Showing posts with label apply. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apply. Show all posts

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Tips on Personal Statements for entry to Universities / UCAS

This was my Hall of Residence at University in Scotland

Personal Statements for entry to British Universities
  • Scrap any items that are trivial, too personal, or really not relevant to your university course.
  • Link facts about your experience to the values and skills learned
  • Language should be clear and precise. Avoid rhetorical flourishes and stilted language
  • Check reports, comments and reviews of your work for tangible positive statements.
  • Always ask other professionals to read your draft statement. Thinking critically and creatively about the feedback offered.
  • Don’t let yourself down with grammatical mistakes, awkward style and spelling mistakes. These send alarm bells ringing and indicate that you lack a professional approach.
  • Humour is always a risk and generally to be avoided, unless you are applying for a degree in  Comedy.
  • Remember that any claims that you make will be tested at your interview. Don’t say that you have read Tolstoy’s War and Peace unless you’re prepared to talk about it.
  • Specificity always beats a stream of vague generalisations.
  • Avoid detailed discussions of negatives and weaknesses. On the other hand it can be effective if you explain clearly how you successfully overcame obstacles or challenges during your life.
  • Avoid the personal development clich├ęs and the tired rhetoric of X-factor based on ‘how much do you really want this?”
  • Arrogantly making grand claims about your brilliance tends to irritate admissions’ tutors.
  • Avoid “Great Quotes” from famous people; the originality and wit must be yours.
  • You don’t stand out simply by listing all your work experience, your volunteering since the age of 5, or your travel itineraries. But these should be mentioned if you are able to demonstrated what you have learnt from these activities. This is also an opportunity to demonstrate the qualities of a reflective learner
  • What is your unique selling point? What is special about you? This does not need to be a long list.
  • The first sentence of each paragraph needs to send a strong message.
Dr Ian McCormick is the author of The Art of Connection: the Social Life of Sentences
(Quibble Academic, 2013). He served for several years as a University Professor, Senior Lecturer, Widening Participation Officer and Admissions' Tutor.