For a one-page document of 4,000 characters, the personal statement can end up consuming a lot of your time. To make the most of your productivity, and avoid hours spent blankly staring at the computer screen, we’ve laid out a suggested timetable for you, complete with dates and deadlines.
Read the content on our website and the universities’ websites and write down a list of the key things Oxbridge are looking for in a personal statement.
Make a brainstorm of what to include. What are your interests? What have you read? What have you studied? Write down everything you can think of, and then narrow it down to your top five ideas.
Write a plan of your personal statement. Outline how many paragraphs it will consist of, and broadly what the content of each paragraph will be.
Write a first draft. This does not need to be polished or refined; you just need to get your ideas on paper. You can work on styling the personal statement later.
Give your personal statement to a friend or relative and ask them to read it and give you feedback. Did it make sense to them? Is there anything that did not sound right? What would they suggest amending?
Read through the feedback, and read through your personal statement, and make revisions where necessary. If a certain topic didn’t quite work, there is still plenty of time for you to change the content of what you want to write about.
Finish second draft.
Play devil’s advocate. Attack your personal statement, find the flaws in your arguments. Imagine you are the interviewer, and be as ruthless as you can in exposing the holes in it.
Finish third draft.
Give your personal statement to a teacher at school to look at and comment on.
Receive feedback from teacher and redraft.
UCAS APPLICATIONS BEGIN IN MID-SEPTEMBER
Finish fourth draft.
Give your personal statement back to your teacher for one last comment.
Make final changes and finish final draft. Make sure to check for spelling, grammar and typos, correcting where necessary.
THE FINAL DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS TO OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT AND UCAS FORM BY 6PM ON THIS DATE
For more information, please check the UCAS website.