End your personal statement with a bang - universities explain how
Wondering how to end your personal statement? To help make this part of the university applications process a little bit more straightforward, we spoke to over 20 universities to find out how much impact the end of your personal statement can have on your application – and how to conclude it with a bang.
To kick us off, Laura Knight, education liaison officer at Staffordshire University, explained why the end to your personal statement is so important:
"A strong conclusion gives a roundup of the evidence a student has given in their statement to show how their knowledge, skills and experiences will enable them to come to university and not only want to learn more but also want to succeed in the future."
Here are the eight things you should do when concluding your personal statement and why they matter: follow these tips and you’ll nail it.
1. Remember your personal statement could be key to you getting an offer
Paul Starkey, director of recruitment and admissions at the University of Bolton, told us that "it’s one of the only opportunities to really stand out, not only talking about academic study, but also showing knowledge of the course you’re interested in and any extra-curricular activities relevant to your application."
Bangor University’s Emma Harris added that “a strong conclusion is essential to leave no doubt in the reader's mind that you deserve an offer."
2. Keep it simple
"A strong conclusion should pull together all of your key points," says Laura Clash from Nottingham Trent University.
Ian Freedman, student recruitment officer and Simon Jenkins, the UK student recruitment manager at Keele University, explained that it’s important to remember that "you will have a reason for applying to university and to your particular course; the conclusion offers a great opportunity for you to reiterate what this reason is."
Rather than trying to leave a last impression by using big words and complicated expressions, "keep it simple but powerful, with strong and eloquent language" says Joanna Haran, deputy head of admissions at the University of Salford.
3. Don’t waffle
Make sure your personal statement doesn’t end weakly; keep up the momentum by "using your conclusion to reinforce your commitment to the course you’ve chosen. Keeping this short and concise is better than long and vague" says Pat Watson, head of UK and EU admissions at Anglia Ruskin University.
Rosie Reynolds, outreach officer at the University of Westminster, agrees, adding "you should use this section to clarify to the admissions tutor that you meet the criteria they are looking for."
Be careful not to waste this space by adding additional personal information. Gavin May, student recruitment assistant at St George's, University of London, says: "keep it simple, concise and relevant!"
4. Keep in mind that your PS could be the key to an interview
"Many of our courses shortlist applicants based on the applicant’s personal statement, so a powerful conclusion to a personal statement can be the difference between getting an interview and being unsuccessful," says Phil Hiley, admissions team leader at University of Bradford.
Gillian Woolley, pre-entry information, advice and guidance adviser at the University of East London adds that if the course you’re applying to includes an interview then it’s a good idea to conclude with "I would love to do this degree and hope you will invite me for interview".
5. Personal is always best
Make sure you "summarise what you are most looking forward to about studying at university" says Kirsty Wilkinson, Loughborough University school and college liaison manager, as well as "why you feel that this is the right course choice for you".
Professor Martin Coyle, School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University, shared that you should "be truthful; be true to yourself; do your research before writing the PS and that way it will have substance and be convincing."
Personal statement help on The Student Room:
How to write an excellent PS in 10 easy steps
Get the final draft of your PS reviewed by an expert TSR PS reviewer
The most common UCAS and applying to uni myths get busted!
6. Make it clear why you’ll be an asset to the university
"End with a statement about why the universities would benefit from having you as a student" says Hannah Robinson, outreach officer at the University of East Anglia, and "share how you’ll make the most of your uni experience and how you’re looking forward to the challenge."
Shona Barrie, recruitment, admissions and marketing manager at Heriot-Watt University, explains that universities are more than just a place where you’ll study, and understanding that universities are communities is important: "Tell us why you will be an asset to our university community (without it sounding like a job application), so it's not just about getting a degree – it's about appreciating the bigger picture!"
7. Show you understand the university’s values
Are you clear about the mission and values of your dream university? Have you considered how your personal values might align with them?
"SOAS is unique, so we want to see how unique you are,” says Paul Sharp, undergraduate admissions officer at SOAS, University of London. "We want applicants who won't settle for the status quo, but who live and strive to learn and improve every single day that they are here with us."
8. Explain how university fits into your life plan
"Present your long-term plans and how your chosen course will help you to achieve this," suggests Ann Partington, senior admissions officer at UCLan.
Kimberley Ashwell, admissions officer at Buckinghamshire New University adds that providing some information on "what you imagine yourself doing after you complete your degree" will help the admissions team to picture how you’ll fit at the university.
Then, "once you've drawn together your motivations for further study, your current studies and career ambitions, deliver a strong, final line about why you deserve an offer" concludes James Aitken, schools and colleges liaison manager at Royal Holloway.
Don't feel overwhelmed
If you have any questions about writing your personal statement, talk to TSR's knowledgeable community in their personal statement forum.
You can also use their personal statement builder, which will provide you with the perfect template to help put together your first draft.
And you can speak their university representatives in our university forums, who will be able to answer any questions you have about applying to their university.