- Do show you know your strengths, and outline your ideas clearly.
- Do be enthusiastic – if you show you’re interested in the course, it may help you get a place.
- Do expect to produce several drafts of your personal statement before being totally happy with it.
- Do ask people you trust for their feedback
- Don’t be tempted to buy or copy a personal statement, or share yours. All personal statements are checked for similarity – if your personal statement is flagged as similar to other applicants, it could affect your chances of being offered a place.
- Don’t exaggerate – if you do, you may get caught out in an interview when asked to elaborate on an interesting achievement.
- Don’t rely on a spellchecker, as it will not pick up everything – proofread as many times as possible.
- Don’t leave it to the last minute – your statement will seem rushed, and important information could be left out.
- Don’t let spelling and grammatical errors spoil your statement.
What happens to personal statements that have been copied?
Every personal statement received by UCAS is added to the personal statement library, which means UCAS are able to quickly identify if your personal statement is similar to someone else’s.
Once your application is received, your personal statement is scanned by the UCAS Copycatch system – if your statement shows a similarity of 10% or more, it will be flagged.
Where similarities are confirmed, the universities, colleges, and applicant are notified at the same time. The university and college admissions staff will then decide what action to take.
Your personal statement will not be compared to your earlier applications if you have applied in previous cycles or schemes.