A Level

5 Hacks for finishing your personal statement

You’re near the finish line. The dreaded personal statement is almost written. But it’s not finished yet, and the last hurdle can feel monumental, so here are 5 hacks for finally finishing your personal statement.

1. Have a night off

You’ve probably spent ages pouring over your personal statement, can recite it word for word in all its various iterations, and have the advice of parents/teachers/older siblings ringing in your ears.Please, take a night off! You need to be able to look at it objectively before you press send. Watch a movie (we recommend something like Anchorman or Mean Girls which won’t require too many brain cells), have a good night’s sleep, and try not to have nightmares about your word count.

2. Get someone else to proof read it for grammar and spelling

“It’s very impotent to proof you can spelling”… This is a TERRIBLE sentence, but, has no spelling mistakes. Get someone you trust (like a teacher or parent) to proof-read for grammar and spelling. Ask them specifically not to comment on the content but rather to check for glaringly obvious errors – you’ll be amazed at what you might have missed!

3. What are you saying?

Summarise each paragraph into a sentence and make sure there is something different being said in each one. For example, imagine you are a medical school candidate:

Paragraph 1: Introduction to why I want to be a doctor
Paragraph 2: Why I’m particularly excited about anatomy
Paragraph 3: Summary of my experience volunteering and running societies at school

If there is any repetition, consider cutting out some paragraphs. A short, concise statement is better than a long one that rambles on!

4. Put yourself in the Admissions Officer’s (AO) shoes

The AO will be reading hundreds of statements just like yours. Think about what would make yours stand out (in a good way – See our previous blog post with 5 mistakes to avoid like the plague).
They will have limited time and probably limited patience. Say the most important things you need to say FIRST and make 100% sure there are no obvious errors (see point 1) as this will severely damage your chances.

5. Am I applying for the right course?

  Read back your statement and ask yourself – is this the application for the course I’m applying for? If you’re applying for Geography, there is no point in telling the AO about how well you did in your GCSE history coursework. Your statement needs to sing about how perfect you are for the course you’re applying for. But remember the golden rule of what we’re trying to highlight: commitment NOT cliché.

Need some more help? Why not try one of our tutors!

Good luck!

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