University Applications- Planning Personal Statement


Getting ready to write an academic application essay

Planning a university personal statement

Brainstorm the things below in the boxes provided. Don’t edit your ideas at all at this stage, just write down everything that occurs to you.

Your hobbies









Your achievements









Your future









Your academic career/ academic record









Times you have shown your determination







Times you have shown your ability to use English









Difficulties that you have overcome









Your strengths/ Positive aspects of your personality









Reasons why you want to continue your studies










Reasons why you want to study that subject









(Real) reasons why you want to study in that country/ city/ university









Your study skills









Other skills and talents









People. experiences and things which have inspired you








Use these questions to help you eliminate things from the lists above:

  • Which things above are probably true for almost everyone who sends an application?
  • Which things above could sound like boasting?
  • Which things above don’t have any particular connection to your future?

Use these questions to help you select from the things that you have brainstormed above:

  • Which of those things show something about your personality?
  • Which of the things above could be particularly relevant to your studies at university?
  • Which things would be interesting to read about?
  • Which things can you provide evidence for?
  • Which things can you link together to make paragraphs with one clear topic each?

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