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Analysis Of A Personal Statement Example

Our co-founder, Tom, shares his thought processes with us on writing his UCAS personal statement applying for Economics:

This page shows each part of my final personal statement and why I wrote it this way.

For more information on how I went about writing it, see the writing a personal statement page. You can also see the final statement as a whole.

If you feel you need a little extra help with your personal statement, please check out our range of personal statement editing and critique services.

Examination of any quality newspaper will probably demonstrate that more of the headlines address economic problems than any other topic.

This is the first line of the personal statement, and so could be one of the most important things read by the university you apply to.

I tried to use it to convey what subject I am taking with out sounding too full of myself - and also show I'm interested in the news.

The importance and relevance of economic related disciplines to the modern world have led me to want to pursue the study of the subject at a higher level.

Here I'm telling the reader that I think Economics is a genuinely useful subject and that I would like to study it.

I'm trying not to look like I'm selling myself too much by concentrating on the subject rather than myself.

I am particularly interested in the behaviour of firms and organisations from an economic point of view and I have based my A-level coursework in this field.

Here I move onto myself - I tell the reader one of my particular interests about the subject and more importantly what I did in relation to this interest.

There's no point stating you are interested in a subject and not saying either why or what you did about it.

During my study, I have come across many real life complexities and while attempting to explain these theories, I have developed a keen interest in analysing and understanding how the world of business is influenced by economics.

This part is basically waffle and probably shouldn't be in the statement - its only purpose is to impress the admissions tutor (it probably didn't work) and lead smoothly into the next paragraph.

I have created an economics revision website for A-level and GCSE students (www.loftxnetwork.co.uk/economics). It is primarily intended to help younger students gain an understanding of core economic principles but has also helped me improve my own computer and presentational skills.

This is better - it says what I have done related to my subject, which wouldn't be examined or count for anything. I have also pointed out the reasons I did this and why I feel it helped me.

Notice I included a URL - this can be a good idea because it gives the reader something else to look at.

In my case it can show exactly how much dedication I put into creating my website and how I excel at doing this.

I was not 100% sure it was a good idea though, as I could find no guidance about putting URLs in personal statements, and thought it may just seem pretentious to the reader.

I regularly read newspapers and economic publications to keep up to date with economic developments and I am able to use my mathematical and analytical skills to apply different economic theories to a range of real-life economic situations.

Again, what I do to show I am interested in my subject and why.

Also a small part about my abilities to round off this part of the statement. I've really no idea how this part comes across to the reader.

Last year, I took part in an economics and business project called Young Enterprise in which I set up a small company and sold products to students at our school. I enjoyed the chance to put some of my business economic theory into practice and was able to enhance my management and communication skills. I also gained a distinction in the associated exam.

Here I talk about practical experience and what I feel I had gained from it.

It tells the reader that I take part in group activities and practice group management and communication skills. It also shows that I can put the skills I have into practice by doing something like this.

To gain practical experience in the workplace, I worked for two weeks at a small software company specialising in financial software. I currently have a part time job and this has taught me much about teamwork, responsibility and time management in the workplace.

Again, discussing my work experience - I mention what I did, why I did it and what I learned.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, swimming, sketching and solving puzzles and logic problems. I have redesigned and been responsible for the maintenance of my school's website (www.schoolsurlhere.sch.uk).

Penultimately, instead of talking about my skills and interest in Economics, I talk about what I do in my spare time.

Here I elaborated a bit - I don't really have much of an interest in sketching or solving puzzles and logic problems, but I do try a bit of both occasionally, so thought it would be safe to put down.

The main reason I included them is because I thought I needed some interests other than the standard reading and going out with friends.

I decided not to put down my computer and web design skills because they had been mentioned already, but did write about how I designed my schools' website.

I also wrote I maintained it, showing I have a position of responsibility.

I believe that I will gain a highly marketable set of skills from the study of economics at university. I have found economics to be a challenging and diverse discipline and I am interested in both macro and micro economics. It is this variation of perspective, combined with its real world importance, that makes economics an appealing subject to study at university.

Finally, I finished with a short sentence on what I thought I would get out of university. I would have put what I was going to do afterwards but didn't really know.

I rounded off my personal statement with my personal opinion of Economics. As well as the first line, the last line is probably quite an important part of the personal statement.

So I finished with (hopefully) a statement of why Economics was important to me, and why I wanted to study it.

Hope this analysis of my personal statement is useful to all prospective undergraduates. It got me 5 out of 6 offers from my chosen universities, so must have done something right!

Best of luck with your personal statement writing!