Considering applying to a university? You are in the right place!
When applying for an undergraduate course at university prospective students are likely to be asked to write a personal statement.
It is usually a one page long document which summarizes best qualities of the student and explains why that person is a suitable candidate for a particular course. Great personal statement will surely make the candidate stand out of the crowd increasing the chances of securing a place at a university. Although it might sound complicated at first, there are a couple of tips that will help you improve your PS and leave an excellent impression to admissions officers.
Tip number 1: First impression matters.
Once your personal statement is finished have a good look at it. Are the paragraphs of the same size? It does not mean that they have to have exactly the same number of words or lines, but keeping them all nice and tidy will help you look more professional. Having one massive paragraph while others only contain a few lines makes you statement unattractive. Also, make sure you start with "Dear Sir/Madam" or "Dear Name Surname" if you know the person who is going to read your PS and do not forget to include you name at the end.
Tip number 2: Be honest.
Everyone wants to stand out amongst others which is great, but do not make a mistake by turning your statement into a big lie. Stay as close as possible to what you have actually done rather than making stuff up and pretending that you possess skills which you actually do not. Remember, most of the applicants are just teenagers like yourself!
Tip number 3: Keep it simple.
Some people think that complicated language and long sentences can make them sound professional, however, I do not recommend this in your personal statement. Keep your sentences and language clear, avoid using jokes and slang. Be positive and interesting, make sure everything you have written is relevant and most importantly about YOU.
Tip number 4: Ensure your personal statement makes sense – let others read it!
I know that sometimes it can be a bit embarrassing to ask other people to read your personal statement, but get over it. Hand a completed work to friends, family and teachers. Believe me, you will not regret it. These people will be able to spot spelling and grammar mistakes easily and give their own opinion. Even though everything makes perfect sense to you, it does not mean it makes sense to others. As a result, the more opinions you have the better improvements you can make when editing it.
Tip number 5: Do not try to write it in one go.
Personal statement is a significant piece of work which requires a lot of effort so do not expect to finish it in one go. Give yourself enough time to rethink if you have actually said what you wanted to. Consult other people as often as possible, ask for help if you are struggling to express yourself and give yourself plenty of rest. Fresh mind will help you to come up with fresh ideas.
Tip number 6: Catchy introduction and solid conclusion.
Ensure that your personal statement has a strong introduction to catch the eye of the reader right from the first line. Conclusion is almost as important. Although usually the shortest paragraphs they require a lot of attention. Resist the temptation to copy entire paragraphs from other personal statements that can be found online. Try to come up with something memorable (but not too cheesy) to leave that lasting impression. Admissions people get to read hundreds of personal statements and you want yours to be remembered at the end of the day.
Just to finish off I would like to mention one last thing:
Deal with the fact that you are going to make a lot of changes or even rewrite your personal statement completely. Many people (including myself when I had to do it) attempt tens of times until they are happy with the result. And finally, I truly hope these six little pieces of advice will help you turn your personal statement into a WINNING one a lot quicker.