Personal Statements: A Guide


After years of compulsory education, you are finally on the home stretch! You will soon be able to attend University – which in many cases will prove to be a great experience! But the process of getting there isn’t simple – as you are no doubt aware. First of all – well done for being here. Trying to perfect your personal statement shows you care about your education – something that should be applauded. Below are some tips on how to craft, structure and improve your personal statement. Some tips are also presented.


Crafting your personal statement can be an arduous task!


Before the Personal Statement:
Just to check we are all up to the same level – this article presumes you have chosen your degree course, have at least an idea of which Universities you will apply too, and have registered with UCAS. Check out our frequently asked questions if you have any queries on the University application process. Don’t worry if you aren’t at this stage yet – it is good in any case to be prepared!


How to Approach the Personal Statement:
You will have written countless essays during your school years. There is no need in thinking the Personal Statement is anything different to essays. Only that this time – the question title is something like “why should I be awarded a place to study at X” (X being your University of choice!). Of course, it is an important document – and for ultra-competitive courses it can be the difference between securing a place and missing out. But just think of it as a normal assignment.


At some point, you will discuss why you want to study the course you have chosen. Make sure you delve deep into these reasons, and provide plenty of depth. The admissions staff will want to see your passion and enthusiasm for the subject area. Be specific, and provide them with detail on what you have done to further your passion for the subject. Remember the admissions staff will have countless personal statement’s to read – make sure your passion for the subject stands out above others.


The University of Portsmouth is a popular institution to apply to


Take a look at our post on How to Structure a Personal Statement here. This will provide you with a strong foundation to build upon.


What you Need to Know:

  • You can enter up to 4,000 characters (including spaces), or 47 lines of text. Unfortunately, this is a strict limit. You will not need to use up all characters/lines. The statement will be sent in plain text – meaning no italics, bold or underlining can be used.
  • You can copy and paste your text from a word processor – such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs. But remember, the character count will differ from word processor-to-word processor.



  • Show off your skills and qualities – those that make you who you are. Especially those that are relevant to your course. Ensure you provide concrete examples of how you have showed these skills and qualities.
  • This is a rather silly point – but it still needs to be mentioned. Ensure that you have thoroughly read through your personal statement and checked for spelling errors.
  • Ask friends and family for advice. While it wouldn’t be recommended to churn out copies of your Personal Statement like the Argos catalogue, you should select three or four people to check your work. They might provide you with an interesting outlook on your work.
  • Expect to produce several drafts of the document before you are totally happy.
  • Check the prospectuses and online details of each University you are applying too – try and tailor your personal statement to them.



  • ‘Expand the Truth’ – This, although tempting, won’t work in the long-term. Especially if you require an interview – the interviewer will easily be able to see through your claims!
  • Leave it until the last minute. Hopefully you being here now means you have given yourself plenty of time. Don’t worry though if you are leaving it late – there is still some time – you are in the right place here.
  • Resort to clichés. Starting off your personal statement with ‘I have always wanted to be…’ isn’t going to help your cause too much. Be creative!
  • Be Arrogant! There is a fine line between discussing your achievements and boasting – make sure you don’t cross this line!




You are doing well. Crafting the perfect personal statement isn’t an easy task. But in the long-run, it will be worth your time. Hopefully you will be able to make it on to the course of your dreams at a leading University. The Personal Statement is the start of something special! Once you have handed it in, sit back and relax – you will have done what you could. For any questions regarding this personal statements, feel free to post a comment below. Our team all have experience of the University application process and will be on hand to help. Remember to browse around the site for additional help. Oh, and good luck!



Choosing the Right University
Applying to University: FAQ’s
University Applications: Key Dates
Personal Statements: A Guide
Exemplar Personal Statement
Structuring Personal Statements
University League Tables



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