– Hey guys. Here are a few tips on how to make your personal statement stand out, how to differentiate you as an amazing person from all the other people that have the same grades as you. So admittance tutors read hundreds if not thousands of UCAS forms, personal statements, every single year, and they have to turn them into piles. They have to put them into a yes pile, a no pile, and maybe a maybe pile as well. We want to make sure that yours goes into the yes pile and not into the no pile.
So how do you make sure that personal statement stands out as amazing? When you’re writing your personal statement, remember that it goes to lots of different places, not just one place, so don’t start talking about how amazing this university is or how you’ve always wanted to study this part of the course, because you’ll get immediately rejected by all of the other universities. Then, if you don’t get into the university that you started talking about, then we’re in a little bit of a tricky situation. So, make sure you’re UCAS form, application, is general enough to cover every single thing, but you do need to start talking about the course that you are applying for. Now, this is really tricky if you’re applying for two different courses.
I mean really tricky if you’re applying for two different courses. But, most of you are only going to be applying for one course, like biochemistry, maybe slight change into biomedical sciences or something, but for most of you are only going to be applying for one course. Start talking about why you want to do that course.
Admissions tutors want people that are interested in studying that course. They don’t want people turning up just because they think it’s what they should be doing next. They don’t want those kind of people. They want those kind of people that are interested in what they’re going to be studying. When you’re talking about why you’re so interested in this, you should have evidence of things that you’ve done to show that you’re interested in this. Have you read this book, or did you go to this exhibition or did you go to a talk somewhere, or have you done this, this, this?
What evidence do you have to show that you are an interested, hard-working, dedicated to your subjects, person. This is what the admission tutors are looking for. They do not just want blank slates that they can fill up with information.
Don’t go crazy. Give them the really, really strong bits of information. Give them the bits that really, really emphasize what your strengths are and what your achievements are. Don’t list absolutely everything ever. So keep it within the character limit, of course, but keep it kind of like modest, but showing how awesome you are. I know this is going to be really, really hard.
The admission tutors want to admit you. Now, you need to let your personality shine through in your personal statements. It needs to be bubbling with everything that makes you awesome and amazing so that personal tutors really, really feel like they get to know you in your personal statement.
When you’re giving your evidence of things that make you amazing, your strengths, your achievements, what makes you interested in the subject, make sure it is you, your voice coming across and your personality coming across as well. Do not make it dull, do not make it bland, do not make it something that somebody else could have written. Make sure it’s personal to you. Let the personal tutors know how you are right for the course. What have you done, what reading have your done, and don’t just pick the best sellers.
I was talking to someone that does economics admissions, and he said every single person raves on about how they’ve read Free Economics, and that’s boring. I mean yeah, everyone’s read it. I’ve read it, and I’m not doing economics at university.
So, don’t just talk about the bestsellers. Talk about books that you’ve read that are maybe not the bestsellers or maybe from slightly less well-known authors. Maybe they were the ones that inspired you. If you haven’t read any books yet, maybe we spend this weekend reading some books or doing something extra outside the course. What talks have you listened to, what exhibitions, what authors have you read about the course. Now, this applies to basically every single course.
You can find at least one book on every single course. Read it, hopefully you’ll like it. If you don’t like it, read another book. Find one that you do like. What have you done over and above your A levels that makes you right for the course because university is hard. I talk about this big jump from GSAC to A level, and then there’s another big jump from A level to university.
You are expected to be a lot more independent. You have to prove to the admitting tutor that you are capable of being independent, and that you kind of starting to do it already by finding extra stuff outside the course that is going to enhance your subject knowledge. If you have a long term plan, share that with the personal tutors.
If you know that you want to go and like cure cancer, that’s really a cliché, probably don’t use that one, but if you know you want to go and work in research, or you know you want to go and be a journalist in this newspaper or something, then tell that part the admissions tutors this. Say this in your personal statement. This is part of letting your personality shine through. It’s parts of where you’re going to be right for the course. It’s parts of where you’re going to be independent and dedicated. This is a really, really good thing that admissions tutors like to see.
Now, the last step that I’m gonna say to you is about formatting. For your personal statement, you have 4000 characters. Way back when, when I did mine, what you had to do was type out on a bit of paper, and then, you’d have to take your bit of paper, and your paper, your paper, I don’t know, UCAS form, down to the nice lady in the photocopying room, and then you’d spend five minutes, you’d have like 10 forms, trying to photocopy your personal statement so it fit exactly in the box on the UCAS form. It was a bit of a nightmare, but I still remember all these years later, totally how traumatic it is.
These days, obviously, it’s all done on computer which is a lot easier. So, you get 4000 characters, but I think a more sensible limit is about 3500 because we want to think about formatting. Now, you do not want to cram as much stuff in there as possible because admissions tutors are going to be reading a lot. You want to make it nice and easy for them to read, so you need to consider paragraphs.
You need to consider lines in between paragraphs as well. That’s just gonna make it a little bit easier. It’s making it look nicer.
Go back and read your UCAS form on the UCAS website because some special characters, some formatting doesn’t copy and paste across from Word, so it’s really, really important that you check it looks okay on the UCAS website as well as on Word. Okay guys, there are a few tips for you. I’ve got loads of other videos.
There are things that are gonna help you so go and check those out. Good luck with your unique applications. It’s really, really exciting, but a really, really hard time. Just any time you need help, just let me know.