The time has come for you to apply to university, and it’s always a rather exciting yet scary time. Which universities should you choose? Which course should you do? Are your grades going to be good enough to get you accepted onto the course and into the university of your choosing? Until results day comes around and you get an acceptance letter, it’s all fairly uncertain.
Perhaps the most difficult part, however, is writing your personal statement. This short essay needs to be all about you and why you want to study at that particular university for that particular course. By now, you will have hopefully attended some open days, researched courses, spoken to current students and staff, and have some firm ideas of the universities that you would like to go to. So, how do you make your personal statement stand out?
Research the Universities You’re Applying For
Since the UCAS application allows you to send your application to up to five different universities at a time, it’s best not to get too specific to a certain university, as this can hinder your application with the other four. However, it’s always a good idea to do some research on your university choices and find out what they offer and what they are looking for so that you can touch on this in your personal statement. University Compare offers a great way to find out more about UK universities like Sheffield Hallam University, Manchester Metropolitan and Birmingham Metropolitan College. If for instance you did want to apply to study at Birmingham Metropolitan College, all you need to do is search it on the site to bring up a wealth of information on what they offer.
Take Your Time
It’s best to start writing your personal statement as early as possible; don’t leave yourself scrambling to get it all done right at the last second as this is only going to have you stressed out. You should give yourself at least a couple of months before the deadline, after researching different universities and deciding where you’d like to go and which course you want to study, to complete your application fully and write your personal statement.
Get a Proof Reader
Even if you want to study for a degree in English, you know that it can often be difficult to spot mistakes in your own work. Before you send your application, get somebody to proofread it and check it for any typos or grammatical errors. If you are applying to university through college, your tutor will probably give you a deadline for sending the application to them first, so that they can read through it for you, correct any mistakes and talk to you about how it could be improved.
Include What You Bring to the Table
Many students who are applying to university make the mistake of only talking about their academic achievements so far, and why they would like to study at that particular university. However, don’t miss this opportunity to write about why the university would be lucky to have you as a student, too. Maybe it’s because you’re simply really passionate about what you do, or perhaps you have a long list of extracurricular activities that build your skills and that you would continue to get involved with these while at university. Remember, universities aren’t all about studying for a degree – there are plenty of societies, clubs and other organisations for students to join.
Consider Your Future Plans
What do you want to do when you have successfully graduated? Talking about your plans for the future in your personal statement, whether you want to graduate and work in a certain job, join a graduate scheme for a huge company or go on to study more with a master’s degree, will show your ambition and drive and let the universities you are applying to know that you’re a student with a plan. And, you can use this opportunity to show off the fact that you have researched the job that you want to do and are dedicated to learning more about it.
Finally, don’t try to do everything on your own when you are applying to university. This application carries a lot of weight and admissions tutors are going to read your personal statement and use it as a factor to decide whether or not you can study on a certain degree course, so get help if you need it. If you are currently in college, you will have been assigned a personal tutor to help you with all aspects of applying to and getting into university; use them! Ask as many questions as you need to about how to improve your personal statement and make it stand out.
Applying to university can be a very exciting stage in your life, but many students find themselves stuck on writing their personal statement. Keep these top tips in mind for a personal statement that stands out to admissions tutors.