How to write a personal statement

The personal statement is usually the part of the UCAS application that causes the most stress for applicants, but don’t worry! As long as you plan what you want to say and get it proofread as many times as possible, it’s not too hard. See below for my hints and tips for writing the best personal statement:


You can only write approximately 47 lines or 4,000 characters, (roughly a side of A4) so use it wisely! Plan what you want to say first, before you start writing.

Spelling and grammar

The online UCAS form doesn’t have spell/grammar check and times out after 35 minutes, so complete it in Microsoft Word or similar, then copy and paste it.

Content – it’s all about you!

Most courses don’t interview, so this is your chance to sell yourself. Be honest, think about what makes you interesting, and show passion for your course.

What to include

Be sure to cover academic strengths, motivations and interests – points that are related to the course (about 75 per cent), but also include elements that are not directly related to your course, such as personal achievements and life skills (25 per cent).


Remember the golden rule ‘ABC’. Activity – what have you done? Benefits – what were the benefits gained? Course – how will this help you on your course? Always evidence your statements this way; don’t just list achievements, demonstrate them!

Take your time

Allow enough time to write (and get checked) a personal statement that showcases the best of you.

Got questions about UCAS or university life? Tweet #AskLoisAtPlym and she will be happy to answer them.