Note from UniTasterDays - this content was kindly provided by Kat Knight, City University, London and Erin Tungate, King's College London, for the UniTasterDays Students' Guide to University brochure.
When reviewing applications, university
admission tutors will use academic information
like predicted grades, teacher references and
the personal statement to decide whether you
should be offered a place. Alongside this, the
personal statement is the opportunity for you to
tell universities directly:
• Why do you want to study the course?
• How have you engaged with the subject in your own time?
• What experiences have you had in preparation for university?
• What makes you unique?
• Mind-mapping is a great way for you to
think of key points to include, without the
pressure of putting them into sentences
or paragraphs. Universities often provide
resources to support with this as well.
• Are you still unsure? Look at university websites to find out more about the courses you’re interested in. Many universities explicitly list qualities that they like to see in students which may be a great place to start.
• Are you using lots of quotes? Whilst we encourage you to write about your extra reading, universities want to hear from you directly. Instead of writing a quote word for word, think about what a particular quote means to you using your own words and ideas.
• A little thesaurus-heavy? You should prioritise writing clearly and cohesively, rather than using extravagant language. Try reading the statement out loud to hear what does and doesn’t flow well.
• Over the character count? The personal statement has a 4,000 character limit. Use the ‘ABC method’ to think about keeping content relevant. When giving an example or discussing an experience, you should succinctly (A) summarise the activity, (B) be able to discuss the benefits and (C) link these to the course you are applying for. If this can’t be done, it might not be relevant!
If you are considering applying for English courses at university you could (A) discuss an assessment you wrote on the role of women in Shakespeare’s plays (B) as an example of developing your research and essay writing skills and (C) this shows good preparation for planning and writing coursework in an English Literature degree.
It is important for you to stick to deadlines given by your school or college – this will allow you enough time to receive written feedback and submit your application before the UCAS deadline.
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by Rebecca Wills
posted on 22 Feb '24
With so many graduates now entering the job market, a degree alone is not always enough. It is therefore very important that you work on developing your employability skills throughout your time at university, and university careers services are experts in offering a range of support to help you achieve this successfully. I will tell you more about some of the opportunities here.