Keep Your Personal Statement Exactly That: ‘Personal’

Generic statements to avoid. "I am passionate about English', 'From a very young age I wanted to be a lawyer'. 'Throughout my life I have always loved history', 'My dream is to study biology'. While these statements may be true, they will not make your personal statement stand out. Be honest, relevant and specific.

Author: UniAdmissions Blog

Table of Contents

what to do and what not to do with your personal statement

The Generic Statements To Avoid

‘I am passionate about English.’  

‘I wanted to be a lawyer from a young age.’ 

‘Throughout my life I have always enjoyed History.’

‘It is my dream to study Biology.’

While these statements may be true, they will not make your personal statement stand out. You do not need to say something dramatic to make your personal statement memorable. However, demonstrating your academic ability, engagement with your subject and suitability for university study will leave a lasting impression. Be honest, be relevant, and be specific!

Keep your personal statement personal by providing information on your motivation, interests, and suitability for the course.



1. Motivation 

Demonstrate your motivation to study your subject by showing that you love it. Why do you love it? Show that you have thought about your subject in depth by asking yourself the following questions:

Why have you chosen your subject? Which aspects of the subject do you find most interesting and why? What evidence do you have of academic motivation?


2. Interest

Express your interest in your subject by commenting on the area of the subject that fascinates you most. Say why that area interests you. Give examples of things you have done that show you have a wider interest in your learning. 


3. Suitability

Show that you are a suitable candidate for your chosen course by giving evidence of relevant skills and qualities. What are you good at? What have you done that shows you are really good at something? Do you do any extracurricular activities that show you have the relevant skills? Research the universities that you are applying to and find out what they are looking for. Link their criteria to your interests, skills and qualities. 



Throughout your personal statement you need to make sure you give evidence to back up your claims.

You could talk about your school subjects and results, wider reading and relevant work experience. Maybe you found something particularly interesting on the TV, YouTube or a podcast. Have you attended any lectures or summer schools?

Link any activities outside of school to the course. Say why those activities are relevant and what you have learnt. You could focus on transferable skills you gained such as time management or organisational skills.

Let the Admissions Tutors know about YOU. It is no good saying you are passionate if you do not show them that you are. Write in a natural style to show your personality. Try and avoid clichéd beginnings and instead write something that is genuine, relevant, and specific.


Good luck!



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