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What makes a good personal statement?

Admissions tutors read hundreds, if not thousands, of personal statements every year and they’ll all have their own opinions on what makes a good personal statement and who they think will make a good student.

Realistically, the only thing you can do is write the best personal statement you can manage. Admissions tutors aren’t monsters and they’ll appreciate the effort you’ve put in.

There are two top questions you need to answer in your personal statement and two top questions the admissions tutors will ask themselves when reading your personal statement.

Firstly, you’ll need to tell the admissions tutors why you want to study the subject you’re applying for. Then you’ll need to prove that you’re right for the course by giving examples of your skills, experience, or achievements. You want to show that you’re passionate, dedicated, and knowledgeable about your subject.

And what do the admissions tutors ask themselves when they’re reading your personal statement? They’ll want your personal statement firstly to answer the question – is this student right for the course? And secondly, is this student right for our university?

If you’ve told them why you want to study the subject and proved that you’re passionate and dedicated then chances are you’ll have answered their questions perfectly.

If you’re still not sure that you’ve said the right thing then take a look at the website and entry requirements for the course and university you’re applying to. All departments and universities have an ideal candidate in mind so by taking a closer look at their website and admission criteria you can get as close to that ideal as possible.

However, don’t worry if you don’t exactly fit in with what you think is their idea of a perfect student. Having an entire course made up of carbon copy students would be boring and admission tutors will be reading your personal statement to find out what makes you unique.

If you can make your skills and experience sound relevant then it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit in with their generic perfect student description.

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