The majority of the college application process is relatively straightforward. While applying to most universities in the UK, you’ll have to provide details on your classes and grades, as well as standardised test scores and other achievements and accolades. Your accomplishments must speak for themselves on a large portion of the application.
On the other hand, the personal statement is unique, and it is your opportunity to express yourself, which you don’t want to miss!
What is a personal statement?
In the United Kingdom, the personal statement is an essential component of university applications. It’s your time to show how you’re different from everyone else, aside from your birth name and UCAS ID. You have only 3500 – 4,000 characters to persuade your preferred university that you are the finest applicant and that they should make you an offer right away.
Since you only have a limited number of characters, your personal statement must be excellent.
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to compose a truly exceptional piece.
- TAKE YOUR TIME
Do not rush through it. A great personal statement does not come together in a few hours. It may take a couple of days to almost a month to finish the version that is worth finally submitting. It’s sometimes beneficial to take a break for a few days and then return to it with fresh perspectives. Another tip is to ease up on your word limit for your initial draft and make the most out of the resources available. For example, students who nestle on campus, like Oxford university halls of residence or Cambridge university student housing can take advantage of their access to the college library and even ask for their professor’s guidance.
- FOCUS ON YOUR BEST ATTRIBUTES
You’re attempting to sell yourself to the university in these 3500 – 4,000 characters. It’s all about how fantastic that thing is in a perfect product proposal, and it’s the same with your personal statement. You should write about your personal experiences, knowledge, and goals for the future. “I could not score that well in my algebra paper, but I suppose this is acceptable given how much I despise it,” is not something you should write.
- MAKE SURE IT’S YOUR WORK, IDEAS AND VOICES
We recommend that you don’t read any other personal statements until you’ve completed the first several draughts of your own. It’ll just offer you a misleading impression. You are one-of-a-kind, and it’s pointless to blindly follow strict rules or someone else’s ideas. This is, after all, about you, not about someone else.
- SHOW, DON’T TELL
One of the most common errors students make is simply stating what happened rather than transporting the reader to the exact moment it occurred and presenting a story. It’s tedious to read: “When I finished my English essay paper, I was thrilled and felt empowered.”
“When I penned down the last word of my English essay paper, my heart filled with enthusiasm!” This way, the writing becomes much more interesting and engaging for the reader.
- READ YOUR ESSAY OUT LOUD, AS MANY TIMES AS YOU CAN
Before submitting your essay to universities, it comes as no surprise that you should get the grammar and spell-check done. You can either take the help of your professor or even use apps like Grammarly, Microsoft word or google Docs to spell check your essay.
Set aside time to read over your article aloud; doing this with your friends or family will give you an added advantage. This will assist you to catch things your mind may otherwise miss.
You can also get other people’s opinions on the essay and ask them what message and tone they got out of it at first glance. For example, students living in residence halls or at accommodation near Bristol University can exchange their essays and help each other out with feedback.
HERE ARE A FEW COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID WHILE WRITING YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT
- Not being able to decide which event or experience to talk about
Another common mistake is to use your personal statement as a résumé or a summary of all your high school achievements. The Common App is a platform where you can apply to the universities you wish to. Its activities section, not your personal statement, is where you should list your accomplishments. Concentrate on one or a few related experiences and go into great depth about them.
- Giving a report or summary of every event
Your essay isn’t a chronological account of everything that transpired during that time period. Instead of making your personal statement a summary of events, just include essential information that adds to the story. Keep in mind that the purpose is to express yourself through what matters to you and who you are.
- Using too many cliche/ slangs
Avoid using overused quotes from prominent persons. Better yet, unless it’s a message from someone you are closely related to that had an impact on you, try to stay away from quotations from other people in general. Including the famous lines in your essay will not make it stand out, and it will take up substantial space where you could express yourself.
You should also avoid using broad language or making extravagant claims such as “It was the best day of my life.” Because they’re so cliche, these statements obfuscate your message, making it difficult to understand what you’re really saying. Show them why it was the best day of your life, rather than just telling them.
Need help in picking the right accommodation for you?
AmberStudent serves millions of students worldwide by providing the best options and rewarding experiences because we apprehend its value.
They are upgraded with the latest COVID-19 protocols and would be more than happy to assist you in booking your ideal home.