After all, you need to leave an admissions tutor reading your personal statement with a strong lasting impression – one that will leave them no choice but to make you an offer (or at least invite you to an interview and get to know you better).
Check out our advice below when writing the end of your personal statement:
- What you can write – things you might want to talk about
- Tips when writing it – how to think about or approach the conclusion
- What NOT to do – final checklist of what you shouldn’t write
While you don’t have to cover all of these, here are a few ideas for what you may want to talk about in the conclusion of your personal statement:
Tie it back to what you’ve written earlier
Book-end your personal statement, by revisiting the key points you’ve already spoken about in the main body of your personal statement, and re-emphasise them here in your conclusion.
A key academic skill at degree-level is being able to form a structured written argument, including a conclusion that summarises the key points (and does it with a punch).
Reiterating key skills, interests and experiences you’ve already touched on can give your statement a satisfying sense of closure and is one last chance for these to hit home.
Is the start of your personal statement the best it can be? Check out our guide to writing a killer statement opening.
Talk about the future
Looking ahead to the future is an optimistic way to conclude your personal statement. This indicates that you’re goal-oriented – an admirable quality – and you’ve carefully thought about how this university course fits into your plans.
This doesn’t mean you have to have the next five to 10 years of your life planned out, though. Even if you have a broad sense of the different career paths you might want to pursue – or any related life ambitions you want to fulfil – it’s worth mentioning them here (and more importantly, how this course will help you achieve those).
Just be careful about throwing out too many different career possibilities.
Learn more about career prospects for your subject (and more) in our subject guides.
Your university experience
An alternative approach to your conclusion is to talk a little more generally about what you want to get from your overall university experience – but only if you’re certain you’ve effectively communicated your passion, knowledge, and skills for the course elsewhere.
For instance, would you like to build your confidence meeting people from a variety of backgrounds, having grown up in a small town or village? Are you hoping to engage with a local community through a mutual passion or vocation, such as a religious community, a special interest group, or similar?
Also, talk about how will you be an asset to your chosen university.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you sit down to finish your personal statement:
Take a break and come back to it
We wouldn’t recommend writing your personal statement in one sitting. But if you’ve written a large chunk of your statement already, it’s worth putting your laptop away and coming back to tackle the conclusion.
The main body of your statement – consider it the ‘main course’ of the meal – is the key part that will do most of the talking for you, and likely take the most time. So you don’t want to write your conclusion – your ‘dessert’, so to speak – half-heartedly or just to get the whole thing over with.
Take a break and come back to the conclusion with a fresh pair of eyes and invigorated enthusiasm.
Note, this is a good reason to leave yourself plenty of time to write your personal statement, rather than rushing to get it done. The UCAS deadline for most courses is 15 January, but you’ll probably have to get your statement into your school long before then.
Read back what you’ve written
Read back your statement a few times to remind yourself what you’ve said already (especially if you’ve taken a break from it).
This might inform what you reiterate in your conclusion. You might surprise yourself, and find that the ingredients for your conclusion are already there, or that some parts fit better in your conclusion where they’ll have more impact.
Alternatively, reading your statement back over can help you decide what you don’t need to bother saying again, which will save you doing the below…
Keep the ending of your personal statement short, concise, and to the point.
Don’t drag your conclusion out unnecessarily. This will only hurt the strong impression the rest of your statement has worked hard to create.
Like the start of your personal statement, try to avoid cliches, quotes, or asking rhetorical questions that you’re not going to answer. It will leave an admissions tutor wanting more, but not in a good way.
You don’t want them looking ahead at how much they have left, rather than reading what you’re actually saying.
Make notes as you write
Inspiration can strike when you least expect!
In fact, the absolute perfect ending might come to mind while you’re still getting the main 'meat and potatoes' of your statement right. This might even be a few impactful phrases, but it all helps.
Rather than push it to the back of your mind when you get to the end, make a note now, either further down the page or in a separate doc. That way, you already have something to work from.
Keep a document on your phone to make notes on-the-go until you’re next in personal statement mode. That way, you’re not struggling to remember that great idea you had on the bus a week earlier.
What do your UCAS choices have in common?
While you can’t make specific references to a particular university or course at a university, you can talk generally about things that apply to all of your choices.
The only thing to keep in mind is that if you pursue a different university (or course) through Clearing later, they may see this.
Search for a course and learn more about your choices, including modules, graduate stats, and student satisfaction scores.
Finally, here are some things you should definitely not do in the conclusion to your personal statement:
The exact same information you’ve written elsewhere: while you can use your conclusion to reiterate key points, careers expert Alan Bullock warns against simply regurgitating that which you've already said, especially if it doesn't add something new or interesting:
'I often read statements that end with a bland, unsubstantiated claim, like: "In conclusion, I believe that my passion for business and my strong work ethic make me a perfect candidate for this course."
'This might be true, but it does nothing to differentiate you from other applicants. The most effective conclusions tend to be ones that add an extra dimension to your message and keep the reader engaged right up to the end of line 47.
'For example, give them one more little insight into your ideas, interests, or skills, or be specific about something you personally want to achieve from the course or from your wider university experience.'
Ask yourself what it’s adding to your statement by using this critical spot to talk about it.
Lots of new information: that said, you don’t want to introduce lots of new points in your conclusion, especially key information that might be better placed in the main body of your statement, where you can explore this in more depth.
Your conclusion should be simple and concise, rather than open up lots of new areas (that you won’t even address satisfactorily).
Questions you won’t answer: rhetorical questions are one of those things that you should leave out of your personal statement as a whole – especially in your conclusion, where you’re wrapping things up.
It’s all too easy for these to sound like you’re padding things out or filling your word count – your conclusion has a purpose, after all.
Famous quotes: many applicants use these in the beginning of their personal statement to grab attention. However, an admissions tutor wants to know more about you as a candidate, and what you have to say – not what a famous figure in your field said.
Anything too specific: remember that all of your UCAS choices will see your personal statement.
Therefore, don’t name-drop anyone specific, as it will give the impression that you’re not that interested in applying to any other universities.
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