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Explain why you want to study the course you are applying for. If you mention your personal interests and hobbies, try to link them to the skills and experience required for the course. The personal statement could be used as the basis for an interview, so be prepared to answer questions on it. This may be your only written work that the course tutor sees before making a decision: make sure it is organised and literate. Get the grammar, spelling and punctuation right. A statement filled with errors will give a negative impression of your skills and the effort you have put in to being accepted. Your statement must be written in English (or it can be in Welsh if you are applying only to Welsh universities and colleges). The Undergraduate Admissions Manager at The University of Nottingham told us: 'These types of skills are the basics that academics will expect from someone at this level of education. Incorrect spelling, poor grammar and punctuation can make a poor impression on the reader. For courses such as English, these skills are of paramount importance.' Writing about yourself is probably not something you do very often, so you might need to practise writing in this particular style. It is a good idea to list your hobbies and achievements, and then you can decide which ones demonstrate your strongest skills and personality. Go to the what to include section for more detailed advice >>
Applying to multiple courses
Remember that you only write one personal statement so it will be used for all your choices. Try not to mention a university or college by name, even if you're applying to only one university your personal statement cannot be changed if you apply to a different place later. If you're applying for a joint degree you will need to explain why you are interested in both aspects of this joint programme. If you're applying for different subjects or courses, you need to identify the common themes and skills that are relevant to your choices. For example, both mathematics and law are subjects where you have to think logically and apply rules. You may like both subjects because you enjoy solving problems, using theory and natural or man-made laws to come to a correct conclusion. If your chosen courses can't be linked by a common theme, think about your reasons for applying to such varied courses - it might be useful to speak to a careers adviser to get some guidance.
you can sometimes spot where your statement doesn't work well by reading it aloud. Attention-grabbing Some statements start with quotes. Applying to another choice later If you apply to other choices after sending your application (eg you add a choice. otherwise it is just adding to the word count rather than adding value. If they agree. Write what comes naturally Which of the following examples would you write? a) Objective consideration of concrete evidence compelled me to realise the phenomenon was not unprecedented. you can send a new one to them. some set out to be unusual or eyecatching. The admissions decision maker may not share your sense of humour so be careful when trying to make your statement stand out. which is very helpful when you have a limited word-count. but it shows that good writing is often concise. or apply through Extra or Clearing). b) I realised this often happened. This is not a serious example. you might find it easier if you imagine you are talking to them across their desk. Sometimes it works. Show that you know your strengths and can outline your ideas clearly. and using English (or Welsh) in a way that is natural to you. What to include . The quality of your writing reflects the quality of your thinking. In your personal statement you need to put your meaning across directly and simply. Avoid sounding either over-familiar or over-formal and write to get yourself and your message across clearly. Use words you know will be understood by the person reading your statement. your original personal statement will be sent to the university.If you mention a subject in your personal statement and are applying to other courses. but it might have the opposite effect to what you hoped. Check that each sentence adds something new. some include jokes. you may be asked by the university or college for additional information about why you have chosen alternative courses. but you can contact the university and ask if they will accept a revised statement. In fact. You can do this by keeping your sentences to an average of 12-20 words.
Below are some suggestions of what to include in your personal statement. why you're suitable for the course: tell the universities the skills and experience you have that will help you to succeed on the course. These are guidelines only so don't worry if some of the suggestions do not apply to you. Check these because they'll give you some ideas about what to include in your statement..these explain what the university is looking for in their students and what qualifications or experience you'll need for the course. We looked at some of the reasons why applications were unsuccessful and here's a few that were sent to applicants in 2010: . Tell the university the reasons why that subject interests you. and include evidence that you understand what's required to study the course. eg if applying for psychology courses. Writing about the course Skills and achievements Hobbies and interests Work experience Mature students International students Future plans Writing about the course Two of the most important things to include are: why you're applying for the course you've chosen: this is particularly important when you're applying for a subject that you have not studied before.Most courses have an Entry Profile that you can view in Course Search . Also think about: how your current or previous studies relate to the course(s) that you have chosen any activities that demonstrate your interest in the course(s) why you want to go to university or college. In this section. show that you know how scientific the subject is..
any other achievements that you are proud of. relevance or knowledge about the course you are applying for. Your personal statement did not show sufficient understanding. This should give you an idea of how important it is to show why you want to study the course and what you can bring to it . Application form (including personal statement. o . They also like to see if you've been involved in any accredited or nonaccredited achievements. eg reaching grade 3 piano or being selected for the county cricket team. Your personal statement does not strongly support your desire to study your chosen degree. for example through the ASDAN Aimhigher Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE qualification). Include: non-accredited skills and achievement which you have gained through activities such as: ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network) awards. for example. Skills and achievements Universities like to know the types of skills you have that will help you on the course. Universities Award o CREST awards o Diploma of Achievement o Duke of Edinburgh Award o Millennium Volunteers Scheme o OCNW Level 3 Certificate in Personal Development for Progression (previously known as the Liverpool Enrichment Programme) o vfifty award o Villiers Park Scholars and Residential Programmes o WorldWide Volunteering Certificate of Volunteering Achievement o Young Enterprise. Unsuccessful as you have not expressed a strong enough interest in the subject area in your personal statement. accreditation achieved for any activities in preparation for higher education.especially because it might be compared with other applicants applying for the same course. or generally at university. You failed to demonstrate sufficient knowledge and interest in the subject in your personal statement. There is a lot of competition for places on this course and your personal statement and experience was not as strong as other applicants this year. positions of responsibility that you hold/have held both in and out of school. eg form prefect or representative for a local charity. reference and predicted grades) does not evidence accurate understanding of or motivation for subject.
interests and social activities demonstrate your skills and abilities. For example. particularly if it's relevant to your chosen course(s). rather than just saying 'I spent two weeks working at a department store. I enjoy the social side of the club and take responsibility for organising the social activities and fundraising events. and taught me how to manage difficult . to devise a game plan but be able to adapt it as required and fast reactions. Fitting in all these activities while keeping up with my academic studies demands good time management and I think I do that very well.the more evidence the better. I learnt how to interact with customers and handle complaints. special or unique. This gives me an opportunity to develop my organisational and planning skills. an ability to support your partner. Hobbies and interests Think about how your hobbies. Try to link any experience to skills or qualities mentioned in the Entry Profiles. attributes that make you interesting. include it . Rather than making a statement such as 'I enjoy badminton' try to provide context and show what you have learnt 'I play badminton twice a week with a club that plays in local competitions and I play in both singles and doubles matches. If there's anything that relates to your course or to the skills needed to complete a higher education course. The Assistant Registrar for Undergraduate Admissions from University of Warwick says that: 'The strongest applicants are those who can link their extra-curricular activities to their proposed course of study. The experience highlighted the importance of positive communication between a business and its customers. placements. activity or interest makes you a good candidate for the course. Include enough additional information to make it interesting and to demonstrate your own interest.' Your statement will be more convincing and personal if you write about why an experience. work experience or voluntary work.' Work experience Include details of jobs. I enjoyed speaking to customers and helping them with their enquiries' you could say 'I spent two weeks managing customer enquiries at a department store. Doubles matches requires good team working.
enquiries effectively. . paid or unpaid. use the personal statement to explain what you have been doing since leaving education.' If you are not in full-time education. Also try to answer these questions in your statement: Why do you want to study in the UK? How can you show that you can successfully complete a higher education course that is taught in English? Please say if some of your studies have been taught or examined in English. and provide additional evidence to support your application. So it is worth seeing if your experience could count towards an offer. A representative from University of Ulster stated: 'a mature student might have valuable experience (perhaps 10 years working in the courts service.' Find out more about APEL offers >> International students If you're an international student. use the personal statement to tell universities why you want to study in the UK. or a solicitor's office). and information about your current or previous employment. Mature students If you are applying as a mature student. and this might form the basis for an APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) offer. Have you taken part in any activities where you have used English outside of your studies? Future plans If you know what you'd like to achieve after completing a university course. explain how you want to use the knowledge and experience that you gain. I would like to develop this skill further by studying a degree in public relations. Dos and don'ts Dos and don'ts when writing your personal statement Do create a list of your ideas before attempting to write the real thing. you should give details of any relevant work experience.
the focus of your writing may be lost. Don't feel that you need to use elaborate language. Size and presentation Structure and format Think about the structure of your statement . it may help you get a place. A bad statement can say a lot. Do be enthusiastic . as they usually tell you the criteria and qualities that they want their students to demonstrate. Don't rely on a spellchecker as it will not pick up everything .' We've provided examples on this website to help you plan your statement. so make sure you check spelling and grammar as well. A representative from Ulster Business School told us: 'The presentation of the personal statement is of critical importance to demonstrate use of English language and grammar at a standard suitable for entry to higher education. If you try too hard to impress with long words that you are not confident using.if you show your interest in the course.if you exaggerate you may get caught out at interview when asked to elaborate on an interesting achievement. websites and Entry Profiles.this is your future. Don't leave it to the last minute .your statement will seem rushed and important information could be left out. Do use your best English/Welsh and don't let spelling and grammatical errors spoil your statement. Do check university and college prospectuses. Don't expect to be able to write your personal statement whilst watching TV or surfing the internet .it needs to look and sound good. but the formats we've used are just suggestions. Don't say too much about things that are not relevant . Don't lie . take a break and come back to your statement when you feel more focused.proof read as many times as possible. it's more important that the university sees your writing style than ours.Do expect to produce several drafts before being totally happy. Do ask people you trust for their feedback. .if you think that you are starting to. so make the most of the opportunity to succeed.
View more information about European characters. However. whichever comes first. There are some example personal statements on the internet that have been used by applicants. From 2012 entry: if you want to. such as Microsoft Word . in some cases word for word. contact your chosen universities and colleges to check that they are happy to accept further details. are counted in Apply but may be ignored in Word. Research has shown that the majority of UCAS applicants do write their own personal statements.How to provide your personal statement You can enter up to 4. if any. This will not disadvantage your application. to take regarding notified cases. All personal statements sent to UCAS are tested for similarity. It helps admissions staff at universities and colleges judge applications.the system will automatically remove these when saved. We recommend that you prepare your personal statement offline using a word-processing package and copy and paste it into the Apply system.this is because formatting characters. You do not have to use all the space provided. The service we use. Do not send it to us. Please note that you cannot use italics. The character and line count in Apply may be different to a word-processing package. the number making use of other people's material was high enough to justify the introduction of the Similarity Detection Service. the system will tell you how many characters are still available or if you have used too many characters. works out how much of the statement may have been copied. you can enter some European characters that are not in the English alphabet in your personal statement. and it is the institutions who decide what action. When you save text.guidance for applicants This guide is designed to help UCAS applicants understand our similarity detection process. If you want to send more information. The countdown on the screen displays how much time you have left before it times out. Please use the size as specified in Apply as the guide.000 characters (this includes spaces) or 47 lines of text (this includes blank lines). bold or underlining in your personal statement . or amending a statement that you pasted in. If they are. called Copycatch. and reports the findings. send it direct to them after we have sent you your welcome letter and Personal ID. finds statements that show similarity. you should click 'save' regularly because Apply will time-out after 35 minutes of inactivity. . You can preview your statement after you have saved it. Whether you are typing your statement directly into the box. such as paragraphs and tabs. Similarity detection UCAS Similarity Detection Service .
Your personal statement will not be compared to your earlier applications. . to take regarding reported cases. What happens if a personal statement has similarities? Any statements showing a level of similarity of 10% or more are reviewed by members of the UCAS Similarity Detection Service Team. universities and colleges are notified at the same time by email when an application has similarities confirmed. Admissions tutors at individual universities and colleges decide what action. to take.What the Similarity Detection Service does Each personal statement is checked against: a library of personal statements previously submitted to UCAS sample statements collected from a variety of websites other sources including paper publications. Each personal statement received at UCAS is added to the library of statements after it has been processed. Eliminated words The Copycatch process ignores commonly used words that many applicants use in their statements such as 'and'. Levels of similarity are checked by trained staff who decide whether you and the institutions you are applying to need to be informed that similarity has been found. The universities and colleges you are applying to decide on the significance of the results and what action. Copycatch also ignores a selection of commonly used words and phrases including 'Duke of Edinburgh' and 'football'. if any. if you have applied in previous cycles or schemes. Applicants. if any. 'so' and 'with'. The verification process Copycatch identifies sentences in a personal statement that are matched to other personal statements already held in the Copycatch system.
I grew up in a town near the sea and have always found marine life fascinating.Notification that a report has been sent to the universities and colleges If Copycatch finds a significant level of similarity in your personal statement and the Verification staff at UCAS decide to inform the institutions you have applied to. How we show matches with other statements We use four colours (see below) to indicate significant matches with other statements and grey to show sentences which have not been found to match. which don't get checked. . It displays your personal statement marked up to identify sentences similar to others in the Copycatch system. Blue is used for the next best match if there are least three sentences. If the sentence you had written was marked in your report like the one above. The report sent to you is identical to the report sent to the institutions. Grey is used for sentences for which no match has been found and for very short sentences. it would mean that it had been exactly matched to a personal statement stored in the Copycatch library. it would mean that: town and found were not in the matched sentence fascinating was not found as an exact match but is similar enough to the equivalent word in the matched sentence to be identified by underlining. Within matched sentences. Underlined black is used to show that the word is related but not identical. we will let you know by email (if you have a verified email address). What the sentence colours mean Red is used for the sentences from the most matched statement. Examples I grew up in a city near the sea and have always been fascinated by marine life. Brown is used for any other matches if there are at least three sentences. If you had written this sentence and found it shown in red as above when you checked the notification report. Pink is used for the third best match if there are at least another three sentences. and gives you a link to frequently asked questions for further advice and guidance. This email includes instructions on how you can view what Copycatch has found in Track. words which are different from the one matched with it by the program are highlighted in black.
Why the program works A personal statement of 4. The date shows how long this personal statement has been in the UCAS collection. It does not mean that this particular statement was the one used as the source for the current personal statement. or have been used in a modified form in a personal statement within the UCAS collection. and above all. . or that both have been copied from a third source. The dates on the matched personal statements At the bottom of the marked up personal statement.The blue colour also shows you that the match was found in the second most matched statement. Both may be taken from a source outside the library. the number of sentences matched to library or internet sources is shown in the same colour as that used to mark up the sentences. Of course this can and does happen in essays if a quote from a text is included. or there may be other related files inside the library which have not been shown because there was no additional matched information. about half of which will be words that are eliminated from consideration (see above). but here the date means either the date it was posted to the website. Your personal statement Tell the universities and colleges why they should choose you The personal statement is your opportunity to tell universities and colleges about your suitability for the course(s) that you hope to study. it does not necessarily mean that the file was the actual source. This means that if Copycatch finds two sentences in different statements which have exactly the same words. some web sources are very popular. Again. and may appear on more than one website. ensure that you stand out from the crowd. you would expect very little or no similarity. As a feasibility study discovered. it is very likely that one is a copy of the other. You need to demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment. The dates on the matching web sources The number of web source sentences is shown in the same way.000 characters will contain approximately 600 words. then a similarity report is generated. Most sentences will be significantly different. Usually. or the date when the web source was identified by UCAS. but is very unlikely to occur in a personal statement. If Copycatch finds a number of identical or similar sentences in a personal statement and a file held in the library. if two personal statements are randomly selected and compared. if known.
so this may be your only chance to make the case for you to be offered a place. applicants are not interviewed. presentation and what to include. The Assistant Registrar for Undergraduate Admissions from University of Warwick says: 'For highly competitive courses which attract applications from many more candidates than there are places.for colour printers (PDF) / Statement timeline . Statement mind map .for colour printers (PDF) / Statement mind map . the safest thing is to do a good job. We've included space for you to write down any thoughts you have as you work through it.The personal statement can be different to application essays or personal statements from other countries. Personal statement worksheet (PDF) This worksheet is designed to help you think about information you could include in your personal statement.' If you're offered a conditional place and narrowly miss the required grades for the course. the university is likely to look at your personal statement again to see if your interests and . Key points to consider What to include Dos and don'ts Size and presentation Similarity detection Guides that will help you plan Statement timeline . Since you do not know who will be looking at your statement. including preparation. whereas others might not put as much emphasis on them. so please read the guidance in this section before completing the statement. Does it matter? Some course tutors find personal statements crucial when making decisions.for mono printers/copiers (PDF) Our mind map summarises what you need to know about the personal statement.for mono printers/copiers (PDF) Look at our timeline to see when you need to start researching and writing your personal statement. In many cases. comparing all applicants' personal statements helps us to identify the most committed and suitable candidates.
Remember that the person reading your statement is an expert in your chosen area of interest so they will want to know the reasons why you have chosen the subject. Click on the similarity detection link to find out more. we will inform all the universities and colleges that you have applied to. Make sure that your personal statement is your own work We put all applications through similarity detection tests. We will also contact you by email. which identify statements that have been copied from another source. or download your personal statement from a website. There could be serious consequences to using other people's work. So it can make a difference later in the application process as well. . Don't be tempted to copy another person's application materials.experience demonstrate any extra skills that could help you on the course. If any part of your personal statement appears to have been copied. They will then take the action they consider to be appropriate.