Your child may have decided by now that you are surplus to requirements, especially in school work and university advice! You may be the last people to find out any information about the UCAS process and what is needed to write a good personal statement. Now is the time to interfere and give some parental guidance. This guide should give you, as parents, some detail on what the statement should look like.Most importantly, make sure you have read it before they send it off.. a parental keen eye can always spot the glaring errors!
The best personal statements are well written, organised and have evidence of their suitability for the course. The material included in the statement should show a well rounded and thoughtful individual. The opening of the personal statement is key to illustrating why your child is different to all other applicants. Many students spend ages researching their course and begin by giving a few bland statements about how much they LOVE the subject… this is a sure fire fail! An inventive start is really important. Do not put quotes from leading thinkers in their subject and do not write a précis of other academics works.
The statement should have a clear structure and be written in a formal style.
- Why the course- a knowledge of the course and the specifics of interest. Try to link the course to something that they have done in life- Eg. A love of a certain documentary type. Avoid cliches! Do not start with “I am applying for ..” or “I have always wanted to be a doctor… “
- What skills do they have that support their suitability- course related.
- What personal characteristics do they have that will be useful on the course- time management, independent study habits, communication skills, creative thinking, problem solving, leadership.
- What has their sixth form course and any work experience taught them that makes them suitable- how have they overcome difficulties and learnt from these.
- How are they well rounded and any extra- curricular and hobbies – work experience, part time jobs and charity work are all useful in this part. Favourite books, types of TV programmes – if relevant.
- Finish with a conclusion summarising what they can bring to the University course and what they are looking forward to in the course. But all of these must have very specific examples to support their suitability and must be personal and explain and justify why they are suitable for the course. THE ABCs of personal statement writing can be summarised as…
- A – what activity have they done, academic, work experience, extra curricular
- B – benefit- how has it benefitted them
- C – the course – link all of this to the course thoroughout
Some useful links can be found
We run one to one UCAS application, personal statement writing and interview technique workshops as well as providing support for Oxbridge tests. Call us to discuss on 07872954217