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How Long Should Your UCAS Personal Statement Be?

"The ideal length for a UCAS personal statement is dependent on the quality and relevance of the information included, rather than the number of words." UCAS recommends a maximum of 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text.

Writing a UCAS personal statement can be a daunting task. It’s your chance to showcase your skills, experiences and motivations to universities, and convince them that you’re the right fit for their course. However, when it comes to the length of your personal statement, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips and guidelines to help you determine the ideal length for your UCAS personal statement.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that there’s no official word count limit for a UCAS personal statement. However, UCAS recommends a maximum of 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including spaces and blank lines) for your personal statement. While this may seem like a lot of space, it’s important to use it wisely.

When it comes to length, quality should always be prioritized over quantity. Admissions tutors are looking for evidence of your passion and potential for their course, not a long list of achievements or experiences. In fact, including irrelevant or unnecessary information can actually be detrimental to your application.

It’s important to structure your personal statement in a way that flows logically and is easy to follow. A good rule of thumb is to divide your statement into three parts: an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion. In your introduction, you should grab the reader’s attention and explain why you’re interested in the course. In the main body, you should expand on your experiences, skills and achievements, and explain how they relate to the course. Finally, in your conclusion, you should summarize your main points and explain why you’d be a great fit for the course.

When it comes to the length of each section, the introduction and conclusion should be relatively brief, while the main body should make up the bulk of your statement. As a general guideline, aim to spend around 70% of your personal statement discussing your skills, experiences and achievements, and around 15% on your introduction and conclusion respectively.

It’s also important to tailor your personal statement to each individual course you’re applying to. Make sure to do your research and understand what each course is looking for in a candidate. This will help you to emphasize the most relevant skills and experiences in your personal statement.

In summary, the ideal length for a UCAS personal statement is dependent on the quality and relevance of the information included, rather than the number of words. Aim to use the space available wisely, and focus on showcasing your passion and potential for the course. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a compelling and effective UCAS personal statement.

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How to write a UCAS personal statement

A student writing a personal statement on a laptop

Writing a great personal statement

Read our guide on what it is, what to include, how to start, length and what makes a good personal statement 

Once you've decided which universities and courses to apply for, completing your application is pretty simple – until it comes to how to write your UCAS personal statement.

This guide covers everything you need to know about how to write a personal statement for university. We look at what it is and how you can start your personal statement. We've also got questions to guide you and a suggested personal statement structure you can use so you know what to put in it.

If you'd like even more resources, support and UCAS personal statement examples, you can sign up to access our personal statement hub .

What is the UCAS personal statement?

How universities use your ucas personal statement, how to start a ucas personal statement.

  • Get feedback on your UCAS personal statement

The personal statement is part of your UCAS application. It's how you show your chosen universities why you'll make a great student and why they should make you an offer.

Your personal statement also helps you think about your choice of course and your reasons for applying, so you know you’ve made the right decision.

Get feedback on your personal statement

Sign up to our personal statement hub to get feedback on your draft. You'll also get access to videos, help sheets and more tips.

Sign up now

UCAS personal statement word limit

Your personal statement length can be up to 4,000 characters long. 

This may sound a lot, but it's a word limit of around 550–1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4 paper.

You need to keep it concise and make sure it's clear and easy to read.

Applying for multiple courses

Although you can apply for up to 5 courses on your UCAS application, you can only submit 1 personal statement. So it needs to cover all your course choices.

If you really want to show your commitment to applying for different courses, we will accept a second personal statement from you to reflect your application e.g. if you are applying for Law elsewhere, but Criminology and Criminal Justice with us.

Lots of students who apply to university have achieved the basic entry requirements and many more students apply than there are places available. Admissions teams can use your UCAS personal statement to get to know you and decide why you're more suitable than other applicants.

Some universities read every personal statement and score them. Then they use them alongside your qualifications and grades to decide whether to offer you a place or interview. Other universities put less emphasis on the personal statement and use it with students who have borderline entry requirements.

Universities might refer to your personal statement again on results day if you don't get the grades you need. So a good personal statement could clinch you a uni place even if your grades aren't what you hoped for.

Starting your personal statement can seem scary when you're staring at a blank screen. But, things will seem less daunting once you start.

  • Set aside some time in a place where you're comfortable and won't be disturbed. Grab a notepad or computer.
  • Write down anything and everything that's influenced your decision to go to university and study your chosen subject. Jot down your skills and experience too.
  • Use the questions below to guide you. Don't worry about the personal statement length at this point – you can cut things out later.

When to start your UCAS personal statement

Ideally, you want to leave yourself plenty of time – a few weeks or even months – to plan and write your personal statement.

Try not to leave it to the last minute, as tempting as this may seem when you've got so many other things to think about.

Questions to guide you

Your motivation.

  • Why do you want to study at university?
  • Why do you want to study this subject?
  • How did you become interested in this subject?
  • What career do you have in mind after university?

Academic ability and potential

  • How have your current studies affected your choice?
  • What do you enjoy about your current studies?
  • What skills have you gained from your current studies?
  • How can you demonstrate you have the skills and qualities needed for the course?
  • What qualities and attributes would you bring to the course and university?

Your experience

  • What work experience (including part-time, charity and volunteer work) do you have and what have you learnt from it?
  • What positions of responsibility have you held? (For example, prefect, captain of a team or member of a committee)
  • What relevant hobbies or interests do you have and what skills have they helped you develop?
  • What transferable skills do you have, such as self motivation, team working, public speaking, problem solving and analytical thinking?

Research and reading

  • How do you keep up with current affairs or news in your chosen subject?
  • What journals or publications relevant to your chosen subject do you read?
  • Which people have influenced you, such as artists, authors, philosophers or scientists?

Now it's time to write your personal statement using your notes. It's best to draft it on a computer, and remember to save it regularly.

You can copy and paste it into your UCAS application when you're happy with it.

Personal statement structure

While there's no set template for a personal statement, you may find it useful to follow this personal statement structure when you decide what to put in your statement.

What to include in a personal statement

  • Reasons for choosing this subject(s)
  • Current studies and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Experiences and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Interests and responsibilities and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Your future after university
  • Summary including why you'll make a great student

Further tips for a good UCAS personal statement

  • Use information on university websites and the UCAS website. This often includes the skills and qualities universities are looking for in applicants
  • Ask friends, family and teachers to remind you of activities you've participated in. They might remember your successes better than you do
  • Don’t include lists in your application, like a list of all your hobbies. Focus on 1 or 2 points and talk about them in depth to show their relevance to your application
  • Explain and evidence everything. It’s easy to say you have a skill, but it's better to demonstrate it with an example of when and how you’ve used it
  • Avoid clichéd lines such as ‘I've always wanted to be a teacher’ as it says nothing about your motivations or experiences
  • If you’re applying for a joint degree or different subjects, give equal time to each area and try to find common aspects that show their similarities
  • Never lie or plagiarise another statement – you'll be caught and it could result in your application being automatically rejected
  • Proofread your personal statement by reading it out loud and ask friends, family or a teacher to check it for you

Sign up to our personal statement hub

Watch videos, get top tips and download our help sheets – that's what our personal statement hub is for. It's for you to write your story, so you can show your strengths, ideas and passion to your chosen universities.

You'll also be able send us your draft, so you can get feedback and feel confident about what you've written.

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How long should your personal statement be?

Wondering about the university personal statement word count? We go through it all here!

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ucas personal statement how long should it be

A well-written personal statement adds a lot of strength to an application and allows you to express your personality. It also gives you a chance to go into detail about your interest in studying your chosen course, rather than just demonstrating your eligibility to do so. 

However, it’s vitally important to remember that you have a limited amount of space for your personal statement. Let’s take a look at how long your personal statement should be... 

UCAS requirements state that your personal statement can be a maximum of 4,000 characters or up to 47 lines in length – whichever comes first. The character count includes spaces and the line count includes blank lines, so keep this in mind when it comes to how you format your paragraphs. 

This might sound like a lot, but bear in mind that there are approximately 30 lines on one side of A4 paper in a standard size font, so your final submission will be around a page and a half of text. You’ll need to think carefully about what you want to include, keep it concise, make sure it flows well and has clear meaning throughout. 

Having said this, don’t worry too much about the character count when you start writing. Be free to jot down anything and everything which comes to mind, and even list them in bullet-point form. You can then begin to adjust and re-order these points until a structure and narrative becomes clear. 

You’ll probably have to cut a lot of stuff to keep your personal statement under the character limit. If you’re having trouble choosing what to remove, it can be helpful to ask yourself this question: “Is this really relevant to my personal statement?” 

It’s better to have fewer, well-resolved points which flow together to paint a picture of who you are than lots of rushed points which sound like a jumbled list of achievements. 

You’ll only know exactly how many lines your personal statement is when you paste it into UCAS. The UCAS character count might be slightly different from the one on your word processor, so be careful when you submit it, because any submission which exceeds the character or line limit will be cut off. 

It’s a good idea to aim for 3,500 characters in your first draft, and then you can add or remove words accordingly. For the finished piece, try to get as near to the word count as possible – anything too short might not have enough detail, and anything too long will get cut off. 

Need more personal statement advice? Check out our personal statement guide!  

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Personal statements for university applications

Forming a key part of your university application, you should use the UCAS personal statement to showcase how your skills, experience and aspirations make you a good fit for the course

What is a university personal statement?

With two sides of A4 to work with, this is your opportunity to tell course tutors in your own words the reasons why you feel you'd be an asset to their university.

How long should a personal statement be?

There's no maximum word count, but you'll need to remain within the 4,000 character limit (including spaces and punctuation) allowed in your UCAS application, as well as keeping the statement to a total of 47 lines of text.

UCAS recommends that you write your personal statement in Microsoft Word before copying and pasting it into the online application form. This is because the application page times out after being inactive for 35 minutes. You'll still need to account for how individual characters are counted differently between Microsoft Word and the online form.

What do I write about?

When considering what to include in your personal statement, take time to think about the reasons you're applying to university and what makes you a suitable candidate.

To make this work for different courses and universities, you'll need to find some common ground by providing examples of why you'll be a success - demonstrating enthusiasm for the choices you've made and how they fit in with your career ambitions.

You'll need to talk about the relevant skills, experience and achievements you've gained through extra-curricular activities - whether these are sporting, musical or creative.

As well as going through your academic record to date, your personal statement also gives you the opportunity to mention any work experience or volunteering you've undertaken, detailing what you've learned from it. For instance, you may have been involved with the Young Enterprise programme at school and have a better idea of how to manage your money.

It's never too late to show you're actively preparing for higher education. Get involved with an extra-curricular club, secure a part-time job or do some volunteering. You could even complete a free online course in a relevant subject with an organisation such as FutureLearn or the Tech Nation Digital Business Academy .

If you're an international student, you could discuss why the UK is your preferred study destination ahead of universities in your own country. Don't forget to mention the English language tests, courses and qualifications you've taken.

Finally, if there are any personal or financial circumstances that have had a strong bearing on your performance at school or college, you can outline these in this statement.

How do I write a personal statement?

By breaking your personal statement down into sections, you can ensure you cover the most relevant points.

Course-relevant skills and credentials should be given prominence in the overall structure. You can use the course descriptions to help you.

However, as you only have the one personal statement for all your choices, if you've selected a variety of subjects that aren't that similar, you'll need to focus on the transferable skills and common qualities typically valued by universities - for example, creativity or problem-solving.

Adopt a simple, concise and natural style for writing your statement, while still showing enthusiasm. Allow your personality to shine through.

It can often take a number of redrafts until the statement is ready, so allow plenty of time to write it properly, and set yourself a schedule.

Get used to reading your statement aloud and asking for feedback from family, teachers and advisers before redrafting to make sure your writing flows well. You'll also need to check for the correct punctuation, spelling and grammar and not just rely on a spellchecker.

Keep an up-to-date copy of your statement saved so you can refer back to it during the interview process.

How do I start a personal statement?

At this point, think about why you're applying for the course, and how you became interested in it in the first place. Was it through work experience or studying the subject at A-level?

Once you've noted down your reasons for choosing the course, you can move on to your skills and what makes you stand out positively from other applicants, providing evidence of where each attribute has been utilised.

After you've written this down, condense it so it's less wordy. You can then attempt to write a punchy opening paragraph showcasing your excitement at the prospect of going to university, and an understanding of what you're getting yourself into.

Get off to the best start by using the UCAS personal statement builder .

What should I avoid?

  • As you'll only have the one statement, it's important not to mention universities by name - unless you plan on applying to just a single institution.
  • Remember that admissions staff may not share your sense of humour, so steer clear of anything that might get misinterpreted.
  • Refrain from using clichés or making arrogant or exaggerated statements.
  • Resist any temptation to use somebody else's work as your own. The UCAS Similarity Detection Service utilises the Copycatch system, which will compare your statement against those stored within a comprehensive library of statements - those sent to UCAS and elsewhere (including paper publications).
  • Be careful not to ramble. Structuring your work so you know how much space you have for each section will make sticking to your main points much easier.

University personal statement examples

While you can find some examples online - from the likes of Reed.co.uk and King's College London - it's important to use your own words and not copy them directly.

Indeed, the UCAS personal statement worksheet can prove just as useful when it comes to helping you decide what to put in your own personal statement.

You can simply print out this personal statement template and jot down any ideas into the various sections as you think of them.

Find out more

  • Read the full lowdown on how to apply for university .
  • Get tips on preparing for a university interview .
  • For further advice on writing a university personal statement, visit UCAS .
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How to write your personal statement for University

Your ucas personal statement, what is a personal statement.

A personal statement is an important part of your UCAS application, which will need to be submitted to study in the UK. It will support your application to study at university or college, and is a great way to showcase your personal qualities, skills and passions. Crucially, it gives you a platform to demonstrate to admissions tutors and lecturers how you are the perfect candidate for your chosen course or subject.

How long should a personal statement be?

Your personal statement can be around 47 lines (there is no word limit but there is a character limit of 4,000 characters, which is roughly 1 side of A4). You will only write one statement for all of your choices, so it needs to be relevant/applicable for all.

Tips on what makes a good personal statement

• Think about what gets you excited about the course you are applying for and just start writing - you will be amazed at how effective it is to get all your thoughts on paper. • Be positive when you describe how you get motivated about the course you want to study, and what inspired your decision. • Talk about your transferable skills and knowledge - e.g. leadership, teamwork, problem solving, communication, organisation, that will help you on the course. • Talk about you and what makes you unique, exciting, interesting. What makes you stand out? • Back it up with evidence - use evidence from relevant work experience, extracurricular activities, outside reading, and all the other things you do. • Don’t overcomplicate things, leave out flowery language and stick to plain English.

In summary, strive to make your personal statement authentic, a good combination of head and heart that captures your enthusiasm. Take your time and you’ll produce something special that sums up what you are all about.

How to write your personal statement

Writing a personal statement for your university application can be daunting, but it shouldn’t be. We would suggest that you complete this section once you have selected your university course choices, as this will allow you to tailor your personal statement to your chosen subject or course(s). You should explain your motivation for applying to University. It is important to showcase your drive and passion for the subject area, and any skills or experience you may have which will help you become a successful student. Suggested plan : How to begin your personal statement - Start off with a great opening sentence that conveys how excited you are about the course and shows that you really understand what you’re getting into. Middle - Your middle paragraphs should emphasise your skills and knowledge, provide evidence that proves your interest in the course and your personal qualities. How to end your personal statement – this bit is about what makes you unique, what will make you fit into the course you are interested in?

DOs & DON’Ts

• Be authentic • Be positive • Be enthusiastic • Be clear and concise • Plan your statement like an essay • Make sure your statement is appropriate for all of your course choices • List your skills and qualities but avoid sounding big-headed • Draft, redraft and seek feedback • Be careful when using quotes – only use those which are relevant, and well thought out • Back it up with evidence • Allow plenty of time


• Copy someone else’s statement – there is software that will catch you out on this! • Waffle – it is better to be short and relevant • Use clichés • Rely on spell check – proofread • Rush or underestimate the time it takes to write an excellent statement

We know that it's been difficult to carry on with sports and other hobbies during the lockdown periods. In your personal statement, can you tell us how you adapted your activities at this time? Did you do any virtual activities, remote training sessions or organise social events? Did you take the opportunity to listen to podcasts, broaden your reading or watch programmes about your chosen subject? Did you volunteer to support your local community or to help the NHS? We want to hear about your resilience, your patience and your adaptability. In your personal statement, consider telling us about: • How you adapted your activities at this time? • Any virtual activities, remote training sessions you attended or social events you organised? • How you took the opportunity to listen to podcasts, broaden your reading or watch programmes about your chosen subject? • Any volunteering to support your local community or to help the NHS that you did? We want to hear about your resilience, your patience and your adaptability.

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Personal Statement FAQs

Our personal statement FAQs will help ease the pain of writing a personal statement for your UCAS form . More advice can also be found on our blog .

What can I find in this article?

1. When should I start writing my personal statement?

It's never too early to start thinking about it! Unfortunately, UCAS deadlines have a tendency to creep up on most students, especially if you are applying to Oxbridge where the deadline is much earlier than other universities ( 15th October ).

However, you probably want a good idea of what course you're going to apply for before you launch in to actually writing the thing .

Check out Choosing A Degree if you're still deciding what subject to take.

On the other hand, don't leave it too late - you'll probably need a few weeks to write it and a week or so to get a reference written.

As a general guide we would say start writing it when you come back to school or college after the summer, though it might be worth jotting down a few ideas during the holidays.

We know some people are extremely organised and get at least their first draft done by the end of the summer!

2. How long can the personal statement be?

There is no actual word limit - instead, you have a maximum of 47 lines or 4000 characters to work with.

This is all the space UCAS give you on their online system, Apply . You can check that your statement will fit in the area provided by using our handy Personal Statement Length Checker .

3. How do I start writing my personal statement?

Most people won't be able to just start writing their personal statement off the top of their head - so it's a good idea to jot down a few notes first.

The main things to think about are:

  • why do you want to study your chosen course?
  • how do your skills, experiences and interests prove you are passionate about and committed to taking this course?

These are the two main things to start with, and if this still doesn't help you can look at a few more detailed starting points .

Many people have trouble writing about themselves and their personal qualities.

So if you're having trouble pop down to a library or bookstore and get a book on writing CVs that will go into this process in much more depth.

4. What are admissions tutors looking for?

Usually the sort of things you've written about for the part above!

Obviously the things admissions tutors are looking for will differ but in general: "Do we want this student on this course?" And "Do we want this student at this university?".

The idea of your personal statement is to show this - so once you've written it, have a read through and see if it answers these questions.

Individual universities and departments often publish information on applying and writing personal statements, so surfing the admissions scetion of their website should turn up more specific information on exactly what they're looking for.

Our blog post, 8 Things Not To Put In Your Personal Statement , will help you avoid making any obvious errors. Then check out What You Should Include In Your Personal Statement to make sure you don't miss anything important.

Read through our Personal Statement Writing Tips and How To Write A Personal Statement Guide for more comprehensive information and advice.

5. What's the most important part of the personal statement?

From our days of GCSE English, we would say either the beginning or the end.

A good first sentence will get the reader interested and ensure they actually read your statement rather than skim it.

A good ending will ensure the reader remembers your personal statement, though it also helps to have a good middle section as well.

The first line is probably the most important thing to work on. Most people put their reasons for studying the subject at the top, and this is generally regarded to be the most crucial part of the statement, as you need to hook the reader and make them want to read more.

However, the rest of your statement should make you shine as a candidate too, so there isn't really a definite answer to this question!

Just try to make your personal statement as interesting and polished as you can.

6. How do I write a statement for two different courses?

There's no easy way to write a personal statement for two totally unrelated courses.

If the courses are similar (i.e. Business Studies and Economics ) you may find you can write a personal statement that is relevant to both subjects without mentioning either subject by name.

If the courses are totally unrelated it may be impossible to write for both subjects without your personal statement sounding vague and unfocused.

Instead, you will need to concentrate on just one subject and just ignore the other, although you may want to question whether it's a good idea to apply for such different course, and re-think your subject choice .

7. Should I talk about what I want to do after university?

You could, but only if you have a good idea of what you want to do.

If you sound sure about what you want to do after university , it gives the impression that you've thought carefully about your course and what you want to do with it.

It is also a nice way to round off your personal statement , rather than just finishing on less important stuff like extra curricular activities.

If you don't have any future plans then leave it out - you don't want to be asked about them at interviews .

8. How should I structure my personal statement?

Most people write their personal statement in an essay style, usually starting off with the course and why they want to do it, then talking about their relevant work experience and skills, and finishing off with extra curricular activities.

However, you can use any style that you feel works best for you.

As a guide, spend around 50% of the space talking about your course and how you're suited to it and 50% on your work experience and other activities.

Exactly how you write your personal statement depends on your subject - generally people write more about work experience for vocational subjects like Medicine and Law than they would for Maths or English , where work experience is less important.

9. Is it worth doing loads of extra-curricular stuff to make my statement sound good?

There's no point doing extra things just to try and make yourself look good to universities - you won't enjoy it and it probably won't help much either.

From what we've seen, an interest and aptitude for the course is more important to admissions tutors than lots of extra curricular activities.

If you do want to do something to boost your application, read relevant books or do work experience related to the subject instead.

10. Should I talk about my qualifications?

No. There's already a section on the UCAS form for this, so don't waste space talking about them on your personal statement.

If you have something important that doesn't go in the qualifications section, ask your referee to put it down in your reference - it will sound better if it comes from them than from you.

11. Where can I see some example personal statements?

We have loads of free personal statement samples that you can browse through, broken down into subject categories so you can hopefully find what you are looking for quite easily!

Looking at what other students have written and submitted on their application is a useful way of seeing what makes a great personal statement (and what doesn't!).

Just make sure you don't copy sentences or whole chunks of these examples though, as UCAS has plagiarism detection software and your application will be rejected if it's found you've cheated!

12. What should I do after I've written my statement?

Ask for opinions on it!

Show it to your friends, parents, teachers, career advisors, etc and note down their comments.

The most useful comments are likely to come from your teachers in the subject and the people at your school or college who handle UCAS applications.

If you have enough time, leave your personal statement for a couple of weeks or a month and come back to it - if you're not still happy with what you wrote, it's time to start redrafting.

13. Should I post my personal statement online?

It's generally not a good idea to post it on an internet forum or discussion board before you've started university.

Anyone can steal information off a website and pass it off as their own, and with something as important as a personal statement, you don't want that to happen.

You should be OK sending it to people you trust by email - see the next question for a better way of getting people to look at it.

14. Where can I ask for feedback on my personal statement?

To get people to look at your personal statement without the risk of plagiarism visit the personal statement review section.

You can also get your personal statement professionally edited and reviewed here at Studential, through one of our very popular personal statement editing and critique packages.

We offer a range of services covering a variety of prices, so there's bound to be a package suited to you.

15. I'm still stuck with my personal statement - where can I find more in-depth advice?

Some people say writing a personal statement is easy – maybe it is, but it’s difficult to write a personal statement well. As this is such a big topic to cover, we suggest taking a look at our personal statement examples to help give you some inspiration for what to write, and then read through our  personal statement writing guide  when you’re ready to put pen to paper. Browse through the  other information and advice  we have in our personal statements section, and if you still feel you need a little extra help, you can always get your personal statement  professionally edited and reviewed  by one of our editors. We offer a range of UCAS personal statement editing and critique services , so there’s bound to be one suited to your needs. Don’t forget to ask your family, friends, teachers and careers adviser to look through your personal statement drafts, and incorporate any feedback they give you until you are 100% happy with it. Remember - it doesn’t matter how many times you have to redraft your personal statement – the most important thing is you get it right so you give yourself the best possible chance of being offered places by your chosen universities/colleges.

IMPORTANT:  When writing your personal statement, it’s vital you remember  not to copy from anyone else’s personal statement  (not even just a sentence!). Not only is it wrong and unfair, but any plagiarism will be detected by the Copycatch Similarity Detection Software. If UCAS discover you have plagiarised your personal statement, whether you have copied someone else’s entirely or parts of it, they will cancel your application.

You can also try looking through our personal statement guide for extra guidance.

This takes you through how to write a personal statement step-by-step, and goes into far more detail than this FAQ does.

If you feel you need more help, check out our personal statement editing and critique services  where our professional editors will review your statement to make it a success.

16. How do I write a personal statement if I'm a mature student?

Don't worry if you're a mature student applying to university - your qualifications, skills and extra experience will count as an advantage! Universities want to take on students from all walks of life, and this includes mature ones with more life experience.

Focus on what you can bring to the university if they offered you a place on the course, and how your degree fits into your future plans.

Read through some of our Mature Student Personal Statement Examples for inspiration.

17. How do I write a personal statement if I'm an international student?

As mentioned previously, universities want students from a range of backgrounds, and this includes those who want to study at their institution from abroad.

Again, try to convey how your experiences in your own country will benefit you on your course, and how they make you a valuable asset to the university.

To give you an idea of what other international students have written in the past, read through some of our International Student Personal Statement Examples for inspiration (but please remember not to copy them, or your application will be penalised!).

A few last tips

What have you done, relevant to your subject, that is unique and no one else is likely to put down?

Many people have the same old boring interests and work experience - you need something to separate you from the crowd, and while it's a gamble to make an individual personal statement, anything individual you do related to your chosen field can only look good.

Have a think - what makes you so special? If you can't think of anything then you can't complain if you get rejected! Finally, remember it's your personal statement, and you can write whatever you want in it.

If everything in this guide conflicts with what you've got already but you think you still have a killer personal statement, then use that.

A personal statement is about you, and you shouldn't let anyone tell you what to put in it - sticking blindly to the formula mentioned here will just stop your true personality showing through.

Further information

For more tips and advice on writing your personal statement, please see:

  • The 15th January UCAS Deadline: 4 Ways To Avoid Missing It
  • Analysis Of A Personal Statement
  • Personal Statement Editing Services
  • Top 10 Personal Statement Writing Tips
  • Personal Statement Advice From A Teacher
  • Personal Statement Writing Guide
  • What To Do If You Miss The 15th January UCAS Deadline .

Best of luck with your personal statement!

Has lots of valuable

Mon, 19/09/2011 - 05:17

Has lots of valuable information

Thu, 06/10/2011 - 20:30

very good site!! Helped a lot!!!!

Wed, 12/10/2011 - 17:21

Great info, i appreciate it.

Fri, 14/10/2011 - 14:35

i wana apply for a science

Tue, 25/10/2011 - 10:22

i wana apply for a science faculty but what i did in the past were only related to English (eg:joining competitions in sos verse speaking,public speaking;volunteered to teach english;being chairman of english society at school./) and seems almost nth for science.... so should i write those experience also?but how can i link them to the content.... thanks

Wed, 26/10/2011 - 22:56

Excellent website, I have searched high and low for a website like this. Very impressed.

wow this has just simply

Fri, 28/10/2011 - 21:15

wow this has just simply saved my life:)

Sun, 30/10/2011 - 11:11

Thank you for the guidance, its very simple and straight forward


Fri, 04/11/2011 - 06:38

I have Aspergers should I include this in my PS because it has affected my involvement in extra curricular activities

like to point out that it is

Wed, 09/11/2011 - 15:13

like to point out that it is 47 lines and not 37 :) that aside, very helpful - thanks!

The best site I have found to

Fri, 02/12/2011 - 22:29

The best site I have found to help with personal statements, got so much useful infomation and straight to the point, will definately recommend to others in my class who are in the middle of their personal statments!

I have read that you should

Tue, 06/12/2011 - 14:57

I have read that you should write about why you wish to study at university and what inspires you to, and i want to but the real reason i want to study at uni is because of a very personal reason and im not sure wether to mention it as i feel i may come across as an attention seeker? the real reason i want to go is because of a very abusive relationship with an ex boyfriend that made me realise i should make the most of my life and do exactly what i want and never let anyone bring me down... do u think it would be too much if i said this - I was very unsure whether to write about the real reason I want to pursue what I’m passionate about, because its very personal. The truth is that is wasn’t a good experience. A traumatising abusive relationship with an ex boyfriend woke me up and made me see I should make the most out of my life.

Tue, 06/12/2011 - 15:03

Tue, 06/12/2011 - 15:08

Amazing Stuff

Mon, 13/02/2012 - 13:06

I'm so glad I found this site

Thu, 01/03/2012 - 15:46

I'm so glad I found this site. It's helped alot.

I'm so glad I found this site. It's helped alot. :)

Thu, 01/03/2012 - 15:47

Lying on your personal statement

Tue, 10/07/2012 - 20:27

I was very disappointed to see this included in your FAQs. Even more to see it answered in the way it was. If someone can lie and "get away with it" does that not suggest we could potentially have a generation of useless, brainless, incompetent potential lawyers, doctors, politicians heading our way? Oh, wait...how long have you been giving this advice out?

do we have to write about our

Tue, 31/07/2012 - 19:13

do we have to write about our interests and hobbies???

if yes what if we dont have enough space and gone over max line limit??

thx a lot for the post..lots

Thu, 13/09/2012 - 23:21

thx a lot for the post..lots of info :)

you get 47 lines not 37 as it

Thu, 20/09/2012 - 11:35

you get 47 lines not 37 as it says

Wed, 17/04/2013 - 11:16

Some of the universities I'm applying to offer different courses to other unis I'm also applying to. Is it possible to send two different personal statements depending on which uni? For Edinburgh and Manchester, I want to apply for English Literature, but for Aberystwyth, East Anglia and Manchester Metropolitian they offer English Lit and Creative Writing.

Any advice would be great, thanks!

Wed, 24/07/2013 - 03:11

Say, you got a nice article.Much thanks again. Awesome.

Wrong information

Thu, 25/07/2013 - 16:15

The maximum on UCAS for personal statements is 47 lines and 4000 characters, not 37 lines as stated on this page.

This is really helpful and

Fri, 27/09/2013 - 14:15

This is really helpful and informative but I'm fairly sure the number of lines allowed is 47, not 37 as written here.

Retaking year 12

Sun, 29/09/2013 - 12:22

I have recently retook year 12 and I am now in the process of writing my personal statement. Having gathered differing opinions on this matter i was wondering for your input on whether or not its worth putting it down on my personal statement.I have changed subjects, left one out for a year and returned to it and retaken a subject. This now leaves me with 5 As levels.

Mon, 30/09/2013 - 20:06

"Have a think - what makes you so special? If you can't think of anything then you can't complain if you get rejected!"

As if we're not under enough stress already!

Previous Work

Tue, 29/10/2013 - 20:33

can I put links in to websites I have professionally made

wow very good much

Fri, 15/11/2013 - 09:25

wow very good much informative

Very informative. I really

Wed, 15/01/2014 - 14:57

Very informative. I really appreciate your site.

Not required

Mon, 30/06/2014 - 14:27

Comment Content

BridgeU Logo

Writing a Personal Statement for UCAS: The 10 Big Mistakes Students Should Avoid

ucas personal statement how long should it be

James is senior content marketing manager at BridgeU. He writes and directs content for BridgeU's university partners and our community of international schools

  • Writing a UCAS Personal Statement for a subject that isn’t the right fit
  • Spelling & grammar mistakes
  • Avoid pointless cliches
  • Endlessly listing extracurriculars
  • Over-using quotes or taking them out of context
  • Telling the reader something they already know 
  • Ignoring word limits
  • Unnecessary origin stories
  • Making things up
  • Controversy

Join 10,000 fellow counsellors and get exclusive insights delivered straight to your inbox.

Writing a UCAS Personal Statement requires a student to convey a lot of information in a short space of time. Mistakes are easy to make. Read our run down of the most common ones and how to avoid them

Writing a Personal Statement for UCAS is, in many ways, like asking a student to tell the story of their life in 4,000 characters or less. 

And if that sounds hard, it’s because it is. 

The UCAS Personal Statement is the  cornerstone of a UK university application . Students need to write a genuine, authoritative and compelling account of who they are and what they want from a UK university degree. They need to quickly grab the attention of the university admissions officer reading their Personal Statement, and they need to make sure they stand out from the hundreds of other applications that will be crossing that admission officer’s desk. 

In order to do this, the Personal Statement will require a student to master form, structure and content in such a way that makes their writing stand out. 

Understandably, students might feel an inordinate amount of pressure to get their Personal Statement right first time. 

Indeed, more often than not, it’s not a case of students being lazy when writing their UCAS Personal Statements. The problem is often that students will have a lot to say and will have put a lot of thought into their Statement, but may make some simple stylistic mistakes that could cost them when they finally submit their application. 

But if these mistakes are easy to make, they’re also easy to avoid. 

So we’re going to take you through the 10 most common (and potentially costly) mistakes that a student might make in their UCAS Personal Statement, and give you some tips on how to help your students avoid them. 

Bonus Resource –  To help your students avoid any major mistakes before they begin, our Personal Statement worksheet helps them to plan and write a truly compelling account of themselves.  Click here to download

1. Writing a UCAS Personal Statement for a subject that isn’t the right fit 

If students have done their research carefully and considerately, then this shouldn’t be a problem. Ideally, in the year leading up to the submission of the Personal Statement, your students will have shortlisted their university and course preferences to the point where they’re applying for a subject area they’re truly passionate about. 

But this first, major mistake is the natural conclusion of a student being pressured into a subject or career path by family, parents or even school peers. Hopefully this won’t happen – but if a student is writing their UCAS Personal Statement for a subject they’re not truly passionate about, then this should set off alarm bells. It will ultimately affect the quality of the Personal Statement. 

And, most importantly, admissions staff will easily spot a Personal Statement where the student’s heart isn’t in it. 

Top tip:  We at BridgeU are big fans of students finding their best-fit universities and courses (after all, it’s why we built our platform!). Students need to put a lot of time into making sure the UK course they are applying for is right for them. Starting a Personal Statement without having thoroughly researched university and course options is one of the most fundamental mistakes a student could make. 

2. Spelling & Grammar Mistakes 

This may seem like a rather obvious mistake, and one your students hopefully shouldn’t be making. 

But the tight time frames associated with a UCAS Personal Statement will make spelling and grammar mistakes more likely, especially if your students aren’t taking the time to proof-read their personal statement before submitting it. 

Spelling and grammar mistakes can really count against students, and can make their writing appear sloppy or poorly thought through. It’s an especially bad look if your students are applying for humanities or social sciences courses, or indeed any degree that requires a lot of extended writing! 

Top tip:  Encourage your students to print out their Personal Statement. Whilst we know that a lot of students do more things digitally these days (and BridgeU is an online platform after all!), reading a UCAS Personal Statement back as a living, printed document can really help students hone their eye for detail! 

3. Avoid exuberant language and pointless cliches 

“My love of Physics began when I used to look up at the night sky as a child, and found it simultaneously breath-taking and awe-inspiring.” 

“I’ve been passionate about the works of William Shakespeare since seeing my first production on stage. I’m fascinated by how Shakespeare remains relevant for today.” 

Can you see what’s wrong with these two examples? 

Whilst they are very positive and well-worded statements about why a student might want to study astrophysics, or Shakespearian literature, both these Personal Statement examples tip very quickly into cliche and generalisation. 

We’re not suggesting you shouldn’t encourage your students to use positive language when writing a UCAS Personal Statement, but this positive language needs to be backed up with clear, specific examples and rigorous analysis. 

Remember – the key to an excellent Personal Statement is showing, not telling. 

So why is Shakespeare still relevant to today? What specific examples could a student writing about a 16th century author use to demonstrate their relevance to the 21st century? 

Likewise, proclaiming a love for the wonders of the night sky is all well and good, but why did it make our example student want to study Physics? 

Top tip:  Encourage students to set a limit on the number of adjectives or descriptive phrases they use in their writing. It’s important to remember a Personal Statement has to accomplish a lot in a relatively short number of words. If students over-use words like ‘passionate’, ‘breathtaking’ and ‘awe-inspiring’ they’re just going to end up repeating themselves. 

4. Endlessly listing extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities are a vital part of any Personal Statement. If used in the right way, they can help a student to stand out, and seem like a more well-rounded person. Extracurriculars can also help to showcase valuable soft skills that universities value in their students. 

But there’s no point using extracurriculars like a grocery list. Students endlessly describing their extracurriculars will mean nothing if they don’t link them back to the overall narrative of the Personal Statement. 

Again, it’s about showing, not telling. Saying ‘I have captained my school football team for three years’ means nothing if the writer doesn’t explain this activity within the context of the Personal Statement. 

Top tip:  When planning their Personal Statement, students need to think about the extracurricular activities that can demonstrate soft skills. What did they learn from doing this particular extracurricular activity? Do they think it will set them apart in their overall application? If the answer is no, then it’s best not putting it in. 

5. Over-using quotes or taking them out of context

Remember what we said about exuberant language and cliches? 

It’s the same with the use of quotes. 

Quotes can be a powerful tool to back up any argument, be it in a UCAS Personal Statement or any other kind of essay. 

But quotes used clumsily can often have the opposite effect, and make the writer of a Personal Statement seem pretentious or just quoting for the sake of it. 

Many students may feel tempted to open their Personal Statement with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, or Martin Luther King. A student who is submitting an application for psychology may feel it necessary to begin their Personal Statement with a quote from Sigmund Freud. 

The trouble is that many UK university admissions tutors have probably seen the same quotes again and again. Again, if quotes aren’t used in context, or don’t serve the overall narrative of the Personal Statement, then it may be worth not putting them in. 

It’s also important to remember that universities want to hear from the student, not Sigmund Freud! If in doubt, a student writing a Personal Statement should use their own thoughts and insights, not someone else’s. 

Top tip:  Encourage students to use less well-known quotes in their Personal Statement. Quotes from less well-known, specialist thinkers within a subject discipline are more likely to show that a student is widely read and has a deep and rich knowledge of the subject they’re applying for. 

6. Telling the reader something they already know 

Demonstrating subject knowledge and background reading is vital for a UCAS Personal Statement. But this must fit in with the student’s overall story of  why  they want to study that particular degree. 

What students shouldn’t do is explain academic or scientific theories at length, or regurgitate existing arguments that have already been made by other writers in their chosen field of study. 

Students writing a UCAS Personal Statement need to operate from the assumption that the person reading it is probably an expert in their field. It’s only worth students talking about their wider reading, or their take on another piece of academic writing, if they can demonstrate its relevance to them. 

Top tip:  Students should avoid going into depth about other academic or scientific theories unless they have a bearing on the student’s own worldview, and can tell the reader something about why they want to study for that particular course. 

Video: Tips from UCAS on starting a Personal Statement

7. not paying attention to word/character limits .

It’s pretty hard to literally ignore the word/character limit for the UCAS Personal Statement, as there will come a point where students will simply run out of space. 

But some students can fail to pay attention to word/character limits to the extent that they don’t plan the form and structure of their UCAS Personal Statement properly. 

Planning the overall structure and flow of the Personal Statement before writing it is absolutely essential if students are to make the most of the space that UCAS allocates. Half finished thoughts and hastily written conclusions will do more harm than good when someone reads the Personal Statement. 

Top tip:  Run one class/workshop with students where they brainstorm and plan the overall structure of their UCAS Personal Statement. Break the components of a good personal statement down into chunks, and get students thinking about the optimal structure for making their Personal Statements as good as they can be! 

8. Unnecessary origin stories 

Everyone loves an origin story (why else would film studios keep remaking Spiderman?). But origin stories in UCAS Personal Statements can sometimes be a waste of time (this is in sharp contrast to an application like the Common App in the USA), where they love to hear a student’s origin story)

Remember our physics student from Tip no.3 who loved to gaze at the night sky? Childhood anecdotes are great, and can certainly add character to a student’s application. But they’re not always necessary to showcase a student’s devotion to their chosen subject. 

In fact, it’s fair to say that admissions tutors at UK universities are more interested in an applicant’s more recent contributions or achievements in their chosen field of study than snippets of their biography. 

Yet it remains the case that students sometimes feel the need to profess their lifelong devotion to a subject they’re hoping to study at university. It’s really not necessary. 

In fact UCAS themselves once published a list of the  most commonly used opening lines in a Personal Statement . Three of the most frequent openings were 

“I have always been interested in…” (used 927 times)

“For as long as I can remember I have…” (used 1,451 times) 

“From a young age I have always been interested in/fascinated by…” (used 1,779 times) 

Not only does drawing on childhood memories risk losing sight of more relevant information, it’s also something that lots of universities have seen before. 

9. Making things up 

We hope that none of your students would ever lie in their Personal Statement. But if someone feels the pressure to stand out from the crowd and really impress a university, then it could happen. 

Even small, believable exaggerations could come back to haunt a student if they were hypothetically invited to an interview further down the road. It could be as small as pretending to have read a particular book, or quoting/discussing a piece of research in their chosen subject field and not having fully engaged with it. 

Top tip:  When it comes to putting anything untruthful in a Personal Statement, we can only offer you one piece of advice to give to your students. 

Don’t do it! It’s not worth it, students will probably get found out and there’s likely plenty of achievements and skills that students can talk about in their Personal Statement. They just need to think long and hard about what it is! 

10. Being controversial or contrarian for the sake of it 

Being controversial or argumentative can seem like a good way to sit up and get the reader’s attention – but it’s not worth a student doing it unless they’ve really got the evidence and the argument to back it up. 

For example, arguing against a famous essay or piece of research in a student’s chosen subject might seem like a good way to score some brownie points. But why does a student take issue with this particular piece of research? And is it really wise to try and tackle it in the space of a 4,000 character Personal Statement. 

Top tip:  Students should definitely be independent and analytical when discussing their degree subject in their Personal Statement – after all, it’s the most surefire way to stand out. But taking a contrarian position, or trying to make an explosive new contribution to academic discourse in the course of one Personal Statement probably isn’t a good idea. 

Writing a Personal Statement for UCAS – final tips to avoid mistakes

What do these mistakes all have in common? 

The answer is they are the natural consequence of students forgetting some of the core principles of UCAS Personal Statement writing. 

  • Students need to ensure their Personal Statements are well-structured and well-planned – so as to avoid spelling mistakes and/or falling foul of the character limit. 
  • Students need to keep their Personal Statements as unique to them as possible – this means staying truthful to their own ambitions and worldview, and avoiding generalisations or cliches. 
  • A good Personal Statement needs to be rooted in strong analysis and writing that makes good use of evidence and specific examples to back up an argument. 
  • A standout Personal Statement needs to be compelling account of a student’s suitability for a course with a good story at the heart of it – it needs to show, not tell. 

Our Personal Statement template is a great resource if you want to help your students plan and write a truly individual Personal Statement, and avoid some of the mistakes we’ve listed here. Download it below! 

Bonus Resource!

How to write a Personal Statement Worksheet & Template

ucas personal statement how long should it be

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Personal statement

The quality of an applicant's personal statement is very important at LSE. The School does not interview for places so this is an applicant’s only opportunity to demonstrate they are a good fit for the course. Applicants should consult the advice here, as well as advice from UCAS when preparing to complete this section of their application. 

Please note that writing a personal statement following the guidelines below does not guarantee an offer of admission. Personal statements are looked at on a comparative basis and there is a great deal of competition for places at LSE. 

LSE does not accept additional or supplementary personal statements. We can only consider the personal statement submitted via UCAS.

Writing your personal statement

We expect that your submitted Personal Statement is structured and coherent and that you fully utilise the space available on your UCAS application form. We expect that you have checked spelling, punctuation, and grammar and that your Personal Statement flows in a logical order. We expect that your Personal Statement is entirely your own original work. We reserve the right to reject your application where it has been found that a statement has significant similarities to a previous submission or has been created with the use of Artificial Intelligence.

Before you start writing, do your research

Before you start writing your personal statement, you should visit our course guides . These guides give information on the course content of each of our undergraduate programmes. 

When assessing your personal statement our Admissions Selectors will look at how well your academic interests align with the LSE course. So, for example, the Anthropology Admissions Selector is likely to prefer a statement which focuses mainly on social anthropology - which is taught at LSE - over one which suggests the applicant is very interested in biological anthropology, or a combined degree with archaeology, as these courses are not offered at the School. 

Similarly, a personal statement which shows an interest mostly in modern international history (the focus of LSE’s International History course) is likely to be more competitive than one which shows a significant interest in ancient history, as LSE does not offer any ancient history units.   

If you are applying for a range of slightly different courses, we recommend that you focus your personal statement on the areas of overlap between them, so that your statement appeals to all of your UCAS choices. It is important to note that LSE does not accept replacement or supplementary personal statements. 

What to include in your personal statement

Your personal statement should discuss for the most part your academic interest in the subject you wish to study. One way to think about the personal statement is to reflect on what we expect from LSE undergraduates: we ask them to learn about topics relevant to their course, through reading or other experiences, and then discuss the ideas they have encountered in academic essays. This is the skill we look for in the personal statement and we recommend at least 80% of your statement should be dedicated to this type of academic discussion. 

How you show your wider engagement with your subject is entirely up to you. Our Selectors look for students who can best reflect on the experiences and academic ideas they have encountered through the opportunities available to them, not those who have had the best opportunities. If you are not sure where to start, you could try listening to podcasts of LSE public events or look in the prospectus for examples of suggested reading. Remember we are interested not just in a list of what you have read/encountered, but evidence you have reflected on the academic ideas. 

To help you begin, there are several questions you could think about:

  • Why have you chosen the course? What attracted you to the subject? Which aspects of the subject have interested you sufficiently to want to study it at degree level? Is there a specific area of the subject you wish to focus on? What are the big issues in the subject, and what do you find most interesting about them? What are your thoughts on these topics?
  • Have you developed your subject interest outside of your school studies? For example, have you undertaken any additional reading to broaden your knowledge of the subject? Have you attended lectures or explored online material relating to the subject? What did you find interesting in your reading/in the lectures you attended and what are your thoughts on the topics covered?
  • Have you gained any skills from your other school subjects that complement your application to study your chosen subject? Have you had the opportunity to undertake work experience relevant to your application? If you did, how did this experience give you a wider understanding of the topics you will study at university?
  • Have you attended any schemes or activities at LSE or other universities, such as Summer Schools, Saturday Schools, LSE Choice, etc? What you have learned from these? Have they furthered your knowledge of or interest in your chosen subject?

If you are applying for deferred entry, as well as thinking about the questions listed above, you may also wish to indicate (briefly) why you are taking a gap year and what you plan to do during the year. 

If you are applying as a post-qualified student (ie, you have already received your final results), you may wish to mention briefly what you have been doing since your exams. 

Please note : You are not expected to simply answer all of the questions above; these questions are merely intended to give you some guidance as to what to think about when writing your statement. 

Extra-curricular activities

At LSE you are admitted to study a particular degree course so the majority of your personal statement − at least 80% − should focus on your academic interest in that subject. Many students like to include some details of their extra-curricular activities such as involvement in sports, the arts, volunteering or student government. As our Selectors are most interested in your academic interests, we recommend that no more than 20% of your statement is spent discussing extra-curricular activities. 

Applying to combined degree programmes

LSE offers a number of combined degree programmes. If you are applying to one of these programmes, you are advised to give equal weighting to each subject in your statement. For instance, if you are applying to our Politics and Economics degree, you must show evidence of interest in both subjects; a statement weighted towards only one aspect of the degree will be significantly less competitive.

Example of a poor personal statement

"I have always dreamed of coming to LSE since I was young. It has been a dream of mine to study at this institution, which is well renowned for its social science courses.  

I am currently studying History, English and Business and Management at Higher level and Italian, Maths and Chemistry at Standard level in the International Baccalaureate, and feel that these subjects are providing me with a solid background for university study.  

I want to study History because I want to be a world class Historian, and feel that this degree will help me. I am especially interested in Ancient History, particularly the history concerning the Roman Empire. I am fascinated by the way in which the empire was run, and the events that led to its downfall.  

"I was the captain of the school football team, and this has taught me the importance of working together as a team, and allowed me to prioritise my time between my studies and football practice. I feel that this has provided me with the experience to successfully balance my academic and social life, and I plan to continue this balance whilst at university.  

It is my dream to become an alumnus of the School, and I am sure that as I am the top student of my class, you will offer me a place."  

This brief example of a personal statement is poor. The applicant has mentioned an interest in history but they have not discussed this in depth or shown any evidence of wider engagement with the subject. Where the applicant does talk about history, the discussion is superficial and focussed on ancient history, which LSE does not offer as part of our history course. 

The applicant has specifically mentioned LSE, which is likely to be unattractive to their other choices, and has wasted space listing their International Baccalaureate subjects, which would be shown in the qualifications section. The applicant has described how a history degree will help them get the job they later want, rather than what they are looking forward to studying during the degree. 

The applicant has reflected on the transferable skills they have developed leading the football team. This is good, but it would be nice to see the same level of reflection applied to academic topics - this student has spent more time talking about football than about history. 


UCAS reference Your teacher's reference: what we're looking for


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How long should I keep bank statements?

Storing bank statements, disposing of bank statements, how long should you keep bank statements.

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  • Bank statements are necessary for loan applications and IRS audits.
  • Store hard copies in a locked filing cabinet or digital copies in an encrypted folder.
  • Banks are required to keep statements for five years, but you may want to keep yours for seven years.

A bank statement is a record of every financial transaction you've made from an account. It includes the dates and amounts of every deposit, withdrawal, and transfer made within a certain time period.

Having your bank statements on hand is not only helpful for tracking your spending and creating a budget , but is often necessary when financing a large purchase, such as real estate, or verifying tax information with the IRS.

Tax-related reasons

Patrina Dixon , a financial educator and coach, recommends keeping any bank statements or other important financial documents for up to seven years in case you're audited . You may need account transaction information to verify your income, or make a case for claiming credits and deductions on a federal or state tax return.

Major purchases and loans

Lenders often require between one month and a year's worth of bank statements for loan applications. Generally, the larger the loan — a mortgage , for instance — the more financial documentation you will need to provide.

While financial institutions are required by federal law to keep customers' bank statements for at least five years, they may not be easily accessible to you. It's best to keep your own records as well.

Digital vs. paper storage

If you receive paper bank statements in the mail from your bank, collect and store them in a locked filing cabinet in a secure place at home. If you would prefer to minimize your paper trail, Dixon advises opting for online bank statements.

Be sure to download your statements as PDFs so you can access them without an internet connection. If you use a public computer, always clear the search history when you're done.

Keep your bank statements and other sensitive financial documents in a password-protected folder on your Mac or Windows PC. Dixon recommends installing anti-virus software if you're concerned about a potential security breach. And review your computer software periodically to ensure it's up-to-date.

If you're short on computer storage, consider storing your digital bank statements in an encrypted manner on Google Drive or iCloud.

Keep in mind most financial institutions, including the best banks , do not charge fees for receiving online bank statements. Some financial institutions charge fees for receiving paper statements.

Paper documents can be shredded when you are ready to dispose of them. Digital copies of bank statements should be deleted using specialized software. If you've encrypted and stored your documents on Google Drive or iCloud, follow the instructions for permanently erasing the files.

Keeping bank statements FAQs

Bank statements are required for some loan applications and may be necessary when verifying information on your tax return within the last seven years.

You should keep bank statements for at least seven years, in case the IRS needs to verify transactions during an audit. If you have ample storage space, consider keeping them for longer.

Storing digital copies in a secure, encrypted format is probably most convenient. If you prefer to have hard copies of your bank statements, keep them in a locked file cabinet.

Paper statements should be shredded, and digital files should be permanently deleted using specialized software.

Keeping digital copies of your bank statements is increasingly preferred to keeping physical copies. They can be printed if needed and don't take up space in your home.

ucas personal statement how long should it be

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ucas personal statement how long should it be

  • Main content


  1. UCAS

    ucas personal statement how long should it be

  2. How to Write a Personal Statement for University

    ucas personal statement how long should it be

  3. UCAS Applications

    ucas personal statement how long should it be

  4. Personal Statement UCAS Example

    ucas personal statement how long should it be

  5. Examples of UCAS Personal Statement

    ucas personal statement how long should it be

  6. Model UCAS application Personal Statement

    ucas personal statement how long should it be


  1. Reading my personal statement

  2. Top Tips for Personal Statements (UCAS): Part 2

  3. How to write a great UCAS Personal Statement

  4. Should I talk about my qualifications in my UCAS personal statement?

  5. How to structure your UCAS personal statement ✍️ #ucas #university #personalstatement


  1. How To Write Your Undergraduate Personal Statement

    Just start by showing your enthusiasm for the subject, showcasing your knowledge and understanding, and sharing your ambitions of what you want to achieve. Avoid cliches! Remember, this opening part is simply about introducing yourself, so let the admissions tutor reading your personal statement get to know you. Keep it relevant and simple.

  2. How Long Should Your UCAS Personal Statement Be?

    by Grammarholic Colab February 16, 2023. "The ideal length for a UCAS personal statement is dependent on the quality and relevance of the information included, rather than the number of words." UCAS recommends a maximum of 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text. Writing a UCAS personal statement can be a daunting task.

  3. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement [With Examples]

    The character limit which UCAS sets for the personal statement is very strict - up to 4,000 characters of text. This means that students have to express themselves in a clear and concise way; it's also important that they don't feel the need to fill the available space needlessly. Planning and redrafting of a personal statement is essential.

  4. How to write a UCAS personal statement

    UCAS personal statement word limit. Your personal statement length can be up to 4,000 characters long. This may sound a lot, but it's a word limit of around 550-1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4 paper. You need to keep it concise and make sure it's clear and easy to read.

  5. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement

    The UCAS personal statement strikes fear into most sixth formers. Sculpting the perfect personal statement is an arduous an unavoidable process. With approximately 600,000 people applying to university each year, admissions officers need a way to filter stronger candidates from the rest of the pool. ... Three years (minimum) is a long time, and ...

  6. How to write an excellent personal statement in 10 steps

    Use your closing couple of lines to summarise the most important points in your statement. 9. Check your writing thoroughly and get someone else to check it, too. 10. Give your brain a rest by forgetting about your personal statement for a while before going back to review it one last time with fresh eyes.

  7. How long should your personal statement be?

    UCAS requirements state that your personal statement can be a maximum of 4,000 characters or up to 47 lines in length - whichever comes first. The character count includes spaces and the line count includes blank lines, so keep this in mind when it comes to how you format your paragraphs. This might sound like a lot, but bear in mind that ...

  8. Personal statements for university applications

    How long should a personal statement be? There's no maximum word count, but you'll need to remain within the 4,000 character limit (including spaces and punctuation) allowed in your UCAS application, as well as keeping the statement to a total of 47 lines of text. UCAS recommends that you write your personal statement in Microsoft Word before ...

  9. How To Write A UCAS Personal Statement

    Tips for writing a Personal Statement. Express a passion for your subject. Start the statement strongly to grab attention. Link outside interests and passions to your course. Be honest, but don't include negative information. Don't attempt to sound too clever. Don't leave it until the last minute; prepare ahead of the deadline.

  10. How to write your UCAS Personal Statement

    DO. • Be authentic. • Be positive. • Be enthusiastic. • Be clear and concise. • Plan your statement like an essay. • Make sure your statement is appropriate for all of your course choices. • List your skills and qualities but avoid sounding big-headed. • Draft, redraft and seek feedback.

  11. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement

    How long should your personal statement be? Your personal statement must be between 1,000 and 4,000 characters long. It is best to use as many of the 4,000 characters (approximately 47 lines) as possible in order to showcase all of your best qualities and experience. ... Your UCAS personal statement should be clearly targeted to the subject you ...

  12. Five top tips for writing your UCAS personal statement

    More on Fran's top tips. 1. Make sure it's the right course for you. As Fran explains, making sure you've picked the right course for you is essential for keeping motivated both in writing your ...

  13. Personal statement FAQs

    How long can the personal statement be? Statements are limited to whichever is shorter of either: 4,000 characters (including spaces) OR; 47 lines; Be aware that software such as Microsoft Word may not give a character or line count that completely matches what the Ucas form says. The character count should be reasonably accurate, but the line ...

  14. Personal Statement FAQs

    1. When should I start writing my personal statement? It's never too early to start thinking about it! Unfortunately, UCAS deadlines have a tendency to creep up on most students, especially if you are applying to Oxbridge where the deadline is much earlier than other universities (15th October). However, you probably want a good idea of what course you're going to apply for before you launch ...

  15. Writing a Personal Statement for UCAS: The 10 Big Mistakes ...

    Whilst we know that a lot of students do more things digitally these days (and BridgeU is an online platform after all!), reading a UCAS Personal Statement back as a living, printed document can really help students hone their eye for detail! 3. Avoid exuberant language and pointless cliches.

  16. Personal statement

    The quality of an applicant's personal statement is very important at LSE. The School does not interview for places so this is an applicant's only opportunity to demonstrate they are a good fit for the course. Applicants should consult the advice here, as well as advice from UCAS when preparing to complete this section of their application.

  17. What to include in a personal statement

    Kate McBurnie, First Year student in French, Italian and Theatre. "I think it's really important to not only include why you'd like to study the course you're applying for, but also the things that set you apart from other applicants, i.e., your hobbies, interests, skills, volunteering etc.".

  18. Keeping Bank Statements: What You Need to Know

    How long should I keep bank statements? Tax-related reasons Patrina Dixon , a financial educator and coach, recommends keeping any bank statements or other important financial documents for up to ...

  19. Dates and deadlines for uni applications

    For courses starting in 2024 (and for deferred applications), your application should be with us at UCAS by one of these dates - depending on what courses you apply for.If your completed application - including all your personal details and your academic reference - is submitted by the deadline, it is guaranteed to be considered.. If you're applying through your school/college, please ...

  20. Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

    Not all qualifications are included in the Tariff, so don't worry if you can't find your qualification in this calculator - make sure you check the entry requirements in our search tool for the courses you're interested in.; Universities and colleges set their own entry requirements and do not have to accept a qualification simply because it is included in the Tariff tables.