UMASS Blog

Personal statements: Easy as ABC!

You should consider your personal statement as important as gaining the relevant entry qualifications for your chosen course. It’s the only chance you get to express your personality alongside your academic abilities.

A successful personal statement usually opens with positive intent and demonstrates a clear enthusiasm for the course in question. A common query from students is often on what to include in their personal statement. The answer is a simple one, if it’s relevant to your chosen course then include it and if it’s not then leave it out.

It’s a good idea to write in the first person, this provides evidence of an individual personal statement and helps once again to portray your enthusiasm for the course you’re applying for.

If there’s one key point to remember when writing your personal statement, remember the letters ABC! Activity, Benefit, Course!  Universities want to see examples of the transferable skills you have obtained and how you plan to develop these skills at university.  So, this is where ABC comes into play:

Activity

Maybe you’ve volunteered in your local charity shop or played in a sports team

Benefit

What are the transferable skills you’ve acquired by doing this activity? For example, leadership, communication or self-motivation skills.

Course

So you’ve done the activity and reaped the benefits, how does this relate to the course you’re applying for?

Good communication skills are vital for many university courses especially during group work. You also need a lot of self-motivation in order to succeed on any undergraduate degree programme.

Equally as important is a strong conclusion. Bear in mind, this is the last couple of lines in which you have to impress the admissions tutor. So make it count! Try to summarise your personal statement in a few lines and finish with a positive outlook on your future.

So remember, when writing your personal statement keep the writing style personal and use ABC where relevant!

Further guidance and tips for writing your personal statement can be found in our new UMASS personal statement activity and podcast