Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the Cambridge Assessment English's online course, Aim Higher: Access to Higher Education for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Join the course to learn more.

What does a good personal statement look like?

In the last step you started thinking about a personal statement. Look at the statement in this step and decide if it shows the following:

• Interest in subject

• Reasons for doing the course (how does it help achieve goals)

• Academic achievement

• Non-academic achievement (transferable skills)

• Evidence of critical thinking

I am interested in media that have a powerful influence on our ways of seeing, thinking and interacting in the modern world. I would like the opportunity to understand more about how it is made and how historical, political, cultural and economic contexts influence the media we consume.

I enjoy exploring digital and interactive media and I am fascinated by films, quirky TV productions and documentaries. I have experimented with time-lapse film making, YouTube videos and graphic design projects. Whilst my dyslexia presents certain challenges, I think it has a positive effect on my creative thinking and in particular my responses to information sources that contain images, text and sound. I absorb detail differently and can sometimes introduce an alternative way of thinking in developing an idea. I am really interested in a course that will enable me to develop practical expertise with rigorous critical thinking and the opportunity to engage with an innovative, fast changing and creative work environment.

The rigorous discipline of my traditional essay based A level subjects has enabled me to develop my research, analytical and essay writing skills. English has helped me to develop skills in processing complex material and in developing and presenting an argument as well as my appreciation of how different written and performed art forms can convey drama, emotion and meaning. I have enjoyed opportunities to do bits of creative writing inspired by the authors I have studied. History and Politics have particularly helped develop my analytical skills, showing me how seemingly straightforward issues and debates are part of a complicated context with different potential interpretations. All three have enabled me to develop my project planning and time management skills.

I have contributed to wider society through a range of volunteering projects. I developed my confidence and team working skills as a heritage volunteer at Wells Cathedral, on the National Citizen Service scheme and as a country parks volunteer which I did as part of my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. I worked with students from different countries and with members of the public.

I keep fit by running and I like to explore more unusual sports. I enjoy squash, and have also attended fencing classes and played ultimate frisbee in the past. I am currently learning jujitsu. Sport helps me develop stamina, discipline and confidence.

I enjoy music and sang in the school choir for many years. I learnt to play the flute achieving grade three in the associated board performance examination. I am currently teaching myself how to play the guitar.

Task: Do you think this is a good personal statement? Why or Why not? What could you do differently.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Aim Higher: Access to Higher Education for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Cambridge Assessment English