How can I write a personal statement that stands out?

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Given the amount of personal statements admissions officers have to sift through, the desire to write one that is striking is definitely something that you should be prioritizing. Luckily, its not as difficult as it may seem.

Firstly, I would say never underestimate the power of your opening and closing sentences. Generally, those are what stick in a readers mind. I would suggest starting with something that is almost shocking, something entirely unexpected. For example, I once proof read a personal statement that began with the sentence "I know nothing."
An ending, should be equally powerful, but the aim should be to deliver a final punch about how much you want what the univeristy has to offer.

Secondly, I would advise you to avoid writing a personal statement that begins to resemble a list of your acheivements. State what you have acheieved or participated in, but then make it more relevant by relating it back to the degree you want to study, or demonstrate how this proves that you have something to offer.

As an example, compare these two; which would you feel more partial to as an admissions officer?

"I participated in an international session of the European Youth Parliament."


"My participation in an international session of the European Youth Parliament proves my interest in the issues plaguing the world around me. It demonstrates how I am aware of the responsibility that comes with my education, and that I am prepared to use the knowledge I will acquire to improve the world around me."

Remember you are selling yourself. Write thinking not about what the university can offer you, but what you can offer it.

Lastly, I think passion is essential. You need to show that you are motivated and eager and prepared to work. Relate your passion for your chosen subject to the outside world. Make them believe that by accepting you, they are taking on a budding superstar in whatever field you may be trying to enter.

I am happy to read over your personal statement and make suggestions, help with cutting down characters, or answer any further questions.

Dominique L. Mentoring -Personal Statements- tutor, GCSE English Lang...

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is an online Mentoring -Personal Statements- tutor with MyTutor studying at Nottingham University

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