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How do I structure my personal statement?

Personal statements are among some of the worst things you have to write as a student - selling yourself is not as easy as you'd think! However, that is exactly what you have to do.

Your personal statement essentially should outline why you would be an asset to the University or to your course. Dependent on what course you are applying for they can often act as a basis for many of your questions at interview. That leads to the key issue - what do I put in and what do I leave out?

The general consensus is that a 75:25 split of academic to extra-curricular is ideal. Personally, i believe in opening with a strong (but short) introduction - avoiding quotes and overly romanticised statements but clearly displaying why you want to study the course. I would also generally advise avoiding humour as not all admissions tutors feel this is appropriate. This is then followed by a paragraph relating your current school activities to the course, highlighting any exceptional academic achievements and perhaps making reference to any particular area of research that has interested you. The next paragraph should display how your work experience and extra-curricular endeavours have prepared you for the course. An important tip is to go on to the university websites, read the prospectus and highlight the buzzword qualities they expect you to have so you definitely include them all at this stage. At this point again you should always link back any extra-curricular, voluntary or paid work to how it has prepared you for the course or whether it has sparked an interest in any particular area of the field. Make sure to not to make any statements about your qualities or skills without providing evidence to back it up! Your conclusion should only be a line or two that highlights who you are as a person and shows that you have a clear understanding of what the course entails.

There are many tips and tricks when it comes to writing personal statements but the most important thing is that they are personal to you - every course and student is different so there is no concrete formula. 

Ciara K. 13 Plus  English tutor, 11 Plus English tutor, A Level Engli...

3 months ago

Answered by Ciara, a Mentoring -Personal Statements- tutor with MyTutor


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Stephanie H.

Degree: Liberal Arts- English Literature and History (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: -Personal Statements-, History+ 7 more

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Degree: Criminology (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: -Personal Statements-, Sociology

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Sociology

“Hi, my name is Despina (you can call me Tina if it's easier for you!) and I study Criminology at Durham University. I love essay-based subjects and generally find my three A-Level subjects of study to link pretty well together, and bu...”

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Flaminia I.

Degree: International Relations and Political Theory (Doctorate) - St. Andrews Unversity University

Subjects offered: -Personal Statements-, Spanish+ 4 more

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Spanish
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Philosophy and Ethics
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“Hello! I am an MLitt Philosophy student at the University of St. Andrews and I fell in love with philosophy in the first year of IB. I am delighted to help with political philsophy, ethics, moral philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, ...”

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Ciara K.

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Degree: Law (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: -Personal Statements-, English Literature+ 4 more

-Personal Statements-
English Literature
English Language
Economics
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“About me I'm a 20 year old Northern Irish student currently studying Law at the University of Bristol.  I acheived 10 A*s and an A in my GCSE exams in 2013 - including full marks in English Language where I came first in Northern Ire...”

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