- The UCAS website
Start your planning here. There are tips on how to get started and what to include. It also covers the technical aspects you need to bear in mind, such as the character count.
- Personal statement timeline
Check out our personal statement timeline. It’s packed with advice on how to spread out the planning and writing stages so you’re not cramming at the last minute.
- Our blog
A few years ago we asked uni admissions tutors to tell us what they’re looking for in the personal statement and the advice they shared has been so well received that it’s still our most popular blog post to date! Have a read of it here.
- Teachers and tutors
Helpful tips and advice for drafting a compelling personal statement when applying for graduate admission
What does this statement need to accomplish?
The personal statement should give concrete evidence of your promise as a member of the academic community, giving the committee an image of you as a person.
This is also where you represent your potential to bring to your academic career a critical perspective rooted in a non-traditional educational background, or your understanding of the experiences of groups historically under-represented in higher education and your commitment to increase participation by a diverse population in higher education.
What kinds of content belongs here?
Anything that can give reviewers a sense of you as a person belongs here; you can repeat information about your experiences in your research statement, but any experiences that show your promise, initiative, and ability to persevere despite obstacles belongs here. This is also a good
What everyone writes for the AMCAS application
- Personal statement (5300 characters, spaces count)
- Activities descriptions (700 characters, up to 15 allowed)
- Three descriptions of most meaningful activities (an additional 1325 characters for each activity)
What some people write on the AMCAS application
- Institutional action explanation (1325 characters)
- Disadvantaged status explanation (1325 characters)
- MD/PhD essay—Why MD/PhD? (3000 characters)
- MD/PhD essay—Significant Research (10,000 characters)
- TMDSAS applicants—Personal Statement (5000 characters), Personal Characteristics essay (2500 characters) and Optional essay (2500 characters)
What you write beyond AMCAS–Secondary applications
WHAT EVERYONE WRITES FOR THE AMCAS APPLICATION
1. Personal statement – The prompt for this is “Use the space provided to explain why you want to go to medical school.” Keep in mind that for the average applicant who might apply to 26 schools, this essay will likely be read by somewhere between 52 and 260 people.
First, good editing is good writing. Be prepared
Learning the fundamentals of this subject will pave the way to many career options, including a data analyst, stockbroker, forensic accountant and external auditor.
View 145 Economics Personal Statements
Study the earth’s physical structures and scientific processes to prepare yourself for a career in urban planning, environmental consultancy, conservation and many more.
View 58 Geography Personal Statements
Develop a critical awareness of the common law legal tradition and apply problem-solving skills to a range of legal and non-legal settings.
View 157 Law Personal Statements
A popular degree course, with a practical focus, that allows you to develop your professional skills and knowledge as you study to become a qualified social worker.
View 24 Social Work Personal Statements
Discover how to manage buildings by exploring topics such as project management, legal and technical advice, building reports, defect diagnosis and conservation.
View 1 Surveying Personal Statement
Learn about all kinds of animals,
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How to write it
Your personal statement should be unique, so there’s no definite format for you to follow here – just take your time. Here are some guidelines for you to follow, but remember your personal statement needs to be ‘personal’.
- Write in an enthusiastic, concise, and natural style – nothing too complex.
- Try to stand out, but be careful with humour, quotes, or anything unusual – just in case the admissions tutor doesn’t have the same sense of humour as you.
- Structure your info to reflect the skills and qualities the unis and colleges value most – use the course descriptions to help you.
- Check the character and line limit – you have 4,000 characters and 47 lines. Some word processors get different values if they don’t count tabs and paragraph spacing as individual characters.
- Proofread aloud, and get your teachers, advisers, and family to check. Then redraft
If you’re trying to get a business loan from a bank or financing from an investor, they may ask you for a personal financial statement.
A personal financial statement is a snapshot of your personal financial position at a specific point in time.
It lists your assets (what you own), your liabilities (what you owe) and your net worth.
To get your net worth, subtract liabilities from assets. Your net worth can be either positive (if you have more assets than liabilities) or negative (if you have more liabilities than assets).
Examples of personal assets include:
- Stocks and bonds
- Real estate
- Retirement accounts
- Personal property such as jewelry or cars
Examples of personal liabilities include:
- Outstanding loans
- Credit card debt
Don’t include business assets or liabilities in your personal financial statement.
When Do You Need a Personal Financial Statement?
When you’re seeking a business loan or other outside
The personal statement gives you the opportunity to present a compelling snapshot of who you are and perhaps why you want to be a doctor. Use your personal statement to say what others can’t. The personal statement can be a tricky genre to master. On the one hand, you want to give the admissions committee a sense of your personality and who you are. On the other hand, you must sound focused and professional, which sounds like it might impede your ability to capture your personality.
But this does not have to be the case. What you need to do is figure out how to say what drives you to want to become a healthcare professional in as specific a way as possible. The more specific you can be, the more the admissions committee will feel as if they have a sense of who you are.
You don’t need gimmicks,
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Writing the Personal Statement
This handout provides information about writing personal statements for academic and other positions.
The personal statement, your opportunity to sell yourself in the application process, generally falls into one of two categories:
1. The general, comprehensive personal statement:
This allows you maximum freedom in terms of what you write and is the type of statement often prepared for standard medical or law school application forms.
2. The response to very specific questions:
Often, business and graduate school applications
OK, so putting a personal statement together is never easy…
But even if you’ve written one before, how you write a personal statement will always depend on your current situation. In other words, what you write as a school leaver will look a lot different to someone who has many years of previous work experience.
To help you find the right one for you, here are some real personal statement examples – and how you can use them to make your CV stand out:
Free CV Template
University personal statement
First things first: personal statements aren’t just for your CV.
They’re also a key part of the UCAS application process, and a way to sell yourself to prospective universities. However, they will be much more detailed – and longer – than the one you write for a job application.
We’ve covered everything you need to know about