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How to write your personal statement [video]

Writing a personal statement is the part of the university application that many students dread. We headed to a sixth form college to ask university applicants how they got on with writing theirs, and for their top personal statement pointers...

Watch now: How to start writing your personal statement

Struggling with your statement draft? Try our personal statement builder and get tailored hints on what to write.

Writing your personal statement: dos and don'ts 


  • Use the course information on university websites to get a sense of the specific criteria admissions tutors are looking for. What examples can you draw on from your own experience to prove your suitability for the course?
  • If you're struggling to get the words down, try using mind-maps or spider diagrams. Just getting ideas down on paper is a great start.
  • Keep it relevant. Everything you include in your personal statement should be answering the question, "why should we give you a place on this course?"
  • Highlight any relevant skills you've developed through work experience placements or a Saturday job. See our guide to talking about work experience in your personal statement for top tips on how to do this. 
  • Remember the importance of good grammar and spelling. Get another pair of eyes to check over it before you send it off!



  • Simply list everything you've done. Tutors are keen to see you reflect on your experience or achievements - how and why do they make you suitable for the course?
  • Use stilted vocabulary or clichés. Tutors want to hear your voice through the statement!
  • Worry about whether your statement is different to everybody else's or be tempted to copy! There's no formula for writing the perfect personal statement. 

Thanks to students and staff at Havant Sixth Form College for taking part in the video. 

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