The Personal Statement is the only part of the UCAS application form which gives you a chance to say something about yourself, and at the same time make a positive impression. It is vital to get it right and this guide explains how to put a good UCAS Personal Statement together. As our advice article Six Top Tips for an outstanding UCAS form explains, your Personal Statement may well be the deciding factor in whether you get an offer.
Over 50,000 people read this article in the last year. We hope it helps you too! Last revised July 2016.
Tackle the UCAS Personal Statement in stages
Getting started can be tough, but if you approach the task as a series of stages, you will find it easier. Get started early so that you can give the process the time it will need. You'll probably find that you need to come back to the task over several sessions. UCAS advise you to start a month before you submit the application. We agree, and even earlier is better. Starting before the summer holidays is ideal: it gives you time to do all the necessary thinking and to beef up your cv if you need to. Don't leave the UCAS Personal Statement to the last minute!
You'll fill in your UCAS Form online, UCAS online provide a personal statement worksheet and personal statement tool, but they're just worksheets with headings. We think its better to start off by working off-line so that you don't feel under time pressure and can cut and paste as much as you want. You can paste the results into UCAS online later.
Here are the next stages to follow to put a great UCAS Personal Statement together
- Know what the admissions selection criteria are for your course
- List everything which might be relevant.
- Decide what is best to include.
- Decide on the order to put your points in.
- Sort out where the supporting detail should come, and what it should be.
- Write a draft and show it to your adviser. Be prepared to write several more drafts!
Each stage is described in detail in the sections below. Just click the + sign to expand a section.
Very few people get the UCAS Personal Statement right first time. If you find yourself sweating blood over it you will be in good company, but don't skimp on the effort. You will be lucky to get away with rewriting it only twice.
For more about the UCAS Form and Personal Statement in particular, visit the UCAS website.
Content by kind permission of Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies