Make your personal statement stand out

Personal statements are your chance to showcase your skills, passion and experience.

The UCAS form allows for a total of 4,000 characters, around 700 words, so you need to think carefully about the points you want to put across.

To help you get started, our student Monika shares her top tips below.

If you're planning to begin your studies in September 2025, you'll answer six questions instead of completing a personal statement. The questions will cover similar topics to the personal statement, so be sure to check Monika's tips.


Be prepared

Get started by writing your ideas down. This will help you plan what you’re going to say and create a clear structure. Use a word doc, so you can write drafts and keep editing while checking your character count as you go along.

Bullet points are a great way to list all of the things about yourself in the first instance, and then you can start to build on this – but don’t use them in the final draft.

Good use of language, grammar and punctuation can indicate to an admissions tutor that you’re able to construct a piece of writing effectively, so this should be in paragraphs.


Get to the point

The best personal statements get to the point quickly. Don’t waste your time trying to think of a catchy opening, it’s often a complete turn-off.

Your interest in the course is the biggest thing. Start with a short sentence that captures the reason you’re interested in studying the area you’re applying for and communicates your enthusiasm for it.


Link it back

Anything you mention in your personal statement should be linked back to skills you’ve developed and how they relate to the course you’re applying for.

As an example, if you mention a part-time job, tell us what transferable skills you have as a result – time management, communication, working under pressure. If you can, tell us how these skills apply to the course you’re wanting to study.

If you’re struggling to think of things you do outside of your studies, it might be time to organise some work experience.


Write about your extra-curricular activities

Your extra-curricular activities can be anything!  Whether it’s taking part in sports, volunteering experience, part-time work, or your hobbies – share anything you can offer outside of your academic studies.

This is an opportunity to show the admissions tutor why you should have a place on their course. It is most likely that every other person applying will be predicted the necessary grades, so avoid clichés and make sure you stand out.


Be real

Be genuine and tell the truth on your personal statement. You may be asked about claims you’ve made in an interview. And never copy anyone else’s work. UCAS uses sophisticated software to detect plagiarism.

Get someone else to check it – particularly for spelling, grammar and punctuation, which you can often miss yourself. Your School Careers Advisor should be able to help you with this.

As you’re drafting, you can keep going back to expand on (or remove!) things before you submit it on UCAS.


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