How to write a personal statement

The desire to study abroad can be quite an exciting and overwhelming experience, involving a lot of research, form-filling, essay writing, interviews, and fees. Application officers receive a thousand applications daily and, as such, spend a little time on each application they receive. 

Documents such as your curriculum vitae, transcript, O’Level certificate, personal statement, and other supporting documents are required by the university during the application process. Every document is vital. Nevertheless, each document can help increase your application regardless of your grades.

One such document is the personal statement, often known as a motivational letter or statement of purpose. A student may not be academically qualified for a course. However, a well-written personal statement can persuade the application officer that he/she is fit for the course. What then is a personal statement?

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is an account of your accomplishments, talents, interests, and goals that is included in university applications. It is a required component of all university applications, outlining your qualifications for a degree program. 

A well-written personal statement can give you a competitive advantage over other candidates and help you secure a college placement. It is a chance for you to articulate why you would like to study a particular course or subject, and what skills and experience you possess.

Writing a captivating personal statement for a university is a good way to promote your abilities and aspirations. In only 4,000 characters, you must persuade your selected university that you are the greatest candidate and that they should make you an offer right now. 

Thousands of applicants send in their written statements, convincing the application officer that they are the best candidate. But what makes a personal remark stand out among thousands of others? 

What makes a good personal statement?

Your written personal statement stands out when you:

  • Explain the reason for your choice and how it fits in with your aspirations for the future.
  • Give examples of any related academic or work experience.
  • Show you know what the course will involve and mention any special subjects you’re interested in.
  • Demonstrate who you are by listing any positions you’ve held, memberships in teams or societies, and interests and hobbies.
  • Show consistency in your university choices. It may be difficult for an admissions tutor to take you seriously if your other choices, and references to them, are different. If your choices are different, you should explain this in your statement. Admissions tutors don’t know the other universities you’ve applied to or your priorities, but you should still be consistent.
  • Keep it clear and concise. Admissions are increasingly paperless, so most admissions tutors or officers will read your statement onscreen.

When it comes to drafting a personal statement, there are a few ground principles to follow. This guideline emphasizes frequent mistakes candidates make and what to include in your statement. Some of these rules are as follows:

Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Personal Statement

Do

  • Be precise and concise—the more condensed the points and data, the more powerful they become.
  • Use terms like attained, developed, learned, discovered, excitement, dedication, energy, curiosity…
  • Avoid using phony or exaggerated words. Instead, utilize short, basic statements in plain English.
  • If at all feasible, provide a personal touch, but use caution with humor and talkative methods.
  • To support assertions and statements, include proof of your learning and improvement (whenever possible).
  • Plan the statement like you would an essay or letter of application for a job or scholarship.
  • Consider dividing the statement into five or six paragraphs with headings if appropriate.
  • Spelling and grammar are important; draft and redraft as many times as necessary, and ask others to proofread and provide feedback.
  • For 2022–23 applications, refer to the challenges you’ve faced during the pandemic positively.

Don’t 

  • Waffle
  • Exaggerate
  • It comes across as pretentious.
  • Try to include your life history.
  • Start with: “I’ve always wanted to be a…”
  • Use gimmicks or quotations only if they’re very relevant and you deal with them in a way that shows your qualities.
  • Don’t be tempted to buy or copy a personal statement—plagiarism software is now very sophisticated and if you’re caught out, you won’t get a place.
  • Make excuses for not being able to participate in activities or gain experience – instead, focus on what you were able to do positively, such as as a result of the coronavirus.
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Above all, be yourself and write honestly about your experiences. Use your voice, because that is who you are, and the universities are interested in you, not an ideal text based on a “how to write a personal statement” article.

Now that you know the importance of a well-written personal statement, you can now apply for that course you have always wanted.

What are you waiting for? 

Write that personal statement and submit your application today!

 Visit www.michelleandanthony.net to begin your application.

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