Tag Archives: Personal statement errors

My Top 10 Most Common Personal Statement Errors – (10) Too generic

So I’ve reached the final installment of this blog series and I want to address one of the errors that is sometimes so hard to put your finger on. As an experienced careers adviser I often read through sound statements from good students which, …

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My Top 10 Most Common Personal Statement Errors – (9) Too focussed on career goals

This may seem a strange one, but please bear with me.  The danger here exists mainly for those who are applying for courses which are seen as being vocational, but which are in fact, still academic degree courses.  Students mistake their UCAS …

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My Top 10 Most Common Personal Statement Errors – (8) Overuse of a thesaurus

“The amplification of the inexplicable joy as I finished producing my first piece was too palpable to ignore. It perpetually hung in the surrounding air as waves of electrifying impetus to the growth of the infantile writer residing in every …

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My Top 10 Most Common Personal Statement Errors – (7) Poor spelling and grammar

Again, I find myself saying “put yourself in the shoes of the admissions tutor”.  If he or she has many more personal statements received than places to offer, then he or she is going to be looking for reasons to …

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My Top 10 Most Common Personal Statement Errors – (6) Statement is too short

UCAS has given you 47 lines (or 4,000 characters) for a reason – they expect you to use them.  If not all of them, then the vast majority.  If you cannot do this then you need to go back to …

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My Top 10 Most Common Personal Statement Errors – (5) Listing of information already given

This is a tell-tale sign that someone doesn’t have enough interesting stuff to say, usually because they have not put sufficient thought into the planning of their personal statement.  “My name is John Smith…” (yes, we already know that from …

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My Top 10 Most Common Personal Statement Errors – (4) Lack of genuine enthusiasm for the chosen subject

When I read through draft personal statements I want to be absolutely convinced that the student is excited by the prospect of studying xyz for the next 3 or 4 years.  Similarly, an admissions tutor will be looking out for those who …

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My Top 10 Most Common Personal Statement Errors – (3) Not enough academic focus

Whilst a list of wonderful hobbies and extra-curricular activities and achievements will no doubt help to create a picture of you as a proactive go-getter (and help to make your personal statement become a little more memorable), it will never …

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My Top 10 Most Common Personal Statement Errors – (2) Poor (or no) structure

OK, so I admit, structure is my ‘thing’.  I get very annoyed when I see personal statements that have given little attention to proper order and planning (and I see lots of them).  But let’s face it, an admissions tutor …

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My Top 10 Most Common Personal Statement Errors – (1) An uninspiring opening paragraph

Let’s start at the beginning.  We know that first impressions count, and with personal statements it is no different.  Picture the scene at a university that you are applying to – the admissions tutor is sitting in his or her …

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