The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Compelling Personal Statement

Personal Statements

5th July 2024

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Applying to university is an exciting and challenging time. One of the most critical aspects of your UCAS application is writing a compelling personal statement. It’s your opportunity to showcase your strengths, achievements, and passion for your chosen subject. To help you succeed, this guide offers comprehensive personal statement guidance, covering everything from how to start a personal statement UCAS to fine-tuning the final draft.

How Important is Your Personal Statement?

Universities use your personal statement to assess your suitability for the course, your commitment, and your potential to succeed. It’s your chance to stand out from other applicants and make a lasting impression. A well-crafted personal statement allows you to showcase your unique experiences, skills, and passion for the subject. It provides an opportunity to highlight your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities that align with the program’s values and objectives.

Additionally, your personal statement demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively and thoughtfully, which is crucial to succeed in academia. By articulating your goals and motivations clearly, you can convey your enthusiasm and readiness for the challenges of the course, making a compelling case for your admission.

How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement: Getting Started

1. Understand the Basics

A UCAS personal statement is a 4,000-character or 47-line essay that forms part of your UCAS application. It must be concise, engaging, and tailored to the courses you are applying for.

2. Plan Your Content

Before you start writing, plan what you want to include. Reflect on your experiences, skills, and achievements. Consider why you are passionate about the subject and what you hope to achieve by studying it.

3. Create an Outline

An outline will help you organise your thoughts and ensure your statement has a clear structure. Divide your content into sections: introduction, main body, and conclusion.

UCAS Personal Statement Guide: Structuring Your Statement

1. Introduction

The introduction is crucial for grabbing the reader’s attention. Start with a compelling opening that reflects your enthusiasm for the subject.

Tips for Starting a Personal Statement for UCAS:

  • Be Personal: Share a personal anecdote or experience that sparked your interest in the subject.
  • Be Direct: Clearly state your motivation for applying to the course.
  • Be Engaging: Use a hook to draw the reader in, but avoid clichés.

2. Main Body

The main body should cover your academic achievements, relevant experiences, and skills. It’s where you provide evidence of your suitability for the course.

Academic Achievements:

  • Discuss your academic journey and highlight relevant subjects.
  • Mention any awards, honours, or recognitions you have received.

Relevant Experiences:

  • Include work experience, internships, or volunteer work related to your chosen field.
  • Discuss extracurricular activities that demonstrate your skills and interests.

Skills and Qualities:

  • Highlight skills such as leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and communication.
  • Provide examples that illustrate these skills in action.

3. Conclusion

The conclusion should summarise your key points and reinforce your enthusiasm for the course.

Tips for Concluding Your Personal Statement:

  • Reiterate Your Passion: Emphasise your commitment to the subject.
  • Future Goals: Mention your long-term career goals and how the course will help you achieve them.
  • Leave a Lasting Impression: End with a memorable statement that underscores your suitability.

Guidance on Writing a Personal Statement: Dos and Don’ts


  • Be Honest: Be truthful about your experiences and achievements.
  • Be Specific: Provide concrete examples to back up your statements.
  • Be Clear and Concise: Avoid unnecessary jargon and keep your sentences short.
  • Be Reflective: Show that you have thought deeply about your experiences and what you have learned from them.
  • Be Professional: Maintain a formal tone and avoid slang.


  • Avoid Clichés: Phrases like “I have always been passionate about” can be overused.
  • Don’t Plagiarise: Your personal statement must be your own work.
  • Don’t Exaggerate: Stick to the facts and avoid embellishment.
  • Don’t Repeat: Avoid repeating information already included in your application.

Fine-Tuning Your UCAS Personal Statement

1. Edit and Proofread

After writing your first draft, take time to revise and refine your statement. Check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Ensure that your writing flows logically and that each paragraph transitions smoothly to the next.

2. Seek Feedback

Ask teachers, family members, or friends to review your personal statement. They can provide valuable feedback and help you spot any areas that need improvement.

3. Stay Within the Limits

Ensure your personal statement stays within the 4,000-character or 47-line limit. Use concise language to make every word count.

4. Use the UCAS Personal Statement Tool

UCAS offers an online tool to help you draft and format your personal statement. This can be a useful resource to ensure you adhere to the guidelines.

Additional Resources: UCAS Application Guide

For further assistance, refer to the UCAS application guide available on the UCAS website. It provides detailed information on the entire application process, from choosing courses to submitting your application.

Benefits of the UCAS Guide Personal Statement:

  • Step-by-Step Instructions: Detailed steps on completing each section of your application.
  • Examples: Sample personal statements to inspire and guide you.
  • Advice: Expert tips on what admissions tutors are looking for.


Writing a compelling personal statement is an essential part of your UCAS application. By following this guide to writing a personal statement, you can create an engaging and persuasive narrative that showcases your strengths and passion for your chosen subject. With the right approach, you can make a strong impression and enhance your chances of securing a place at one of the best universities in London and in the whole UK.

Need More Help?

If you need personalised assistance with your personal statement, CV, or any other aspect of your university application, Oxbridge Personal Statements is here to help. Our expert team provides tailored guidance to ensure your application stands out. Contact us today to get started and take the first step towards your academic future.