UCAS Personal Statement Tool – Learn what to write about

How to write it Your personal statement should be unique, so there’s no definite format


How to write it

Your personal statement should be unique, so there’s no definite format for you to follow here – just take your time. Here are some guidelines for you to follow, but remember your personal statement needs to be ‘personal’.

  • Write in an enthusiastic, concise, and natural style – nothing too complex.
  • Try to stand out, but be careful with humour, quotes, or anything unusual – just in case the admissions tutor doesn’t have the same sense of humour as you.
  • Structure your info to reflect the skills and qualities the unis and colleges value most – use the course descriptions to help you.
  • Check the character and line limit – you have 4,000 characters and 47 lines. Some word processors get different values if they don’t count tabs and paragraph spacing as individual characters.
  • Proofread aloud, and get your teachers, advisers, and family to check. Then redraft it until you’re happy with it, and the spelling, punctuation, and grammar are correct.

We recommend you write your personal statement first, then copy and paste it into your online application once you’re happy with it. Make sure you save it regularly, as it times out after 35 minutes of inactivity.

Here are some useful documents to get you started:

Applying for Teacher Education in Scotland?
If you’re applying to study Teacher Education in Scotland, you’ll need to make your application through the UCAS Undergraduate scheme. Read dedicated personal statement advice from Scottish training providers (457.95 KB) about what to include in your personal statement.

UCAS’ personal statement builder

This tool is designed to help you think about what to include in your personal statement, and how to structure it. It also counts how many characters you’ve used, so it’s easy to see when you’re close to the 4,000 character limit. Use our tool to start building your personal statement over time by saving your progress as you go.

Learn more


Personal statement dos and don’ts

  • Do show you know your strengths, and outline your ideas clearly.
  • Do be enthusiastic – if you show you’re interested in the course, it may help you get a place.
  • Do expect to produce several drafts of your personal statement before being totally happy with it.
  • Do ask people you trust for their feedback
  • Don’t be tempted to buy or copy a personal statement, or share yours. All personal statements are checked for similarity – if your personal statement is flagged as similar to other applicants, it could affect your chances of being offered a place.
  • Don’t exaggerate – if you do, you may get caught out in an interview when asked to elaborate on an interesting achievement.
  • Don’t rely on a spellchecker, as it will not pick up everything – proofread as many times as possible.
  • Don’t leave it to the last minute – your statement will seem rushed, and important information could be left out.
  • Don’t let spelling and grammatical errors spoil your statement.

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