For more info visit UCAS Site [http://www.ucas.com] UCAS Personal Statements – The ‘Top 10’ mistakes _ Spelling mistakes (This is unacceptable and will mean that many admissions tutors will move you to the bottom of the pile) _ The opening sentence of the personal statement is not punchy and attention grabbing enough (Remember the admissions tutor has to sift through 100’s of applications so your introduction needs to stand out above the crowd and grab the attention of the admissions tutor) _ The personal statement does not outline why you would like to study your chosen subject _ The structure of the personal statement is too disjointed and does not flow (There is nothing worse than jumping ‘backwards and forwards’) _ The word ‘I’ is used too much throughout the personal statement _ Lack of paragraphs (There is nothing worse than staring at a solid block of text) _ Sentences are too long – use full stops to break up long sentences Misuse of grammar (Most notably commas) _ The personal statement does contain a concluding sentence summarising your application (Don’t just end your personal statement with a ‘cliff hanger’!) _ And finally……PROOF READ, PROOF READ, PROOF READ!!!! (Ask as many people as possible to read through your personal statement and give you feedback – but do remember that it is YOUR personal statement)
The Components of an Effective PS _ Having come across thousands of personal statements, we have realized an effective PS is one that is concise yet substantial, informative and interesting, and one that leaves a mark on its readers. Similar to other forms of discourse, a PS should demonstrate a main underlying theme that will anchor the narration of details to prevent the essay from being just an enumeration of information. From experience, we know all applicants are capable of presenting their ideas in an essay, but only a few are capable of accomplishing this in an organized manner. Why is organization important in a PS? As with any essay, there is a minimum requirement_to arrange your ideas into a cohesive whole. This is the reason why formal English divides an essay into three basic parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. So important is organization that this is the first factor we consider in composing or reviewing any essay that goes through our English language service. This is the most elusive component yet the most useful once we master its creation. From this, all other components will follow. Below, let us identify the four core components of an effective PS: _ An appropriate outline _ There are several different ways to structure an essay, but the most common format includes an introduction, a body, and a concluding paragraph. Most applicants believe that the more information they cram into their PS, the better their essays will turn out, and thus the greater their chances of being accepted. However, in their attempt to do so, they simply enumerate information and do not establish transitions between paragraphs, resulting in a résumé or autobiography written in prose. This is wrong.While it is true that an effective PS should be informative, keep in mind that it should be more than a simple enumeration of relevant data such as grades, awards received, and the like. A PS should be a creative presentation of details executed in an interesting and coherent manner. This is where an outline comes in. If you wish to present more specific details such as titles of papers, awards, internship experience, and extracurricular activities, we suggest you include these facts in your Curriculum Vitae instead.