal statement

How To End A Personal Statement: Great Final Paragraphs

how do i end my ucas personal statement

Second only to the opening paragraph , the closing paragraph of a personal statement is the part that people often struggle with the most.

From repeating key points to underselling achievements and ambitions, a personal statement conclusion can be the least effective aspect of the document.

That’s frustrating, as a personal statement closing paragraph is often the part that leaves the greatest impression in the mind of the reader.

So how should you end a personal statement and create a great final paragraph?

When considering how to end a personal statement, don’t summarize existing content in a repetitive conclusion. Instead, clarify your suitability with a new example and evidence your value to the institution. Lastly, outline your ambitions in relation to the opportunities presented by the course.

I’ve broken down each of these elements in detail so that you can craft a successful personal statement final paragraph…

The Final Paragraph Must Evidence Your Suitability

Instead of detailing all the key areas in which you are a suitable candidate for the course or role early on in your personal statement, it is valuable to hold back at least one example in order to add credibility and weight to your final paragraph.

This could outline an additional course you have completed or a qualification that you have achieved, but it could equally be a volunteering opportunity or work placement that reinforces your suitability for the higher study of a particular subject.

Admissions teams really want to see that applicants are clearly suitable for the courses they’re applying for, but also that they are suitably prepared for academic success.

Essentially, they want to know that you understand what you’ll be doing on the course and that you’re qualified to do it well . That’s why driving this point home in the last paragraph is so important.

For more of my powerful personal statement strategies, just click here .

The table below gives some examples of ways in which you might evidence your suitability in your final paragraph . They won’t all apply to you, but the chances are that you will recognise some of these aspects from your own preparation for higher education, and be able to include them:

Here’s how a sentence might look in a personal statement example…

how do i end my ucas personal statement

If you’d like a detailed post on the skills you need to include in your personal statement, then why not check this out?

Outline Your Value to the University or Employer

It’s important that the final paragraph of your personal statement clearly outlines your potential value to the organisation. To understand exactly the kind of content that admissions tutors are looking for, ask yourself this question:

How will the university I am applying for, the faculty in which I will study and the community in which I will live, be better for having me be a part of it? David Hallen

As Whitney Soule, Dean of Admissions at Bowdoin puts it:

how do i end my ucas personal statement

If a university can see evidence that you will make a positive contribution to their organisation clearly in the final paragraph of your personal statement, then you will have left them with an excellent impression of your potential.

But how exactly might you add value, and how do you write about it concisely?

Adding Value to your Personal Statement

  • Experience of diversity when contextualised in terms of social, cultural, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or ability. Your experiences will add to the wisdom and education of your cohort at a time when identity and empathy is paramount.
  • Knowledge of more than your subject . The life experiences, travel, background and passions that make you an individual and that you can share in a positive context are vital.
  • Sports skills or related team and community experiences . From playing soccer to white-water rafting, acapella singing or ultimate frisbee, the skills you bring to share with others are an important way to add value.
  • Experience of or intention to mentor . If you can show that you intend to mentor and support other students with a particular level of expertise, you’ll be a tremendous asset.
  • Proven commitment and dedication . Explain how you have the tenacity and resilience to overcome challenges by equating that with a specific example from your own life, and give the reader the confidence that you will successfully complete the course regardless of the hardships you face.
  • If you have experiences of leadership , make these clear and indicate how these are of value to the organisation. From captaining a team to leading on a research project, your ability to motivate and facilitate those around you make you a genuine asset.

A couple of sentences in your final paragraph that meets this goal might look something like this:

how do i end my ucas personal statement

For some excellent advice on developing some outstanding personal statement examples, check out my post here . Alternatively, using a free software package like Grammarly can really help applicants convey the depth of their academic value. Check it out here or hit the banner below…

how do i end my ucas personal statement

Finish Your Personal Statement by Showing Ambition

The last essential element of a great final paragraph is proof of ambition relating to the content and outcome of the course you are applying for .

If you can show that you have an informed understanding of where the course can take you and a good idea of the demands of the industry you might want to enter, your final paragraph will be far more convincing.

You’ll need to make sure you’ve achieved 3 important tasks before you type a single word…

  • You’ve fully researched the course(s) you are applying for and can reference the academic content, employment opportunities and outcomes
  • You’ve got some practical and theoretical understanding of the industries related to the course, prior to application
  • You’ve given some contextualised thought to your potential role within those industries, and how the course will help you reach that goal

how do i end my ucas personal statement

For more specific content on how original a personal statement should be, and just how to include your ambitions and experiences in a way that readers will find compelling, check this post out .

Once you’ve got some notes on these three points, you can put a sentence together that evidences your ambition, promotes your application and demonstrates your understanding of your sector. An effective couple of sentences might look like this:

how do i end my ucas personal statement

You can watch a great tutorial on showing ambition in your personal statement below, or check out some helpful UCAS resouces .

Whatever order you decide to tackle them in, if you ensure you include the three elements detailed in this post, you’ll be sure to write a relevant and compelling final paragraph, leaving the reader confident about making you an offer.

how do i end my ucas personal statement

Good luck with your personal statement, and don’t forget to contact me if you’d like some 1-1 support. You’ve got this! D

Research and content verified by Personal Statement Planet.

David Hallen

I've worked in the Further Education and University Admissions sector for nearly 20 years as a teacher, department head, Head of Sixth Form, UCAS Admissions Advisor, UK Centre Lead and freelance personal statement advisor, editor and writer. And now I'm here for you...

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11 episodes

I’ve worked in university student recruitment and admissions for well over 25 years. I’ve read countless Personal Statements, delivered hundreds of sessions on how to write them, and I have even trained teachers and advisers on how to help their students. This podcast is for you if you are applying through UCAS, and are writing your UCAS Personal Statement In just one hour, over 10 super-short episodes, I’ll give you information and insight into the admissions process, and a very practical guide on writing your statement. Just listen, take notes, and start writing. You’ll also find the whole series available as an online course, or as a written guide that you can download for free at: www.betterunichoices.com

How to write your UCAS Personal Statement - a Better Uni Choices podcast Jonathan Tinnacher

  • 28 MAR 2024

Part 10: Top Personal Statement tips

Looking for some final tips before you start your first draft? Here are some thoughts that I have picked up from a whole bunch of admissions selectors and other experts over the years.

Part 9: Getting help and support

Want to know how to get the best possible feedback on your statement? There are lots of people around who can help you with your Personal Statement. This part will help you get the very best input, by planning how and when you get feedback from different people.

Part 8: Using ChatGPT

Thinking of using ChatGPT? If you ask Chat GPT to write your statement for you, it will simply make stuff up; a whole statement full of lies. However, engage with it as if it is your counsellor, and it can be extremely helpful. In this part I suggest a couple of really useful prompts, and give some further helpful tips on how to use AI usefully and ethically.

Part 7: Writing a Personal Statement for two subjects

Are you applying for two different subjects? How to write a statement that covers two different courses could be the most asked question in university admissions history, and the answer is not straightforward. There are a number of possible scenarios, and in this part I suggest how to approach these.

Part 6: The power of reflective writing

How do you make sure everything you write really matters to the admissions tutor? You now have lots of content, and a sensible structure for your statement. You know which content you are going to prioritise, and roughly how long each section is going to be. There is just one more area to focus on before you start writing the statement in full, and that’s how to write reflectively.

Part 5: A clear, simple structure

Not sure what goes where? If you have done the exercise in Part 4 reasonably well, you now probably have several pages, and perhaps ten or twenty ideas about yourself, your skills, your experiences, and your chosen course. In this part I’m going to show you how to organise all this content within a really clear, simple structure.

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how do i end my ucas personal statement

Table of Contents

Most students rely on UCAS for support and guidance since it works as a toolkit to get information about the university, its application process, apprenticeships and a wide range of other resources that can be used for applying to universities in the United Kingdom . The service is commonly known as the UCAS application services where all the international uses it to plan and organize the application carefully. Don’t not leave your filling in process up to the last moment as there’s tons of work to do!

UCAS application tips and tricks to make you stand out from the crowd

Decide what you want to study.

This is the first step to prepare an excellent UCAS application. Start by researching the subject of your interest, then streamline the subject of your choice.

Decide where to study in UK

With the search tool of ucas, you can find the different universities that offer courses of interest that you desire. Try attending fairs, events and getting a feel for the university, its campus etc.

Do extra research and study on your course

Say, if your heart is set on literature, you can read more about new writers and authors that are not in your curriculum and it can help you make a great personal statement.

Be realistic on your choices

You may find the course of interest with the university your heart desires, but will you meet their short lists grades? You might end up in rejection and miss other great opportunities. The UCAS advisors are aware of highly competitive courses and can guide you accordingly.

Starting early is the key to securing a seat at the university

It can get very competitive to apply to the Best universities in UK as they appeal to students from across the world. So, if you do not want to miss out on that seat, we advise you to start applying easily and get time to read, review and edit the forms and details.

Write an attention-grabbing personal statement

This is your time to shine and show the university how you can be an essential part of the institution and how the course you will be learning will help make an impact in the challenges faced by the world.

Check, Check till you reach a checkmate point

This is the last and last time you can review and edit the application. While filling out the application, be honest and true to your statement. It’s advisable to get someone to review and check up on the application before you hit the send button. Once you are good to go, apply.

What is the cost of ucas application fee?

For 2024 entry: the application fee will be £27.50 for up to five choices.

For 2025 entry: the application fee will be £28.50 for up to five choices.

How to apply for ucas?

If you want to know how to apply through ucas, follow these simple steps below:

First Registration: how to register for clearing ucas

  • Go on UCAS Hub.
  • Confirm the year, studies and level of study.
  • On the UCAS Hub Dashboard – Simply click “Start’.
  • Fill in your first, last name.

Second: Complete details

  • Fill in all mandatory questions.
  • Enter an up-to-date email address.
  • Enter residency status.
  • Personal information(optional).
  • Details on how to fund your education.
  • Accessible information to parents or guardians.

Third: Add educational details

  • Complete academic documents.
  • Incomplete course documents.
  • Pursing course documents.
  • Include modules (optional).

Fourth: Employment history

  • If you’ve been employed, company names, addresses, job descriptions, and start/finish dates.
  • Do not include any voluntary work details, etc.

Fifth: Select the course and university

  • You can select up to 5 courses and university as no one will be able to view the application to other universities.

Sixth: Write a personal statement

  • It should at least be 1,000 characters long.
  • It should be written on Microsoft Word and paste into the application.
  • Mention why you’d like to study with them, and what skills and experience you have.

Seventh: Submit the application

  • Read, review and edit before submission.
  • Read and agree to the declaration.
  • Hit the submit button and it will be processed by the universities.

How to accept an offer on ucas?

Choosing the university

  • If you’ve applied for more than one course and got offers on them. You need to make a choice and check the deadline for submitting the offer.
  • You can accept only one offer as your firm choice called the condition firm (CF) or unconditional firm (UF).
  • If the choice is CF, then you can accept a second offer too called the insurance choice, conditional or unconditional.
  • All other offers must be declined after accepting two offers from the university.

What happens when you accept an offer?

There are rules and regulations bounded by the university once an offer letter is accepted by an applicant.

  • When an unconditional offer is firmly accepted by an applicant, there’s a seat secure at the university.
  • When a condition offer is firmly accepted and all the conditions have been met by the applicant, then you are accepted and obliged to study in the university.

When you’ve declined an offer, it means you are released from all the seats at the university. If you want to decline all your offers, you can use UCAS Extra to add another course or wait to enter into Clearing. This is only if you would like to change the course or the subject.

If you would like to start off till the next year, you can always defer it instead of declining the offers.

How to add clearing choice on ucas?

This will depend on many factors, for one, are you eligible for clearing? Next, this depends on whether you are waiting for your exams results.

Ucas clearing how does it work?

For waiting results: you can add clearing choice if only the university applied to hasn’t accepted or offered you a place.

For non-waiting results: you will be able to add Clearing in early July if you are eligible for clearing.

How to add clearing?

  • Go to the ‘Your choices’ section of your application.
  • Click ‘Add Clearing choice’.
  • Enter the details of the course.

Note : Only add a Clearing choice if you’ve been given permission by a uni.

The ucas guide is a helpful resource which you can find more details about everything you need as a student on the official website: https://www.ucas.com

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A 10-Step Guide to Writing an Outstanding Personal Statement

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Applying to college can be daunting, especially when it comes to writing a personal statement. This essay showcases not just your writing skills but also your unique personality, achievements, and aspirations. Understanding that while grades are crucial, a personal statement often becomes the differentiating factor in your application. To navigate this essential component, we’ve compiled a ten-step guide, replete with examples, to ensure your personal statement leaves a lasting impression on admissions officers.

Applying to college can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to writing a personal statement. This essay not only showcases your writing skills but also highlights your unique personality, achievements, and aspirations. While it may seem unnecessary, tedious, time-consuming, and just another tick-the-box, know that as each application is processed, grades are just one of the criteria of selection, more often than not a personal statement becomes the differentiating factor.

A diverse group of smiling students looking down into the camera, holding a speech bubble sign that says 'THIS IS MY STORY' at a gathering, symbolizing individuality and shared experiences in crafting personal narratives.

To help you navigate this crucial component of your application, we’ve compiled a ten-step guide, complete with inspiring examples to ensure your personal statement makes a lasting impression on admissions officers.

  • Start Early and Brainstorm Begin the process early to give yourself plenty of time to brainstorm. Reflect on your experiences, achievements, and motivations. Think about what makes you unique, both in terms of personality and life experiences.
  • Understand the Prompt Make sure you clearly understand what the college is asking for. Each institution may have different prompts or questions. Tailor your response specifically to each prompt, ensuring you answer it fully and directly. Be comprehensive and succinct in your answers, choosing words that convey your candidature the best.
  • Create an Outline Draft an outline to organize your thoughts and ensure a coherent flow of ideas. This will help you structure your statement effectively, making sure every part contributes towards presenting a compelling narrative.
  • Exhibit, Don’t Tell Use specific examples to demonstrate your qualities and achievements. Instead of stating that you’re a great leader, describe a situation where you demonstrated leadership. This method makes your statement more engaging and believable.
  • Focus on Your Strengths While it might be tempting to cover a wide range of subjects, focusing on a few key strengths or experiences can have a stronger impact. Depth over breadth is crucial in personal statements.
  • Be Authentic Admissions officers can tell when a statement is genuine. Write honestly about your experiences and passions and let your natural voice shine through. Authenticity is key to making a personal statement stand out.
  • Get Feedback After drafting your statement, seek feedback from teachers, mentors, or friends. They can provide insights on clarity, grammar, and the overall impact of your essay. They all have a perspective of you from an external viewpoint, so do not skip this step.
  • Revise and Edit Use the feedback to revise your statement. Look for areas where you can clarify your points, eliminate redundancy, and correct grammatical errors. This step is crucial for polishing your final submission.
  • Keep It Concise Adhere to the word limit. Being able to express your thoughts concisely and effectively is a skill appreciated by admissions officers.
  • Final Review Before submitting, do a final review. Read your statement out loud to catch any remaining errors or awkward phrasing. Make sure it sounds natural and is easy to read.

Examples of Exemplary Personal Statements:

Example 1: The Innovator Jane’s personal statement begins with a vivid description of her tinkering with a broken radio at age eight, which sparked her interest in technology. She intertwines her personal journey with her academic achievements, such as leading her school’s robotics team to a national competition. Jane uses specific examples, like designing a new robot navigation system, to demonstrate her passion and skill in engineering.

Example 2: The Community Leader John opens his statement with a powerful recount of organizing community relief efforts during a local flood. Highlighting his role in mobilizing volunteers and coordinating with local authorities, he demonstrates strong leadership and commitment to his community. His narrative includes feedback from the community and the personal growth he experienced, providing a well-rounded view of his character.

Example 3: The Attentive Listener Emma’s personal statement explores her profound appreciation for music and its role in shaping her interpersonal connections. She describes an afternoon spent sharing playlists with a group of international students, which turned into a deep discussion about cultural expressions through music. This experience not only highlights her listening skills but also illustrates her ability to forge meaningful relationships through shared interests.

Example 4: The Compassionate Leader David writes about his high emotional quotient and how it spurred him to lead a community initiative focused on animal welfare. His personal statement recounts organizing local workshops to educate people about animal kindness and launching a successful campaign for a local shelter. David’s story reflects his empathy and leadership in translating compassion into actionable community improvement.

Commentary: Every life is extraordinary; it’s how you narrate your story that captures the reader’s eye. Your personal statement should reflect your unique experiences and aspirations.

Conclusion:

In crafting your personal statement, remember, you don’t have to be extraordinary in the usual sense—honesty and transparency are key. Be a dreamer of the art of the possible; dream as big as you can and let those dreams articulate themselves in your words. This approach not only reveals your true self to admissions officers but also shows your potential to contribute meaningfully to their academic community. Start your adventure today! Use these steps as your guide to find the university that best fits your future goals. Dream big and achieve even bigger.

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  2. Your personal statement guide from UCAS

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  3. Personal Statement UCAS Example

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  2. My Unusual Cambridge Medicine Personal Statement! (What Made it Standout?)

  3. Should I talk about my qualifications in my UCAS personal statement?

COMMENTS

  1. How to end your personal statement

    Mature students: Five things to do now to boost your personal statement. Starting your personal statement. Personal statement dos and don'ts. Writing your full personal statement. Using your personal statement beyond a university application. Search for a course and learn more, including modules, graduate stats, and student satisfaction scores.

  2. How To End A Personal Statement: Make A Lasting Impression

    A personal statement conclusion should be 150-200 words long and leave a positive lasting impression on the reader. A UCAS personal statement should be 4000 characters long, making the conclusion 705-940 characters long - this is just a rough estimation based on the average number of characters per word (4.7).

  3. How To Write Your Undergraduate Personal Statement

    Just start by showing your enthusiasm for the subject, showcasing your knowledge and understanding, and sharing your ambitions of what you want to achieve. Avoid cliches! Remember, this opening part is simply about introducing yourself, so let the admissions tutor reading your personal statement get to know you. Keep it relevant and simple.

  4. Personal statement dos and don'ts

    Don'ts. Don't be modest or shy. You want your passions to come across. Don't exaggerate - if you do, you may get caught out in an interview when asked to elaborate on an interesting achievement. Don't use quotes from someone else, or cliches. Don't leave it to the last minute - your statement will seem rushed and important ...

  5. Finished! University experts on how to end your personal statement

    If your ending is proving tricky to write, it may be that you haven't yet got everything you need in the main statement. Read more: how to write an excellent personal statement in 10 steps. 2. Share your motivation. Once you're confident you've included all the essentials, you can focus your conclusion on connecting these key points.

  6. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement [With Examples]

    The character limit which UCAS sets for the personal statement is very strict - up to 4,000 characters of text. This means that students have to express themselves in a clear and concise way; it's also important that they don't feel the need to fill the available space needlessly. Planning and redrafting of a personal statement is essential.

  7. UCAS Personal Statement and Examples

    The UCAS Personal Statement will be read by someone looking for proof that you are academically capable of studying that subject for your entire degree. In some cases, it might be an actual professor reading your essay. You'll only write one personal statement, which will be sent to all the universities you're applying to, and it's ...

  8. Tips for writing a UCAS personal statement : How to apply for

    Start and end your personal statement by highlighting your positivity and passion for the course and your future career options (if you have any at this stage). When writing your personal statement, you should: be honest and write in your own words - the best statements are always the most genuine; use clear language and avoid extravagant claims

  9. Ultimate Guides

    Be authentic. No one knows you better than you know yourself, so show your interests, achievements, goals and personality. Be real. Don't get stuck in cliches like "I've always wanted to…". It's not about the goal — your ambition is real and important. Tell them the why and why it matters to you. Be you.

  10. How to write a UCAS personal statement

    UCAS personal statement word limit. Your personal statement length can be up to 4,000 characters long. This may sound a lot, but it's a word limit of around 550-1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4 paper. You need to keep it concise and make sure it's clear and easy to read.

  11. Choose & Send

    Your personal ID is: 153-354-8461. Your personal statement is too long to be saved. Click 'save' within 19 minutes so that your work is not lost. Your statement is 1 line (s) over the 47 limit, based on the preview. Your completed statement must be between 1,000 and 4,000 characters (maximum 47 lines) including spaces.

  12. The Ultimate UCAS Personal Statement Guide

    The best Personal Statements get to the point quickly, so avoid starting with phrases like "From a young age", "I am applying for this course because", and "Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…". Go straight into why you are interested in your course subject. 2. Use cringe-worthy language and cheap gags.

  13. How to write an excellent personal statement in 10 steps

    Use your closing couple of lines to summarise the most important points in your statement. 9. Check your writing thoroughly and get someone else to check it, too. 10. Give your brain a rest by forgetting about your personal statement for a while before going back to review it one last time with fresh eyes.

  14. Writing your personal statement

    Dr Phil Porter - Associate Dean Education (Student Experience) The best way to approach writing a personal statement is to consider it like a rock concert... which may sound mad. If you consider a rock concert, it starts with a big lively song to get everyone in the mood and ends with a similar song. So that's one of the most important ...

  15. Personal statement FAQs

    Personal statement FAQs. We've gone through some of the most commonly asked personal statement questions and put all the answers in one place. Your personal statement is a big part of your uni application. It's where you can show universities why they should give you a place on your chosen course. Read on for quick tips on writing your personal ...

  16. Guide to UCAS & Personal Statements

    4. Be careful with humour or quotes - the admissions tutor may not have the same sense of humour as you and it could be a waste of characters! 5. Proofread it aloud, and get as many people to check it as possible so that you have a lot of different perspectives - ask your teachers, friends, and family. 6.

  17. Five top tips for writing your UCAS personal statement

    Fran:. Tip 1. University is such a massive personal and financial investment, so it's so important to pick the right subject for you. I can assure you that, once you have, writing your personal ...

  18. UCAS Personal Statements Are Changing in 2025

    Since 1993, UCAS has required university applicants in the UK to submit a 4,000-character Personal Statement during the application process, which would then be accessed by university admissions teams to assist in the shortlisting process. However, it has been confirmed by UCAS that this process will be changing as soon as 2025.

  19. Personal Statement FAQs

    This takes you through how to write a personal statement step-by-step, and goes into far more detail than this FAQ does. If you feel you need more help, check out our personal statement editing and critique services where our professional editors will review your statement to make it a success. 16.

  20. How To End A Personal Statement: Great Final Paragraphs

    When considering how to end a personal statement, don't summarize existing content in a repetitive conclusion. Instead, clarify your suitability with a new example and evidence your value to the institution. Lastly, outline your ambitions in relation to the opportunities presented by the course. I've broken down each of these elements in ...

  21. How to write your UCAS Personal Statement

    This podcast is for you if you are applying through UCAS, and are writing your UCAS Personal Statement In just one hour, over 10 super-short episodes, I'll give you information and insight into the admissions process, and a very practical guide on writing your statement. Just listen, take notes, and start writing.

  22. Explore UCAS Tips And Guidance For 2024

    Most students rely on UCAS for support and guidance since it works as a toolkit to get information about the university, its application process, apprenticeships and a wide range of other resources that can be used for applying to universities in the United Kingdom.The service is commonly known as the UCAS application services where all the international uses it to plan and organize the ...

  23. A 10-Step Guide to Writing an Outstanding Personal Statement

    Applying to college can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to writing a personal statement. This essay not only showcases your writing skills but also highlights your unique personality, achievements, and aspirations. While it may seem unnecessary, tedious, time-consuming, and just another tick-the-box, know that as each application is processed, grades are just one of the criteria ...

  24. How to start a personal statement: The attention grabber

    Top tips on how to write your statement opener. We spoke to admissions tutors at unis and colleges - read on for their tips. 1. Don't begin with the overkill opening. Try not to overthink the opening sentence. You need to engage the reader with your relevant thoughts and ideas, but not go overboard. Tutors said: 'The opening is your chance ...

  25. Personal statement advice: English

    English personal statement pitfalls to avoid. A boring opening - avoid 'I have always loved literature/reading' or 'I have always had a passion for literature…'. Irrelevant context - talking about the Beatrix Potter book you were given when you were six probably won't impress. Overblown language - English applicants need a strong ...

  26. Grayson Murray's parents confirm the golfer died by suicide

    Professional golfer Grayson Murray died by suicide, his parents confirmed in a statement released through the PGA Tour. "We have spent the last 24 hours trying to come to terms with the fact ...

  27. How To Write Your Postgraduate Personal Statement

    Just start by showing your enthusiasm for the subject, showcasing your knowledge and understanding, and sharing your ambitions of what you want to achieve. Avoid cliches . Remember, this opening part is simply about introducing yourself, so let the admissions tutor reading your personal statement get to know you. Keep it relevant and simple.

  28. Advice for parents, guardians and carers

    If your child has decided university is the right path for them, here's what they'll need to know about making a UCAS application. Help your child write a great personal statement Taking a positive approach, and leaving enough time to do a good job, really can make your child's application stand out from the crowd.