This can literally make or break the decisions regarding your uni, so take it seriously & do it properly! The personal statement is what you send via UCAS to your 5 unis & they then give you a conditional offer based upon whether they they that they want you as a candidate for their uni (grades providing).
REMEMBER: Via UCAS you can only have 4000 characters, and THIS INCLUDES SPACES. You CAN’T go over it! This is a real test, as you should have more than enough to write about yourself. You should initially be way over this limit, if not, I’d be a bit worried! Of course, you can get loads of help & expertise from teachers at school and do make the most of this, as I got loads of useful tips.
Be patient with it & take your time. Do as many drafts as you want. It took me 13 drafts to get the perfect personal statement. In contrast, I know of a boy who got into Oxford having completed his personal statement in only 3 goes! It really does depend on each individual & how concise & precise they can be when talking about themselves.
Each time I gave in a statement I was prepared for it to get torn to pieces – personally I’d rather that so that I could have millions of corrections than be told that it’s okay and subconsciously know that I could do better. Structure of the statement is also so important. My final draft was really a re-jigging of the sentence order, rather than making proper corrections to the material itself.
Maybe for some people it’s best to make a list of bullet points you want to include in the statement – academic interests, why you want to do the subject, extra-curricular activities, extra reading etc. anything that you think makes you unique from all of the other candidates who will be fighting for your place. Open & close with punchy sentences but AVOID CLICHES! Think long & hard about what you want to say & how you are trying to say it.
The most impostant thing is that you show yourself in the best way possible. Show yourself off, but DON’T brag about yourself & your achievements.
I’ll do another post about the structure in more depth very soon! Feel free to ask any questions!