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Writing a good personal statement

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Writing a good personal statement

How to write the best statement you can when applying to UCAS

When you apply through UCAS, you will need to write a personal statement.

Admissions tutors use personal statements alongside other information like subjects and grades to help them decide who they'll offer places to.

This is your chance to tell the admissions tutor about yourself. So it's important to explain who you are, what makes you a good student and why you should be offered a place.

About your personal statement

You'll only be able to submit one personal statement, even if you send your application to more than one university.

Your personal statement should be no more than 400 to 500 words. That's 4,000 characters.

Getting started

Before writing your personal statement, learn more about the subject you are interested in.

Read about how it is taught, what careers it can lead to, and what skills it requires. Then think about how your own skills, interests and experiences match up. 

This will help you write a statement that reflects who you are and why you are interested in the subject.

Writing your statement

Next, find somewhere quiet, make sure you have everything you need and are comfortable. You should explain:

  • why you are interested in the subject
  • how your skills and knowledge will help you in your studies
  • what relevant work experience you have or extracurricular activities you are interested in
  • anything else relevant you plan to do before starting your course.

Be yourself, be positive, and give examples wherever you can. If you're passionate about the subject, what can you tell admissions tutors to prove it?

Writing style

Your personal statement should be clear, concise and easy to read. To do this:

  • write in plain English
  • use active voice instead of passive 
  • write in short sentences
  • use short paragraphs.

There is a useful explanation of active versus passive voice on the British Council website.

If you get stuck, try talking aloud about why you like the subject, either to yourself or to someone else. We naturally speak more simply than we write.

This will help you get your thoughts out and explain them in a way that's easy to understand.

Before you submit your statement

Finally, get someone else you trust to read through your personal statement and correct any spelling, grammar or punctuation. This could be a member of your family, a teacher or a friend.


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