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How to write an outstanding personal statement: 5 top tips

Your personal statement is the only thing that shows the universities your personality before they meet you. It often determines whether or not you are called for interviews, so it needs to be good. Follow these tips to help ensure that your statement shows your University choices why you are the best candidate for medicine, and why they should choose you.
  1. Make it personal. You’re writing about yourself here! Showcase your individuality! Just because everyone else writes about wanting to do medicine because they want to help people and enjoy science, you don’t have to (unless that is the real reason, in which case do write that).
  2. Don’t lie. Don’t lie about work experience placements you have supposedly done but actually haven’t, they will ask for proof. Don’t even exaggerate the number of days you did your placement for, because, again, they will find out. Furthermore, actually ensure that you have read any book or article you have mentioned (even if it was after you have written about it in your statement!). If you lie they will question your integrity and it will probably jeopardise your place at that university.
  3. Link everything back to how your experiences will make you a good doctor. Being a grade 8 pianist won’t necessarily help you in your career in medicine, but the skills of determination and patience learnt by playing the piano most certainly will. You need to link everything back to why you will be a good doctor, and why you would be better than the other 1000’s of applicants in a career as a doctor.
  4. Don’t write your statement with one particular university in mind. The university may not select you in the end and you could have missed out on other university places, and definitely don’t mention your top choice University in your statement e.g “I would like to go to Aberdeen because…”
  5. This is a tip that some people may not agree with, but for me, writing about my A levels was a waste of space and so I did not do it. Everyone is doing biology, chemistry and maths and have learnt “key graph making skills needed for medicine”. As a result I decided not to write about my A levels at all, they know what I’m studying by looking at my UCAS application. Personally, I would focus on your unique skill set and showcasing your individual talents and experiences. Everyone has GCSEs and everyone has A levels, it’s not special.

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