B Roll Day 2

LET'S GET WRITING

Our writing tips and inspiration to get your personal statement looking sharp

Writing your personal statement

It's time to start writing your personal statement using your notes. It's best to draft it on a computer, so you can check for spelling and grammar errors, and save it regularly.

You can copy and paste it into your UCAS application when you're happy with your work. Already written your draft? Send it to us to review and give you feedback.

Update on our personal statement reviewing service

We're aiming to share our feedback with you as quickly as possible, so you can land the course of your dreams. But with lots of current requests, please note that our service may take up to 10 working days.

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.

6 quick tips

  1. Write what comes naturally
  2. Reflect your personality and motivation for the subject
  3. Don’t just state that you’re interested in the subject, give evidence to show you are
  4. Talk about what has inspired you to study this subject
  5. Consider where your passion came from – was it a particular topic, time period or experience you had?
  6. 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

When writing, it's best to find the link between your experiences, skills and the course you like. Try the ABC method.

  • Activity – What have you done?
  • Benefit – What skills/experience has it given you?
  • Course/Career – How does this relate to the course (or your future career)?

The ABC method in action

Activity

'I played an integral part in the school debating team for two years, debating in inter-school competitions....'

Benefit

'This has helped me to develop into a confident speaker…'

Course/Career

'…which will ensure that I positively contribute in mooting sessions.'

ABC examples from previous applicants

Student 1

'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.

Student 2

'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.'

Student 3

'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.'

Why are these good examples?

Using the ABC method effectively, students are drawing on their experiences and highlighting the skills they've developed. They emphasise how this will help them with their future careers/courses, showing passion for their chosen subject areas.

Writing a kick-ass personal statement

Watch our tips and guidance to help you make your personal statement perfect.

How to write a personal statement

Stand out from the crowd

Get ready to kick-start your writing. Here's all the information you need to write the perfect UCAS personal statement.

Important dos and don'ts

Do:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Proofread your personal statement by reading it out loud and ask friends, family or a teacher to check it for you
  • Give equal time to each area and try to find common aspects that show their similarities, especially if you’re applying for a joint degree or different subjects

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
  • 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

Ready to give writing a go?

Use our personal statement writer 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.

Need help getting in the zone?

It's normal to get 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.

You can also keep up-to-date with anything personal statement related through the UCAS website, our Getting Started Series and this hub.

How to contact us

Contact us at personalstatement@port.ac.uk if you have any queries, comments and questions, or if you have any trouble sending us your draft statement.

Finished your personal statement?

Hopefully you've got some great ideas flowing from the hub. We'd love to review it and give you feedback.
Send us your draft now