Preparing to write your UCAS Personal Statement The first step you need to take when preparing to write your UCAS personal statement is to summarise the important points about you. Try taking a blank piece of paper and brainstorming each point listed below. Try to write down as much as you can; at this stage it is about getting your ideas down on paper so that you have the information you need to begin composing your UCAS personal statement. Why do I want to attend university? _ What has influenced my decision to study my chosen subject at university? _ What are my academic achievements? _ What are my future goals? _ What work experience do I have and how has this developed me as a person? _ What are my extra_curricular achievements and hobbies?
Engage the Reader from the Start. When it comes to your application, all the information you submit is already set in stone__ except the personal statement. This is your chance to get your program's attention, especially if you feel that your MCAT scores or GPA may be lacking. You want your reader to be interested from the very start of the essay. Admission committee members are often short on time and may be more likely to gloss over your essay if it has a generic, flat, or boring beginning. One way to begin an essay is with a personal vignette__ a quick snapshot of a moment in your life that relates to your decision to apply to medical school. Consider the following two opening statements: a) I've always known that I want to be a doctor. Since my first encounter with death, I've recognized that it is my responsibility to help people. b) The lights flashed, and the sirens wailed as I watched the ambulances cart my next_door neighbor to the hospital. I was ten years old, and it was my first encounter with death. Do you see how the second example engages the reader's attention right away? It is a snapshot rather than a factual statement, which immediately catches the reader's interest. Personal vignettes are not the only way to start your essay, but they are easy to shape into engaging opening statements.