A Timeline

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.

1st July

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.

8th July

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.

15th July

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.

22nd July

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.

29th July

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?

5th August

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.

12th August

Finish second draft.

19th August

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.

26th August

Finish third draft.

2nd September

Give your personal statement to a teacher at school to look at and comment on.

9th September

Receive feedback from teacher and redraft.

UCAS APPLICATIONS BEGIN IN MID-SEPTEMBER

16th September

Finish fourth draft.

30th September

Give your personal statement back to your teacher for one last comment.

7th October

Make final changes and finish final draft. Make sure to check for spelling, grammar and typos, correcting where necessary.

15th October

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.