Your audience are course leaders, university admissions staff and lecturers most likely between the age of 30 and 50. We're pretty on trend, but you may need to unpack a few things for us, especially when talking about your interests. This makes us happy.
You wouldn't dive into an essay without taking a moment to reflect on your approach - it's the same with your personal statement. It's best to get a first draft written as soon as possible, so you have something to work with. Don't get it right first time, get it written.
Are your course choices related to career aspirations? Or related to academic or work experience? Show you know what your subject will involve and how it relates to your interests.
Your interests say a lot about you and can often be associated with your chosen subject. Use them to show that you are suitable for the course.
What will you bring to the table? Is it a wider understanding of your subject, relevant outside interests or empathy with others? Demonstrate your unique qualities with examples and express how they can benefit others on the course.
You wouldn't make a statement in an essay without backing it up - it's the same for a personal statement. Anything you say should be supported with examples, this also helps the reader build a more accurate picture of you.
Your teachers have seen hundreds of personal statements over the years. They are the best people to tell you what works.
400 words isn't very much, but can look rather inaccessible in one A4 chunk. Use 4- 5 paragraphs to discuss different themes and make your work easier on the eye.
Avoid long and complicated sentences. Your reader will have a lot of statements to get through and will only spend about five minutes on yours. Being clear and to concise wins you favour.
Use your personal statement to sell yourself. Talk about the story outside the grades. What drives you? What one thing sets you apart from everyone else?
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