The Dos and Don'ts of Writing a Winning Personal Statement

Your personal statement should be honest, authentic, and focused on your strengths and achievements

The personal statement is an essential part of any university application, and it can often be the difference between being accepted or rejected. It is your chance to show the admissions committee who you are, what motivates you, and why you are the perfect fit for the course you are applying for. To help you make the most of this opportunity, here are some dos and don’ts of writing a personal statement.


  1. Research the course and university: Before you start writing your personal statement, make sure you have a good understanding of the course you are applying for and the university you want to attend. This will help you tailor your statement to the specific requirements and show that you have a genuine interest in the course and institution.

  2. Be honest and authentic: Your personal statement should reflect who you are and what you believe in. Avoid trying to sound like someone you’re not, or using overly complex language. Use your own voice, and write in a way that feels natural to you.

  3. Highlight your strengths and achievements: Make sure to focus on your strengths and achievements. This could include academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, or work experience that relates to the course you are applying for. This will show the admissions committee that you have the skills and motivation to succeed in the course.

  4. Explain why you want to study this course: Your personal statement should explain why you are interested in the course you are applying for. This could include discussing specific modules or topics that interest you, or explaining how the course relates to your future career goals.

  5. Ask for feedback: Once you have written your personal statement, ask friends, family, or a teacher to review it. They can provide valuable feedback and help you identify areas where you can improve.


  1. Plagiarize: Avoid copying content from other sources or using someone else's personal statement as a template. Plagiarism is a serious offence and could lead to your application being rejected.

  2. Use overly technical language: While it’s important to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject, avoid using technical language or jargon that the admissions committee may not understand. Instead, write in a clear and concise manner.

  3. Focus on negative aspects: Avoid dwelling on negative aspects of your academic or personal life, such as low grades or personal problems. Instead, focus on your strengths and achievements.

  4. Make unsupported claims: Avoid making unsupported claims, such as stating that you are the best candidate for the course or that you will achieve top grades. Instead, provide evidence to support your claims.

  5. Write too much or too little: Your personal statement should be around 500-600 words. Avoid writing too much or too little, and make sure you stick to the word count requirements set by the university.

In summary, your personal statement is your opportunity to showcase your skills, strengths, and motivation for the course you are applying for. By following these dos and don’ts, you can create a compelling personal statement that will impress the admissions committee and increase your chances of being accepted onto the course of your choice.