Prospective international undergraduates: some useful tips about your personal statement

26 April 2016

UCAS has published a list of the most frequently used opening lines in personal statements. The organisation has suggested trying to avoid them to make your statement stand out.

It found that "from a young age I have (always) been..." was the most popular opening line last year.
"The personal statement is supposed to be personal," warned chief executive Mary Curnock Cook. "Learning to write about yourself in a compelling way is a vital skill when applying for jobs; using hackneyed phrases is not the best way to stand out," she added.
Top 10 opening lines:
1. Of over 700,000 candidates who applied to university last year 1,779 began their personal statement: "From a young age I have (always) been.." and most of these continued "interested in" or "fascinated by".
2. "For as long as I can remember I have..." was used by 1,451 applicants
3. "I am applying for this course because..." by 1,370 applicants
4. "I have always been interested in..." (927)
5. "Throughout my life I have always enjoyed..." (310)
6. "Reflecting on my educational experiences..." (257)
7. "Nursing is a very challenging and demanding (career/ profession/ course)... (211)
8. "Academically, I have always been..." (168)
9. "I have always wanted to pursue a career in..." (160)
10. "I have always been passionate about..." (160).
UCAS said it hoped the list of top 10 phrases would encourage students to use language that makes them stand out in their personal statements. You can read the full story at BBC News and read more about choosing a course on our website