How to Write a Personal Statement for University

How to Write a Personal Statement for University

Every high school or college student should know how to write a personal statement for university. A personal statement is also called an application or admission essay. It is a written statement or essay that an applicant writes usually when applying for admission in a university, college or a graduate school-

Generally, writing a personal statement is part of the process of applying for admission in most universities.

Purposes of a personal statement and why you should know how to write a personal statement for university

Your admission to a graduate school or university is largely dependent on the kind of a personal statement that you submit alongside your university application. In most cases, course tutors or the admission panels read and compare personal statements of different applicants in order to determine the ones to grant admission. As such, your personal statement is a tool that you should use in describing your skills, experience and ambitions in a way that differentiates you from other applicants-

The main purposes of a personal statement for university include:

  • Describing you and your unique qualifications for the career that you intend to pursue
  • Earn you an interview with the admission panel
  • Enhance your chance of being admitted to your preferred university

There are many applications that are sent to universities each year. Submitting an interesting and well-written personal statement plays a vital role in determining who is called for an interview and admitted to a university-

Don’t know how to write a personal statement for university? Follow these steps

  1. Make a career choice

This entails making a decision on what to study before you start writing the statement. Your personal statement should be related to the degree that you want to pursue at the university. Therefore, if you are uncertain about what you intend to study, seek assistance from your tutor or teachers as well as your friends and family. These will guide you in determining the most ideal degree for you.

  1. Brainstorm for ideas

This entails determining why you have chosen a certain degree. Consider your knowledge of the subject and what the program that you have chosen is about. Do you find it interesting? Where will you go after pursuing that degree course?

Also list down the achievements and activities that you have made and ones that are related to the degree program that you have chosen or ones that relate to the university that you are applying for. Include information about your previous studies, interests, hobbies, future career ideas and plans. Break down this information into bits that make your personal statement flow logically and smoothly.

  1. Decide on the structure of your personal statement

There is no specific style for writing a personal statement. However, what you include in the personal statement is what will determine its structure. The best way of structuring a personal statement is planning it extensively. Extensive planning will enable you to structure the statement intuitively. For instance, you can plan the personal statement in a three paragraph structure. In that case, you can include the following;

  • Academic interests

In this paragraph, include information like the research that you have conducted in your subject, specific topics that you find interesting, why this is an important study topic and what study or transferrable skills you have acquired so far and how they will benefit you at the university.

  • Career interests

If you are applying for a vocational course such as social work, medicine or teaching, indicate the experience that you have acquired and your career knowledge. Focus on what you have done so far, experiences and skills that you have acquired and how they relate to your chosen career.

  • Extra-curricular interests

Most admission tutors want well-rounded applicants who can engage in extra-curricular activities. Therefore, include them in your personal statement. For instance, include your part-time work that relates to your career goals. Also include information about your volunteer work that relates to your chosen career as well as societies and clubs that you are a member or a mentor. If you have worn awards in such clubs, mention them too-

  1. Commit yourself to writing your personal statement

You need to schedule a time for planning and writing the personal statement every day. For instance, you can spend 15 minutes of every morning planning your personal statement. This way, you will complete your personal statement within weeks and it will not hinder you from doing other works. In case you get new ideas, note them somewhere so that you can include them in the plan of your personal statement.

  1. Draft the personal statement

Using all ideas that you have generated and categorized, try to describe or explain different aspects concisely by highlighting how they relate to the degree that you have chosen. Also explain personal qualities that you have acquired from these aspects. Examples of such qualities include team building and oral communication skills. Be careful when highlighting the qualities that you have acquired because they are the ones that will sell the personal statement.

In the introduction, state the degree program that you are applying for and why. In the main body, explain your interests as indicated in step 3 above. After drafting the body, come up with a conclusion that briefly summarizes the reasoning or logic behind choosing a particular degree program. The introduction and conclusion should be short because you say much about you in the body part.

  1. Condense the body

Ideally, a personal statement should not be more than 47 lines or 4,000 characters-

Therefore, make sure that you have included only relevant information in the statement. If the statement goes beyond 4,000 characters, start rewording it.

  1. Get final guidance or assistance

You need to write a personal statement that you can proudly say it describes you in the best way possible. If you cannot write such a personal statement, you need help or guidance. Therefore, look for a friend or teacher who knows how to write a personal statement for university to help you. You can also turn to us for help with your personal statement for university.

  1. Edit

It is important that you edit or proofread the personal statement. This ensures that the final piece that you submit is free of grammatical and typo errors. Submitting a personal statement with errors will reflect on you poorly-

If you want someone to edit or proofread your personal statement, talk to us for assistance.

Additional tips on how to write a personal statement for university

Using 4,000 characters to sell your qualities to the university admission panel is not easy. You need tips that will enable you to come up with an excellent personal statement.

They include:

  • Do not use clichés

You should avoid clichés because they make a personal statement look formulaic. They also waste characters that you should use in telling the admission panel something else-

  • List down everything first then start writing

Start by making a list of relevant ideas that you think about yourself before you summarize them in a personal statement. Do not be worried by the length, order and expression because these will come later-

  • Avoid famous quotes

These will not make your personal statement unique because they have been used in many personal statements.

  • Demonstrate your interests

Instead of listing your interests, demonstrate them. Demonstrating your interests such as volunteering indicates that you are passionate about them.

  • Tell a true story

Stick to facts and tell a truthful story. Make your personal statement fresh, different and lively so that it can be memorable to the admission panel-

  • Conduct some research if necessary

If for instance the university wants you to explain your reason for applying for admission there instead of another university, conduct some research to know why the university is unique and a better choice-

A personal statement can be comprehensive and general. Such a personal statement gives you the freedom for determining what to include. However, it can be a response to specific questions. Usually, graduate and business school applications have specific questions that should be answered by personal statements.

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