Personal statement writing tips

Thursday 19 December 2019, UCAS advice


Personal statement writing tips


Getting started - When you open a new document and try to start writing your personal statement for the first time, it’s easy to not know where to start. The introduction seems the best place to begin, but this can be the hardest section, so don’t worry if it’s not great at first.

To brainstorm, make a list of points that you want to include and then group them under subheadings (e.g. hobbies). Or instead, if you’ve made applications before, take extracts from these previous statements and putting them together in a new document gives you a base to work on. When I first did this, the structure was non-existent, and it didn’t have everything I wanted to say – but it gave me a good place to start.

The introduction - Don’t worry if it’s cliched. For a subject like medicine, it is standard to talk about helping people while applying scientific knowledge. This is fine if you can justify it by linking it to your work experience or volunteering.

Support - Getting your teachers, mentors, friends and even professionals you meet go over your statement will really make a massive difference. They will help you find the words for sections that you didn’t know how to develop and will give you suggestions that will make your statement really impressive. 

Also, there are types of mistakes that only professionals in your field will recognise – a doctor reading my medicine statement noticed that I said ‘Acute Medicine Unit’ instead of ‘Acute Medical Unit’ – it seems small, but the fewer mistakes the better. Finally, right before you send it off, the best thing you can do is ask a teacher to look over it for any grammatical mistakes.

If people give you different advice, pick what YOU want. After all, it’s your personal statement, and at the end of the day, they’re just giving advice. It must represent you.

Good luck!

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