Picturing Your UCAS Personal Statement

It is said that a picture paints a thousand words and with the UCAS personal statement you have
approximately that many words to sell yourself to the admissions officer at your dream university
(4000 characters = 550-1000 words depending on how adroit your vocabulary is!). You have 4000
characters to concisely convey the most salient experiences from your past and your most vibrant
aspirations for the future. Hence, it is not surprising that most people approach the UCAS personal
writing process with trepidation or even dread – its importance is undeniable as the statement
forms an integral element of the whole University application process; once the submit button has
been clicked there is no turning back!

Then there is another layer of complexity, if a student is applying for different courses at different
institutions, they are only able to submit one UCAS personal statement. Therefore, the statement
needs to coherently address more than one specific area of study in a style that doesn’t appear
either too vague or lacking in focus and motivation to the prospective admissions officer.

Finally, there is the pressure of ensuring that the personal statement stands out from the generic
crowd without appearing too zany. The statement needs to be original and demonstrate genuine
passion for the chosen subject/s, whilst also showcasing the personal attributes possessed by the
student which make them a good fit for university life. It is worth stressing the importance of
originality – every UCAS personal statement submitted is scanned with the Copycatch system, which
compares the submitted piece with previous statements. If the system identifies more than 30%
similarity with a previously submitted piece then the statement will be flagged and action could be
taken against that student. (Personal Statement dos and don’ts | Undergraduate | UCAS)
Therefore, the process of writing an effective UCAS personal statement requires the ability to
carefully balance and account for a broad range of very important factors.


After years of supporting students with their UCAS applications to top UK institutions, CamVision has
accumulated their vast experience and developed a four-session programme to help support
students during every step of the UCAS personal statement writing process. From the initial
inception of ideas to the final draft, our experienced course leaders will support and nurture each
student until they have arrived at a personal statement that they are proud to send off to their
chosen universities. With a rolling programme of weekly group sessions, students are given the
opportunity to:

 explore different planning techniques.
 understand what the admissions tutors are and are not looking for.
 interrogate the pitfalls and positives of model personal statements.
 benefit from a safe and supportive environment where drafts can be shared, and individual
feedback provided.

Although there is no set formula for writing an effective personal statement, there are techniques
which every UCAS applicant can learn and apply to make their personal statement highly effective.

Remember: you have a maximum of 1000 words to provide an accurate and positive picture of who
you are to someone who has never met you…learn how to make every word count!