A personal statement is an opportunity for students to sell themselves to the universities they have applied to and show that they are the best student for the course. When being asked what students should include in their personal statement, I provide the following advice:
1: Individual study skills – your student should be able to cite examples relating to their current academic work. Remember to keep them relevant and related to the course.
2: Self-awareness – your student will need to show they understand their own skill base. Are there areas they are keen to develop which are related to the course?
3: Motivation and commitment – what inspires your student to study this subject? For example, do they have a key defining moment or event that has pushed them to follow that subject?
4: Course understanding – your student needs to show they have done their research into the course content including modules. However, do not refer to a university by name as the personal statement will be read by all the universities they are applying to.
5: Research skills – encourage your student to show their academic skills through examples of good practice. The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a great example of independent research.
6: Time management – meeting deadlines is going to be key at university. Your student will have already had to contend with these at school or college. Part time jobs or volunteering experience can also evidence this with the right examples.
7: Enthusiasm beyond the syllabus – for example, what reading does your student do outside of college or sixth form? Or have they been to any summer schools or gone on specific relevant trips?
The key thing when writing a personal statement is to analyse what students have learnt from experiences and expand on them, ensuring they aren’t tempted to just list.
Also, encourage students to think about the language they use, keeping it positive and ‘upbeat’.
Finally and most importantly, students need to connect their skills and experience to their degree choice, ensuring they show their aspiration and passion for the subject throughout.
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by Marie Clifford
posted on 22 May '23
Students turn up to lectures or seminars, do some extra reading, submit their assessments, pass them with flying colours and get their degree. There might also be some socialising thrown in too. How can they make the most of their time at university? Read this blog to find out.Read more
by Ant Sutcliffe
posted on 11 May '23
Anyone who works with young people in working class areas, whether they be post-industrial towns, inner city, rural or coastal will know that they are some of the creative and bright children in the country. They have aspiration, they have talent, they are resilient. This blog outlines some initiatives to support these students to realise their potential.Read more
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