A personal statement is essentially a description of you. It is used to inform universities of your interests, talents and accomplishments. This will make you seem like a desirable applicant.
Applying to university can be a stressful time. Your personal statement may seem daunting to write. But this article will help to put your mind at ease. By breaking it into steps, it can become much easier.
Your personal statement is an account that you have written yourself. Therefore, you are able to reuse it for different UCAS applications because it is about you and written by you. There are copy catch systems in the personal statement library, owned by UCAS. These detect whether your personal statement is similar to previous entries. However, if your same name is used, then it is not plagiarism and can be reused.
In this article, I will break down the most common questions regarding personal statements to hopefully make them easier for you to understand.
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Can you re-use your personal statement for UCAS if you have applied multiple times?
As I have previously mentioned, UCAS can easily detect whether your personal statement is similar to other entries they have received. If your statement is similar to another by thirty percent or more, UCAS will be notified. To learn more about this, look here at this UCAS guide.
However, if the similar statement was also entered by you, then it will not be classed as plagiarism. Your new personal statement will not be compared to your previous ones. Your statement will only be redundant if it is similar to another applicant’s personal statement.
Do you have to change your personal statement if you are applying to the same university?
You do not have to change your personal statement at all. However, it may be a good idea to do this if you didn’t get in the first time. It is not recommended to use the same personal statement if you didn’t get into your chosen university with it. This may be because certain things are missing. There are plenty of things you could add to make your personal statement even better.
Universities may expect you to add new experiences to your personal statement, which you have collated over the previous year.
If you want to discover how to boost your personal statement and stand out from the crowd, click here to visit the UCAS website.
Should you re-use your personal statement when re-applying to medical school?
The simple answer is no. Medical school universities expect you to write a new personal statement if you didn’t get a place the first-time round. It can of course be similar to your previous personal statement (as you are the same person!) but certain features would be expected to change.
For example, you can write about the same qualities and experiences that have made you want to apply for the course. However, in your new statement, you could write about your experiences in the last year and how you have retained commitment to your goals.
Therefore, if you don’t get into medical school the first time, it may be useful to have a productive gap year, meaning that you can add even more exciting things to your personal statement, which would make the universities want to give you a place.
Why is it important to write your own personal statement?
It is easy to think that writing a good personal statement can easily get you into university. However, you must remember the interviews. If you were to copy ideas from other applicant’s personal statements or write about things that you don’t know about, this could affect your chance of impressing the interviewer.
This is because they may ask you questions about your personal statement. This means that you should never reuse other people’s ideas and should make the content as true to yourself as possible. You need to be prepared to talk about your personal statement, so make sure that you are familiar with what you have written and are ready to impress the interviewer!
If you would like to explore more in-depth tips on how to smash that university interview, check out the Think Student article on top tips for interviews, by clicking this link.
How long does the personal statement for UCAS have to be?
A personal statement needs to contain a lot of information – considering its purpose is to summarise you! However, there is a 4,000-character limit. This results in an average of only 550-1,000 words. Your personal statement will therefore only be about a side of A4.
However, you are only able to submit one personal statement when applying for five courses in one year. This means that your personal statement must be applicable for all of the courses you are applying to. This can be quite a challenging feat to achieve. If you need some guidance, the UCAS website can be helpful if you click here.
What should your personal statement include?
Your personal statement has quite a short word limit, because of this you need to make your sentences short but impactful with plenty of information which puts you in the best light. The best personal statements include reasons about why you want a place on the course. Therefore, it would be best if you check out each individual course’s website, this will show that you have researched the university’s courses and are eager to learn.
You should also highlight any qualities and characteristics you have which you think will be beneficial to bring to the course. It would also be useful to mention any work you have done, for example volunteering, work experience or super curricular activities.
The purpose of your personal statement is to present your best self to persuade a university to give you a place. Therefore, you shouldn’t rush it and you must proofread again and again to give yourself the best possible chance of success. To make sure your personal statement includes everything you need, check out this article on the Think Student website, by clicking this link.
How do you write an Oxbridge personal statement?
Oxford and Cambridge are two of the hardest universities in the world to get into. You must make sure that your personal statement is as good as it can possibly be in order to stand out from the crowd. It is best not to reuse any previous personal statements and focus on new experiences which could help you get into the course.
The best tip for writing an Oxbridge personal statement is to start writing as early as possible. This is because it requires an immense amount of preparation. You also need to focus on being original and not falling into the trap of using clichés.
The number of applications that say, “I’ve always been interested in this” and “ever since I was young” is too many. You should aim to stand out. Focus on your academic success and try and immerse yourself in as many experiences as possible. Tell them about unique hobbies you have and your goals for the future. Personal statements are your chance to look your best.
Good luck with writing your personal statements!