Ten Top Tips for a UCAS Personal Statement

Top Tips for a UCAS Personal Statement

Right now I’m sharing my top suggestions for a UCAS private statement.

If you have kids coming into Yr 12, you will be stunned how speedily teachers encourage pupils to get started thinking about their private statements. At Flea’s school, it was a typical subject of conversation from the January of Yr 12 (or lower sixth). But it’s not always simple to know how to make a personalized statement stand out.

If you are sitting down and staring at a blank form suitable now, I’m here to enable!

When to start out your personalized statement

Pupils want to commence looking at what they will place on their private statements in Calendar year 12, or reduced sixth sort. Which is due to the fact this is the year you have time to do excess things that you can put on your assertion. It’s not so straightforward in 12 months 13.

As to when to publish your personalized statement, it depends. If you’re applying for drugs/veterinary science/dentistry or Oxbridge, you may well have to have to commence crafting your statement in the summer in advance of 12 months 13. You’ll need to submit your last UCAS application in mid-October. If you’re applying for most programs, though, you have to have to post your application in January of Calendar year 13. I’d recommend commencing to strategy out your assertion in September/Oct.

My daughter has just submitted her UCAS form and she obtained heaps of information from admissions officers and instructors. More than the summer months she also did exercise interviews and admissions workshops at Exeter and Oxford universities when attending summer months faculties. As a Mum I also attended various webinars with admissions tutors providing mom and dad tips, operate by Cambridge and Lancaster Universities. We’ve listened to a lot of tips, fundamentally.

How to make your private assertion stand out

It’s quick to more than-imagine the composition of your personal assertion. But it is not that deep.

Particular statements really should typically stick to what is referred to as the “three paragraph rule”. The a few paragraphs to include in a fantastic personal statement are:

  1. Why this subject/course
  2. Educational and tremendous curriculars
  3. Potential plans and extra-curriculars

The initial merchandise on the record is self-explanatory. The second is about factors you have performed in college and how you have developed on that discovering outdoors of faculty. That could possibly be as a result of items like lectures, podcasts, newspapers and so forth. And lastly (and most briefly) your third paragraph must mention your designs, together with any pertinent hobbies and pursuits.

What’s heading to make your assertion stand out is how you use these paragraphs to display your aptitude, your enthusiasm  and how your techniques make you probably to be successful on this class. If you do that, your individual statement will stand out.  

Beneath is a tough case in point of how to construct a personalized assertion. This is based mostly on various conversations and webinars with college admissions tutors in the last two yrs. It might not be absolutely applicable to you, but it ought to be a helpful guideline when it comes to what to involve and what to skip. Read on to obtain tips on particular statements commonly.

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UCAS Personalized Assertion Instance/Template:

More than-arching introductory assertion:

As outlined we’re kicking off by conveying why this subject. Please do not say, “Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated by…” This is monotonous and it is a cliche. We’re going to be much better than that. Consider and imagine of an over-arching statement or story that describes how you sense about this matter. Just one pupil I know opened with, “Economics is a religion” while yet another spelled out how checking out a unique set of caves sparked an interest in the issue she was making use of for. Aim for one thing additional like, “Since browsing the Whatsoever Exhibition at the Ashmolean, I’ve realised that history is a lens by means of which we realize how societies function.”

Academic/Extended analyze:

Next, we go onto what you have acquired in the course of A-Stages. Don’t forget, universities like A-Stages. But they like when you increase that discovering outside the house of college due to the fact you are so passionate about your issue.

Something you do exterior of faculty like this is termed a tremendous-curricular and they are quite crucial in aiding a individual statement stand out. Here’s what a single university internet site posted this calendar year:

So a standard own assertion might say, “As aspect of my A-Degree in philosophy, I’ve savored producing a mixed media task about how Plato’s philosophy is educated by the pedagogy of Aristotle.”

But a Fantastic individual assertion could follow up with, “This encouraged me to subscribe to Philosophy Now magazine, exactly where I was fascinated by the collection of posts penned by [clever person] about the philosophy of schooling.” 


When conversing about your tutorial studying, no matter whether it is in faculty or outside, discuss about what you realized. Don’t just say you examine a reserve. Convey to the universities what you thought of it. Did you agree, disagree, or deepen your knowing of an situation?  You could say something like, “When studying [clever book] I located the author’s arguments about the absence of ladies from present day philosophy unconvincing, looking at the proof to be found in the get the job done of [second clever book] or “I located listening to this podcast collection genuinely useful in thinking about the affect of political change on communities, and I was equipped to apply this to my A-level coursework in sociology.”

PS: a take note on super-curriculars: 

Super curricular activities are really crucial but they can be anything. Of program you can go to programs and lectures and summertime faculties, but similarly you may subscribe to a journal, hear to a podcast, enjoy TED talks or do do the job working experience.

And repeat: 

Try out to use a number of examples of this kind of discovering and how you engaged with your subject. For each new exercise you mention, recall to say what you uncovered and if you agreed/disagreed or ended up impressed to research anything new.


The 3rd part of your assertion is optional. If you have place, you can mention applicable added-curricular actions such as sports activities, hobbies and associations. This isn’t crucial, nevertheless, significantly for tutorial centered topics.

As just one admissions tutor explained to my daughter, “If you’re making use of to Oxford to research record, I really do not give a **** if you have been on the cricket group.” With out exception, every single university professional I’ve spoken to has stated you really should only give the briefest point out to additional-curricular routines in your personalized statement. It’s actually more than enough to involve a single sentence that states, “In my spare time, I get pleasure from competing in karate tournaments and have a element-time task in a neighborhood Diy retail store.”

The only cause to point out an action at length is if the skills you created through that exercise are straight related to your proposed degree. For illustration, did climbing assistance you fully grasp geology? Did volunteering in a children’s hospital help you construct capabilities you’ll want for a nursing diploma? You may possibly say some thing like, “In my spare time, I am in a community theatre group and have taken on a number of supporting roles. This has offered me a fantastic perception into how historic drama can be thrilling to a present day audience.”

Lastly, have a rationale to analyze:

A enthusiasm for economics or heritage or French is fantastic. But universities want to hear you have a cause to study. So if you can, briefly point out, “I’d enjoy to study this matter at college to guidance a long term job in…”

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Prime Tips for a UCAS Personalized Assertion


Start to prepare in Yr 12

A very good tactic is to have a spreadsheet or record. Every single time you just take component in an action, observe a lecture or go through a good reserve, make a observe of what you read through. Also make temporary notes on some thing you agreed with, some thing you realized, and one thing you didn’t concur with. These notes will variety the foundation of a wonderful personal assertion in Yr 13, when you can cherry decide your finest insights and activities.

Make a place of examining productive illustrations of private statements

There are sites wherever you can obtain examples of statements that were being created by individuals implementing to your study course and maybe even your selected college. This will give you a excellent thought of what your competitiveness may possibly seem like.

This is not your parents’ personalized statement 

It made use of to be about displaying you have been good at college and a rounded particular person. That just is not the circumstance any far more. It is more like a occupation application in which you are demonstrating your skills and information.

You don’t have to have to commit a fortune

Fancy journeys to Namibia to help you save an endangered animal aren’t a requirement. It’s perfectly okay to browse Character journal as an alternative.

Limited of factors to mention in your own assertion? 

If you want to include out of college routines on a personal statement, incorporate points that demonstrate you’ve discovered or made a ability that is directly applicable to your preferred course. For example. “Working portion-time in a cafe served me to attain an understanding of how seasonal businesses maximise revenue in a shorter trading period” or “Taking portion in the DofE permitted me to see the landscape of the Yorkshire Moors up shut, and i was able to see the effects of weather alterations on drinking water levels in the streams down below Random Town.”

Avoid exaggeration and cliche

When it will come to cliches, everybody has experienced a enthusiasm for their subject matter due to the fact they were being young, and every person constructed teamwork and communication techniques by actively playing football, or what ever activity. Really don’t go down this highway, and undoubtedly never point out anything that isn’t accurate and you can’t back up if you get questioned about it.

Really don’t emphasis also considerably on school functions

Getting in the debate society or regulation culture is a wonderful factor, as is profitable an academic prize or signing up for a good school journey. But your lecturers will point out these things in your tutorial reference. Offered you have finite house in your UCAS application, never waste it talking about items that will be incorporated elsewhere on your kind. 

Get tons of suggestions

Talk to instructors for views on your particular assertion. They’ll know what functions and can give you feedback and advice on early drafts. Request a lot more than a person teacher to get a extra rounded watch of your statement, and ideally talk to at minimum just one instructor who did the subject matter you’re making use of to examine!

Be genuine and enthusiastic

If you want to know how to make your private assertion stand out, be your self. Persons who follow model statements all go through the similar textbooks and pay attention to the identical podcasts. You can stand out by getting that market that seriously pursuits you. In addition to, you could generate a great assertion that will make you audio like a fully distinctive person and stop up on a course that doesn’t match you at all.

Evidence, proof and evidence again 

And when you’ve done that – evidence it yet again. Have another person else proof your statement. Never just evidence the assertion, look at that you have accomplished all the packing containers and the class quantities are correct. I can neither confirm nor deny rumours that I know a teen who utilized for the erroneous college at just one college, and the improper class at a different. Luckily for us a teacher picked it up, but it is as well to print issues out, wait a day, then check out them carefully.


Linked Examining

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