Persuading Admissions Tutors in under 4,000 characters that you deserve a place on their course can be pretty daunting. So here are some dos and don’ts that will help.
- Tell us, in your own words, why you deserve a place.
- Be organised. Before you start writing, make bullet points of everything you want to include and order them in terms of importance.
- Start writing early. Give yourself plenty of time to re-read it, edit and check, check and check again.
- Be specific. Don't just say you're interested in a subject because it's interesting. Talk about what it is that interests you and why.
- Show passion. We want to know where this interest comes from, what excites you and how you indulge your passion.
- Show you are up-to-date with the subject: perhaps you could analyse a recent article or news event, or write a short blog post. Talk about any specialist magazines, blogs or websites you read and why you enjoy them.
- Only mention hobbies that reveal something relevant about you. Perhaps they have taught you good timekeeping skills, teamwork or given you extra insight or experience in your field of interest.
- Dedicate the majority of your statement to your studies and work experience and how this links in with the course you have applied for. Keep extra-curricular activities such as hobbies to a minimum unless they are closely linked to the course you have applied for.
- Proof read. Correct spelling and grammar is absolutely vital. A misplaced apostrophe or absence of capital letters can be seriously off-putting to Admissions Tutors. Use the spell-check on your computer and get parents and teachers to proofread your statement.
- Don't simply list what you have done. Saying you were captain of the cricket team or spent a week at a local newspaper is not very helpful unless you use it to show what you learned from the experience.
- Don't spend too long on the introduction. Concentrate on the main content of your statement and write the introduction last.
- Don't use cliches. One of the most overused opening sentences is: "from a young age I have always been interested in..."
- Don't use famous quotes from people you admire. We are interested in what you have to say - not James Dyson, Coco Chanel, Mark Zuckerberg...
- Don't list your interests, demonstrate them. Actually doing something such as joining a national society, volunteering for a conservation organisation or being involved in a charity shows you have passion and drive.
- Don't use slang, but on the other hand, don't be overly wordy or pretentious either. Keep it simple and clear.
- Don't ask too many people for advice. Input from parents and teachers can be helpful, but this is a personal statement - we want to hear your voice and personality.
- Finally, don’t feel pressurised into providing the full 4000 characters in order to impress. Quality is far more important that quantity.
Download our Unibox App for course specific help and tips.