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Where Do I Begin With My Personal Statement

Recommended Year Group: Year 12 (and 13 if done as a refresher)

Recommended Group Size: 10 - 40

Duration: 55 Minutes or 2 x 55 Minutes

Location: Classroom


  • To inform students of the structure, style and content of a good personal statement and for them to begin to identify the possible content of their own.
  • For students to experience what real personal statements look like and critique their content.
  • To bring some objective realism to the process of writing a personal statement and for students to go away from the session feeling more confident about their task.

Learning Outcomes

Students will :

  • Have started to think about their own achievements and positive qualities in preparation for writing their personal statement.
  • Know how to structure their personal statement including word count, type font and which important details to include.
  • Be aware of what university admissions tutors are looking for in a personal statement and what things to avoid.
  • Have received some advice on what to do if they intend to take a gap year.
  • Know where to go for further information and guidance about personal statements.
  • Be familiar with some aspects of the UCAS website.


  • PowerPoint (with explanatory notes)
  • Pens and paper
  • Undergraduate student ambassadors optional (ideally 1 per maximum 8 students)


This activity can be split into 2 sessions, the first of which would take place at the end of year 12. The second session, at the beginning of year 13 would serve to refresh the students’ memories of the previous session and would also provide an opportunity for them to go through an example search on UCAS