In my teaching role, I am often asked to assist students in preparing their personal statement for education at 16+. Today’s blog post looks at how you can write an outstanding personal statement. This statement will ensure that you stand the best possible chance in your application. Sadly, I can not write the statement for you, but I am going to try and help you through the process, so that it will feel as if you have your own private tutor!

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We don’t want clunky language. Be clear, simple and to the point. So many students think that they need to be over wordy. You don’t. All you need is to tell the person reading your statement why you would be a good choice. Avoid clichés like, I am a team player, I have excellent communication skills, I have good attention to detail, I am a perfectionist.


Instead of saying that you are something, then show me in terms of your experience. I don’t want to hear you are a team player if you can show me by your experience playing in a football team.

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Why have you chosen the college – flatter them – but not too much? Make sure that you can put something in your statement that shows that you have researched the college and its course.

I have chosen Fitzwilliam College since it has an excellent reputation, especially within Science. I particularly like the specification of the A Level courses offered, and I look forward to the residential trip to Lincoln Science Centre, where I would relish the opportunity to make a fieldwork study.

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Start with your academic achievements over the past two years, your predicted grades and why you want to study at 16+ and possibly where you want to go eventually. If you are not sure then still, try and think of something that you really love, or which enthuses you.

I am currently studying nine GCSES and I have predicted grades of 7 and 8. I aim to study three A levels in my preferred choices of Maths, Biology and Chemistry, as these are the subjects that I enjoy most and in my mock exams, I scored the highest. I aim to go onto higher education where I would like to continue my study of science. I intend to go into science research and aspire to be a forensic scientist. I find the subject fascinating and I read widely on it.

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Mind map activities in your past such as hobbies. Explain what you have done and what you have gained from the experience. Again SHOW ME.

I am a keen sportsman. I have always been interested in keeping myself fit and healthy. From a young age, I have been involved in amateur football leagues. I have played in teams from the age of seven. I still play in an amateur league twice a week and in addition, I coach a younger team of seven- and eight-year olds. In this role, I liaise regularly with visiting teams, parents, managers and the children.

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Work Experience

This can be anything from babysitting to a week spent helping your Dad at his office. Make it sound realistic but relevant.

I contacted Asda Technology Centre and I undertook work experience there for a fortnight. I learnt how to input data, financial transactions, how to respond to consumer concerns and how to produce literature to explain operations systems. I used my own initiative to write a help guide for future users.

I also work part-time in a restaurant where I take orders, serve customers and clean tables. I have enjoyed all aspects of working in a very popular and busy establishment.

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Any other relevant skills / hobbies? This is just to show that you are human really and it is often something to discuss at interview.

You might not want to write here that you play a computer game for three hours a day, but you certainly should put in any hobbies that you may have that have enabled you to acquire additional skills. For example. visiting old people in a care home, playing the piano for relaxation, learning about a genre of cinema.

I am an amateur stamp collector and my love of stamps has enabled me to meet many people from different cultures and countries. I regularly attend conventions in order to meet other collectors and to buy and swap stamps.

In my free time, I am a huge fan of the Doctor Who series. I regularly go to conventions where I meet other fans and actors from the show. This provides a welcome relief from my studies.

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End your application in a polite and formal manner.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Here is an example of a personal statement for 16+

I would like to apply to study for A levels at Roundhay College. In addition to my application form, I should like to submit the following in support of my application.

I am a student at Cornfield Community College where I am studying for nine GCSEs, including two sciences, history and drama. I have taken my mock examinations and my predicted grades are level 5 and level 6. I would like to study at Roundhay College for a BTech in Performing Arts with a view to studying for a Higher Education degree course in acting. It is my intention to work in the theatre or to teach at a drama school. Roundhay College offers a more hands-on course with continuous assessment.

Drama is my passion. Since the age of three I have attended classes at the Pauline Quirke School of Performing Arts. I have performed in many shows organised by the Academy, including lead roles in Oliver, and Annie. I recently passed my Grade VI acting certificate with distinction. I also like to help at the Academy, and I assist the teachers with drama classes to younger children.

In June 2018, I completed a week’s work experience at Roundhay Playhouse, where I worked with the stage manager. I had to source and buy props as well as act as assistant to the stage manager during performances. I was fortunate to be asked to work with the lighting director in designing the lighting for a new production.

I love singing in my spare time and I visit a care home regularly with my friends to perform songs from the musicals. We have relished the opportunity to bring happiness to the residents and it has also helped many who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. I have also been fortunate to be asked to sing at many local fundraising events such as Notwheel Carnival and Bespoken Fair.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah-Jayne Smith

Good luck and if you have any further questions then do feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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  1. Although I’m past the point of personal statements, I’ve been writing quite a bit of covering letters looking for jobs. I also find it’s important to note that experience can be drawn from anything if you don’t have a lot of professional experience. I advise my peers in such a position to talk about school projects or societies they were involved in, that’s experience too!

    Rachel ||

    Liked by 1 person

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