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How to Structure Your Personal Statement

Your UCAS personal statement gives you 4,000 characters (roughly 47 lines) to pitch yourself to your dream university. After you have written some initial bullet points of everything you want to include, you'll need to be able to arrange these points so that they flow and make sense to the reader.

Whilst there is no set way to structure your personal statement, the 'rule of three' is a tried and tested method to structure your personal statement:

1. Explain why you want to study the course you have chosen - You will need to demonstrate genuine interest in the subject. Perhaps you have read some specialist books on a particularly interesting topic, or have gone out of your way to attend a public lecture on something related. You may have had a 'lightbulb moment' early in life, or know a family friend who works in a related field.

2. What have you done that will make you an ideal future student? - This section will make up the bulk of your personal statement and you'll need to reflect on past experiences to provide evidence. If you have done work experience, use specific examples to show how you have grown and what you have learned. For more academic courses, show that you regularly go above and beyond to improve your knowledge, such as completing an EPQ or doing extra reading. If your chosen course is more creative, make sure you talk about what you've been doing outside of the classroom - from creative writing to music composition

3. What have you done outside of the classroom? - This is where you need to demonstrate that you are a well-rounded individual who will contribute to the university community. Do you do any extra-curricular activities, such as sports or debating? Have you had a part-time job that has helped you improve your communication skills? This is your chance to be creative and to really find the positives in your past experiences.

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