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How to write a successful personal statement

Writing a personal statement is difficult, especially as your school is saying one thing, your parents another and universitys a couple different thing! 

In my experience schools emphasise the importance of having all the extra curriculum such as Duke of Edinburgh and being in sports teams. However, universities are more focussed on your love for the chosen academic subject. Your personal statement should be a love letter to your subject! 

The most important aspect of a personal statement is for it to be PERSONAL! They want to know why you want to study the subject, not why your parents think you should. So before you start to write your statement, I would suggest doing a mind map of all the reasons you want to study the subject and then what you have done because you love your subject. For example I wrote about volunteering at an archive (as I want to stduy history) and about how my EPQ developed my research skills. 

Understandably, personal statements can sound cringey and embarassing, but it is important to show the university why they should pick you. 

A couple of tips from my own experience: don't start with a quotation unless you can fully explain it and it is completely relevant (otherwise it is a massive cliche); don't lie - if you have an interview it will come out and you can be rejected by all 5 universities; only do a short paragraph at the end about your extra curriculum, as you don't have many words and the unviersity care more about academics than what sports teams you were in and finally don't read anyone elses untill you have drafted your own, otherwise you will end up copying someones as their format is good - all personal statements go through a programme to look for plagarism, if yours is too similar to someone elses you could be rejected by all 5 universities. 

If you would like any more advice, please contact me - good luck!

Rachel M. A Level History tutor, GCSE History tutor

3 months ago

Answered by Rachel, an A Level Extended Project Qualification tutor with MyTutor


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Shailee M.

Degree: History (Bachelors) - Durham University

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Rachel M.

Degree: History (Bachelors) - Birmingham University

Subjects offered: Extended Project Qualification, Philosophy and Ethics+ 1 more

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History

“Hi, I am Rachel! I am currently in my first year of studying history at Birmingham. My love of history started when my Mum made my an Elizabeth I costume for school history week when I was 6. Since then I have gone on to study history...”

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