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As the deadline for your 2023 UCAS application approaches, here's how to nail your Personal Statement

Whether you’re staying here at York College for a higher education course at our University Centre, or you’re applying externally, your application should arrive at UCAS by 6.00pm on January 25th.

Of all the sections of your application, we know that the Personal Statement can be the most challenging – but it doesn’t need to be. The Personal Statement gives you a chance to shine and show just how passionate you are about the subject you hope to study.

Universities want to see engaged students who are really interested in their courses. When we’re helping students to prepare their first draft of a personal statement, it’s worth remembering this advice from Ian Martin, our Head of Curriculum for Maths & Science at York College, who is also a Cambridge University Admissions Officer.

When asked ‘What are you looking for in an ideal candidate?’, Ian was told ‘We want someone who is a real “insert subject” geek.’ This not only means knowing your course content well, but also that you need to be looking beyond the curriculum and furthering your knowledge. There are plenty of ways to do this. For example, in English this might be explaining why reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein inspired you to look at the history of the gothic genre and the writings of Byron.

In physics, it could be looking at how sub-atomic particles were formed following the big bang. For career-orientated courses like medicine, nursing and teaching, you will also want to be able to show that you have arranged and completed relevant work placements.

A good personal statement also gives a sense of who you are and your personal voice – there is no need to overcomplicate your writing – it just needs to read naturally.

Expect to do a good few drafts and get started early.

It is also essential that you do not plagiarise/copy previous personal statements – remember that UCAS uses some quite sophisticated checking software.

Finally, don’t forget your Progress Coach will help you to work on getting the balance just right.

For more information on the higher education courses at York College & University Centre, visit our dedicated UCAS page here.