Student Room Personal Statement Checker

Welcome to the personal statement builder tool

We'll guide you through the process of writing your UCAS personal statement for undergraduate study at a UK university. We'll get you to think about what course you're applying for, first writing notes about your experience, knowledge and hobbies, and then guide you through a suggested structure to actually write it. Afterwards, we'll check it against UCAS limitations and common errors and mistakes to help you write the best personal statement to reflect your interest and experiences.

What is a UCAS personal statement?

It is a formal document which allows you to 'communicate' with a university's admissions staff, explaining why you want to study the course you've chosen, and why you are suitable for studying it. It should be mainly academic with reference to books and debates you've engaged with, any relevant work experience and a small paragraph about relevant extra-curricular activities. If you're applying for a vocational course, it needs to convince the admissions staff that you are suitable and dedicated to a particular career (e.g. medicine). It is 47 lines, or 4000 characters long, whichever you hit first.

What isn't a UCAS personal statement?

Firstly, it is not a letter to the admissions staff and should therefore not be formatted like one, or address the admissions staff directly (i.e. not saying 'you' or 'yours' at all). The admissions staff will know that this is being read by other universities and this will appear insincere. A personal statement needs to be written in full prose and formal language, no bullet points or contractions. It's also not a personal essay discussing your life story or listing all of your achievements and experiences; it is about you but it should focus on your interests in studying your course. However, don't link everything to your course choice, only do it if the link isn't tenuous. At the other end of the spectrum, it isn't an academic essay where you just analyse what you've read. The 'personal' angle comes from why it's interested you. If the course is academic rather than vocational, you also shouldn't talk about doing the job (e.g. being a manager or psychologist), as you need to focus on why you want to study the course, rather than your career, after all, that is at least three years away. It's also not the place to talk about your module marks or discuss issues which have affected your results. If information like this is relevant, it should be included in your reference rather than in the personal statement.

Why is a personal statement important?

It's the first, and sometimes only, chance you have to express why you want to study the course you've chosen and to convince the admissions staff that you're capable. It is of particular importance when applying for competitive courses where the majority of the applicants meet the entry requirements in order to differentiate between candidates. For any course, it will be looked at if you miss your offer grades and could make the difference between your chosen university accepting you or being placed in Clearing. The statement is of particular importance if you are applying for a transfer, as a mature student or have an unusual educational background. It will most likely be used by universities that interview to base some of their questions on, so make sure you know the content of your statement.

What people say about our personal statement builder

"The tool will help you avoid the common pitfalls to ensure you deliver a truly personal statement."
"This tool supports applicants through the daunting process of writing their personal statement in an easily accessible way."
"The tool gives lots of structure and prompting for people who don't know where to start."

Here on TSR we have a large number of sample Personal Statements. In the library, the PSs are sorted into subject areas and universities which offered a place based on that statement (where this information is available).

Personal Statements

Using our PS Library

Remember that these are sample personal statements and are there for everyone to look at to get a feel for what personal statements should be like and what sort of things can be included in them. None of our sample PSs claim to be 'perfect examples' and in some cases the PS Helpers have commented on the good and bad points of the review. This is to help guide people more on good and bad personal statement practice.

There is no point in copying a PS from the library. For a start your statement needs to be personal to you. It needs to be all about your experiences and yourself. Copying someone else's PS will mean you come unstuck and get caught out when you get an interview. UCAS also takes PS plagiarism very seriously. From 2007 onwards UCAS will be using plagiarism detection technology to check every personal statement against copies available on the internet [1]. Being caught cheating could cost you your offers for a place at uni.

Adding Your Personal Statements

The library can only improve if more examples are added. So why not upload your own personal statement once you have started university to aid others in their applications?

If you would like to contribute, please post your personal statement in this thread including universities and courses applied for and the offers received. The statement will then be uploaded onto the TSR wiki in due course. Please include subjects applied for, offers received, and which offers you accepted. Unfortunately, due to the risk of plagiarism, statements which are being used in the current application cycle will not be uploaded. Thank you for your contributions!

Alternatively, use the box below:


Article by TSR User on Thursday 15 February 2018

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