30 October 2019

UCAS Update: How to make your personal statement stand out

UCAS Update: How to make your personal statement stand out

We are in full swing here at Ealing Independent College finalising our UCAS applications ready for the start of the new year. With our Medicine, Dentistry and Law students, planning was crucial with a deadline of early October. This also includes our students that are aiming for courses at top universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College and London School of Economics, who must also plan well in advance to ensure that their application is robust and strong.

The internal deadline in November is fast approaching, with the 15 January 2020 marking the final UCAS deadline. We encourage our students to reach out to their tutors for any extra help or advice they require.

In the run-up to the UCAS application deadline, here is our recipe to a standout personal statement:

Get involved in everything the College has to offer. From clubs and events to becoming a school council rep. These opportunities will provide you with plenty to talk about in your application. If there isn’t something that relates to your chosen field then why not make a suggestion to your tutor and start-up one yourself! This will show confidence and dedication to the university of your choice, whilst also providing you with a variety of skills to take with you into your university life. 

All experience is good experience, it’s just how you frame it. Think about the skills and knowledge you have gained through a hobby or a part-time job after College. Break them down into the basic skills you have acquired and use this as evidence to support your application. If for example, you are a member of the College football team, discuss the importance of working as a team and communication. The admissions team at your chosen university will see that you not only take part in extracurricular activities but that you are also aware of how these skills can translate into group work or your academic life. 

Get out into your local community and volunteer. Volunteering comes in many forms, whether it’s helping out in a local charity shop or mentoring the younger team at your sports club. Playing a role in your local community will not only help you to give back but also allow you to apply your skills and knowledge to physical tasks. If you are unsure on how to approach a charity, or perhaps you want to get involved in an initiative through the College, then feel free to talk your tutor. We have a variety of options through the College and we are always open to new ideas. 

Show a level of expertise in your chosen field of study. Be passionate about your subject choice and show a level of understanding. Start by speaking with any of your teachers and asking for some recommended books or articles that might help you get that competitive edge. In your spare time, do some online research starting with the university website of what your course entails. This will help you understand what qualities the university is looking for. You can also try some online resources such as related blogs and videos to help inform your application and make you stand out from other candidates.

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