How to write a personal statement: practical tips and winning strategies

A personal statement is a concise essay showcasing an undergraduate's accomplishments, aspirations, and experiences. It’s an essential element of college and scholarship applications that gives admissions officers a glimpse into the applicant’s personality. Students need to know how to write a personal statement, as strong writing can help differentiate them from other candidates and improve their acceptance odds. This guide from the best admission essay writing service will recommend what to include in a personal statement and offer essential tips for an engaging text.

So, How to write a good personal statement?

Anybody pondering how to write a university personal statement to make it compelling sooner or later asks, “What makes a good personal statement?” Let’s clarify it.

“This is a great opportunity to display your passion and dedication and to showcase the unique contributions you can make to a university. In most cases, colleges seek ways to accept students rather than reject them, and your personal statement can help simplify this decision-making process for them.”

To create good personal statements, there are ten steps to follow. Here is a summary of those steps provided by a professional personal statement writers:

  1. Start by planning and listing all the topics you intend to cover in your statement.
  2. Focus on your interests and skills, and explain their relevance to the course.
  3. Don’t be modest about your achievements; highlight them in your statement.
  4. Begin with a clear explanation of why you wish to pursue the course.
  5. Ensure your writing focuses on why you plan to study that subject.
  6. Feel free to complete your statement of any word count; you can always edit it later.
  7. Avoid using overly elaborate language, and keep your writing concise and simple.
  8. Use the concluding lines to summarize the essential points in your statement.
  9. Review your text and have someone else proofread it as well.
  10. Take a break from your writing before revising it with fresh eyes.

Сonsider an example of a personal statement for the uni to understand how these tips can be implemented.

Don’t write:

"I am John, and I want to study at your university. I’m interested in your programs and would be a good fit. Please accept my application."

When you could write:

"I have a lifelong passion for science and a deep interest in pursuing research. After researching many universities, I am confident that your esteemed institution is the best place for me to achieve my goals. I have excelled academically, particularly in biology and chemistry, and actively seeking research opportunities. Your renowned programs and distinguished faculty provide the ideal environment for me to continue my intellectual journey and make meaningful contributions to your academic community.

What is checked by admissions tutors?

Universities and colleges pay attention to the academic record and potential when considering the candidate’s application. Admissions officers are interested in seeing the following things:

  • The candidate’s commitment and motivation;
  • Teamwork, leadership, and communicative skills;
  • Interest in the selected area of study;
  • Other relevant skills.

They are not expecting you to be a genius in your field but rather to demonstrate enthusiasm for the program you’re applying for and self-reflection on why you would be a suitable candidate. Consider what value you could add to the program and where you envision yourself after graduation when writing a personal statement for a university.

How to prepare for outstanding writing?

Even if you possess exceptional experiences, their impact may be diminished if they are presented in a poorly composed statement. Hence, it’s crucial to have a solid plan in place for your writing. A skillfully completed and thoughtfully structured statement showcases your achievements and demonstrates your proficiency in organizing written works, a vital skill for many university courses.

To understand what to put in a personal statement, create a plan by jotting down notes and answering the following questions:

  • What is your desired field of study?
  • Why are you interested in this field?
  • What qualities and experiences make you a suitable candidate for this course?
  • What are your other achievements and benefits?

These points will form your text’s backbone, so coherently express them. Complete a simple bullet-point list or use a more creative mind map.

Writing a personal statement for university - how to structure it?

When you ask what to write in a personal statement, you should know there isn't a definitive way to organize it. Usually, it’s recommended to incorporate the following components:

  • Introduction;

It’s a concise sentence to introduce yourself and clarify your motivation for the course.

  • Body paragraph;

Around 75% of your content should center on your academic accomplishments to demonstrate your qualifications, experience, and skills. About 25% can address any extracurricular activities that support your suitability.

  • Conclusion;

This has to summarize your key points, express interest in the opportunity and explain your short-term and long-term goals and plans for the future.

Effective strategies for the strong statement beginning

You may have some concerns about how to start a personal statement. To clarify this question, discover some personal statement tips to use at the beginning.

  • Type your statement in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and avoid copying and pasting until it’s completed.
  • Use spell check and save backups to utilize them if necessary.
  • Avoid extra spaces in your writing.
  • Start your statement by being clear and concise about why you aim for the course.
  • Avoid overused phrases, e.g., “from a young age” or “I have always been interested in...”

Creating a conclusion

When learning how to write a personal statement for university, it’s essential to understand how to conclude it. A great solution is to summarize your main points, reiterate your interest in the program, and leave a positive impression on the reader. Let’s see some examples of good conclusions to help you understand how to end a personal statement.

Example 1:

“I am excited to pursue my passion for biology at XYZ University. My academic achievements, extracurricular experiences, and personal qualities make me a strong candidate. I look forward to contributing to and learning from the university community.”

Example 2:

“The Bachelor of Arts program in Psychology at ABC University perfectly fits me. I am eager to engage in rigorous coursework and research opportunities and collaborate with like-minded students. Thank you for considering my application, and I hope to contribute to the university's academic and social community.”

Comparing fine and poor personal statement examples

Good example:

"I am excited to apply to your esteemed university’s business program. My experiences in DECA, student government, and volunteering have developed my passion for entrepreneurship and leadership. I am drawn to your university’s reputation for experiential learning and industry connections. I am eager to contribute to your community of scholars to cultivate my potential as a future business leader."

The document includes specific details about the student’s experiences and skills aligning with the business program. It also shows the applicant's understanding of the university’s values and offerings, demonstrating the commitment and fit for the program.

Bad example:

“I am excited to apply for admission to this university. I have always been interested in studying business and hope to learn more about it. This university can give me the education I need to succeed in my future career.”

This version is too general and lacks details about the experiences and qualifications of those applying to the university. It also doesn’t show specific knowledge about the university or its programs.

Dos and don’ts while completing personal statements


  • Try to demonstrate clearness and conciseness.
  • Include words with positive meanings, like "developed," "achieved," "discovered," "learned," "commitment," "enthusiasm," "fascination," and "energy."
  • Stick to simple and short sentences.
  • Add a personal touch but be careful while using humor and casual language.
  • Use evidence of your learning-motivated growth to support your ideas.
  • Treat your statement like an essay or job application letter by planning and dividing it into five or six paragraphs with appropriate headings.
  • Remember to proofread your personal statement for college and have others provide feedback to ensure proper spelling and grammar.


  • Avoid waffling or exaggerating. Instead, focus on relevant information.
  • Refrain from including your entire life history.
  • Don’t begin your writing with a cliché like “I’ve always wanted to be a…
  • Avoid using quotations (you may do this only if they are highly relevant and showcase your qualities).
  • Don’t even think about copying other people’s statements, as you risk being caught, harming your chances of acceptance.

Sentences to avoid in personal statements

  • “I am smart and talented and deserve to be accepted.”

This example is bad because it’s arrogant and doesn’t provide any evidence to support the claim.

  • “I don't have any experience in the field.”

This sentence is inappropriate because it highlights a weakness instead of a strength.

  • “Your university is highly ranked and has a good reputation.”

This is irrelevant for an application because it doesn’t provide any specific reasons for the candidate’s interest in the university.

  • “I don’t know what I want to study.”

This sentence is wrong because it needs more direction and purpose.

  • “I have had personal challenges, but I don’t want to discuss them.”

This phrase could be better because it raises red flags about the candidate’s ability to handle stress.

Get professional assistance and enter the college of your dreams!

Your statement is your chance to persuade a university to offer you a place. Therefore, making it engaging and convincing is essential to increase your likelihood of being accepted. If you want to know more about how to write a personal statement, get advice from our writing professionals with extensive experience. Visit EduBirdie and improve your writing skills with us!


  • How many words should a personal statement be?

Personal statement writing usually isn’t limited by the number of words. Instead, these documents are typically measured by character count, with the UCAS application setting a limit of 4,000 characters with spaces or 47 lines. This equals around 500-600 words, depending on formatting and font. However, it’s crucial to review the guidelines of the program or institution you’re applying to, as they may have their specifications.

  • What length is required for a personal statement?

This question appears to everybody interested in how to write a personal statement. These writing pieces must be at most 4,000 characters with spaces or 47 lines. To estimate the number of lines, use size 10, Courier New font, with default margins. Leaving a line between paragraphs may cause you to reach the line limit prior to the character limit.

  • What heading should be in a personal statement for uni?

This document should have a clear heading at the top that includes your full name, phone number, address, email, and other relevant personal details. It’s important to format these elements to match the style and font size of the rest of your content for consistency.

  • What tense should be used for writing a personal statement?

Use present tense to describe your current qualifications, skills, and goals. Past tense can be used for past experiences or accomplishments. It’s necessary to be consistent in your tense throughout the document to avoid confusion.

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