Your time to write your statement
Your place to get it looking sharp
Discover our writing tips and inspiration to make your personal statement shine.
If you've already written your draft, remember that you can send it to us to review and give you feedback.
Your opening paragraph
The first line of your personal statement is the very first impression the university gets of you. So it's key to ensure your opener is original and reflects yourself as an individual.
It's best to draft it on a computer, so you can check for spelling and grammar errors, and save it regularly. You can then copy and paste it into your UCAS application when you're happy with your work.
6 quick tips
- Write what comes naturally
- Reflect your personality and motivation for the subject
- Don’t just state that you’re interested in the subject, give evidence to show you are
- Talk about what has inspired you to study this subject
- Consider where your passion came from – was it a particular topic, time period or experience you had?
- Start with a short sentence
Clichés to avoid
- ‘Even as a young child, I was always interested in Nursing...’
- ‘Physics has always been a passion of mine, ever since I was young...’
- ‘For as long as I can remember...’
- ‘Reflecting on my educational experiences...’
- ‘I have always enjoyed Musical Theatre and therefore want to study it at university...’
Using the ABC method
The ABC method is a great tool when when writing to find the link between your experiences, skills and the course you like.
- Activity – what have you done?
'I played an integral part in the school debating team for two years, debating in inter-school competitions....'
- Benefit – What skills/experience has it given you?
'This has helped me to develop into a confident speaker…'
- Course/Career – How does this relate to the course (or your future career)?
'…which will ensure that I positively contribute in mooting sessions.'
Examples from previous applicants
'I currently undertake work experience at my local nursing home, allowing me to communicate and empathise with the residents, especially those is difficult situations. This has given me a great base for practicing my listening skills, which will help aid my career as a social worker.
'I am in the process of conducting an independent research project on the environmental implications of face coverings in my local river. This has helped me expand my knowledge further and I hope my findings will provide a great base for studying a degree in Environmental Science.'
'Being a dedicated member of my local amateur dramatics society has allowed me to perform in front of large audiences many times. This has helped with my confidence and creative skills and helped develop my love for musical theatre further.'
Notice how they draw on their experiences and highlight the skills they've developed using the ABC method.
In doing son, they emphasise how this will help them with their future careers and courses, showing passion for their chosen subject areas.
Important dos and don'ts
- Use information on university websites and the UCAS website to find the skills and qualities universities are looking for in applicants
- Ask friends, family and teachers to remind you of activities you've participated in
- Explain and evidence everything – it’s easy to say you have a skill, but it's better to demonstrate an example of when and how you’ve used it
- Proofread your personal statement and ask friends, family or a teacher to check it over for you
- Give equal time to each subject area to find common aspects, especially if you’re applying for a joint degree or different courses
- 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
- Use clichéd lines such as ‘I've always wanted to be a teacher’, as it says nothing about your motivations or experiences
- Lie or plagiarise another statement – you'll be caught and it could result in your application being automatically rejected
- Use complicated language or make things up to sound impressive
Video: Writing a UCAS Personal Statement
Writing challenge 💡
Use our writer tool to put together a draft of what you want to say. We'll guide you through the process with tips on what to write.
When you're ready, download your draft, and send it to us to check it and give you feedback.
Got writer's block?
Sometimes half of the challenge is starting. If you feel like you're staring at a blank screen, try these 4 things:
1. Find your space
Set aside some time in a place where you're comfortable and won't be disturbed. Grab a notepad or computer.
2. Remember why you're doing this
What's influenced your decision to go to university? Look through your existing notes, or go to our planning your personal statement page and try the planning exercise.
3. Come back to it
Still stuck? That's ok. Take a breather and come back when you're feeling fresh.
4. Get some support
Writing your personal statement seems like a very individual task, but you're never alone. Support is always there if you need it, through teachers, friends and family or student support services.