Smash your personal statement

Taking the next steps into life after school is daunting – we know, we’ve been there. Getting started with the university applications can be the hardest part. Don’t worry, we’re here to help, with our guide to writing a winning personal statement.


This is your time to shine. No one really likes writing about their achievements, and it’s hard to do without thinking you sound like you’re bragging. But admissions staff are looking to find out what makes you different from other candidates, and they’re never going to be able to do that if you’re dimming down your accomplishments. Showcase your talents, and make sure they know why you deserve a place on their course. As Rihanna once said, shine bright like a diamond.



It’s one of the hardest parts of writing your personal statement, but being concise is key. You only get 4,000 characters (not words!) or 47 lines – whichever limit you reach first – so make sure you get straight to the point, and don’t go off on a tangent.


One of the most important essays you write in your life, make sure you give it the time and attention it deserves. If you write it last minute, you could make mistakes, or leave out vital information. Start planning your paragraphs in advance – write a bullet point plan of things to include and work this into an essay. You’ll be thankful when you send it away and you know you gave it your best shot.



Admissions staffare tired of reading the same personal statement over and over again. It takes something a bit different to wow these days. Why not use your imagination to add some sparkle, and open with your favourite quote or lyric, explaining how it’s influenced your life? Or you could write it in the style of the course you’re applying for: for example, if you’re applying for journalism, write it like a news article; or if you’re applying for a science degree, write it like a lab report.


It goes without saying, but make sure to proofread your personal statement. A spell checker doesn’t always pick up everything, and you want to know that you sent away the best version possible. It’s tedious work, but the quality of personal statements is high, and the places are so limited, that a misplaced apostrophe or misspelled “your” could be the difference between an offer or not. Grammar is key!



It’s a total cliché, but it’s true – just be yourself. Any passion you have for the course you want to study will shine through, and that’s really what the admission staff are looking for. As long as you demonstrate your enthusiasm, your drive, and your capabilities to do well on the course, you’re in with a great chance at a place.


Don’t let anything stop you from submitting the best personal statement possible. Get writing!


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