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How to structure your UCAS personal statement – tips from a recent graduate

The UCAS application deadline is just around the corner, and while many of you may have already finished polishing up your personal statements, we know a lot of you are only just getting started. Here are some tips and tricks on how to structure your UCAS statement from a recent graduate.

Author avatarKrish Shah

Make that first sentence bang

The first sentence has to be an eye-grabber. This is the first impression of you for the admission staff, so make this one count. Here you should talk about exactly what got you into your passion, and feel free to embellish this slightly. Don’t pack lots of information into the first sentence either, but make sure it reads well and catches the eyes of the admission staff.

Be concise and use appropriate language

While we’re sure you have a lot of great things to talk about which you could go on for hours about, the admission staff at your dream university unfortunately don’t have the time to hear your life story.

So keep your statement concise and get straight to the point. Only tell them what they want to hear. Start by writing a long personal statement with everything you would like to include, and go through it multiple times cutting down on the less relevant things until only the key details are left (the first draft is always the hardest).

Organise your statement into four key sections

In the first paragraph, talk about how your interest first sparked for the subject. Feel free to romanticise it a little.

In the second paragraph, talk about all the things you’ve done to pursue this passion. Tell them about your hobbies relating to the course, extra curriculars which you’ve taken part in, internships, and everything non-academic that shows your passion for the subject. This paragraph should be on of the longer ones, as you really want to show that you are passionate.

If you’re a big nerd, the third paragraph is your time to shine. Here you should boast your academic achievements. Really tell them how great you are in school, even if you really aren’t. Here is where you should include all your big projects, essays, subject achievements and more.

To close off your statement, you want to talk about any other things which you’ve done that don’t necessarily relate to the course, but which still make you a great human being. Whether you do sports, volunteer work, or take part in an art club of some sort, make sure to let them know all the amazing skills you have learnt. Make it short, but powerful: it’s the last thing they’ll read so put a lot of time into making the last paragraph perfect!

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