Finished! University experts on how to end your personal statement
Got writer's block at the final hurdle? We spoke to university experts to find out how you can close your personal statement with a flourish
You've got the beginning and middle parts of your personal statement sorted – but how are you going to finish it? And does the ending even really matter?
Short answer: yes, it does. Your personal statement is your one chance to speak directly to the universities where you're applying - and the ending is where you can leave them with the right impression.
“A strong conclusion is essential to leave no doubt in the reader's mind that you deserve an offer," says Bangor University’s Emma Harris.
To help you sign off your personal statement in style, we spoke to experts from universities across the UK. Here, they share essential tips on concluding your personal statement.
1. Is your personal statement ready to be finished?
Your conclusion is where you can bring together all the key points from the rest of your personal statement. But before you can write a summary like that, you need to make sure nothing's missing.
"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," says Laura Knight, education liaison officer at Staffordshire University.
So have a read through what you've already written and ask yourself: do you have all those elements covered? If your ending is proving tricky to write, it may be that you haven't yet got everything you need in the main statement.
2. Share your motivation
Once you're confident you've included all the essentials, you can focus your conclusion on connecting these key points. This closing chunk of your statement is a space where you can really emphasise your qualities. It's where you can show why you want to commit your time and energy to studying this course.
"You will have a reason for applying to university and to your particular course," says Ian Freedman, student recruitment officer at Keele University. "The conclusion offers a great opportunity for you to reiterate what this reason is."
"Summarise what you are most looking forward to about studying at university [and] why you feel that this is the right course choice for you," says Kirsty Wilkinson, school and college liaison manager at Loughborough University.
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3. Don’t waffle
You've written a great personal statement so far; don't close it off with a load of meaningless waffle.
Keep up the momentum by "using your conclusion to reinforce your commitment to the course you’ve chosen" says Pat Watson, head of UK and EU admissions at Anglia Ruskin University. "Keeping this short and concise is better than long and vague."
Rosie Reynolds, outreach officer at the University of Westminster, agrees. "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 unecessary additional personal information. "Keep it simple, concise and relevant!" says Gavin May, student recruitment assistant at St George's, University of London.
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4. Make it clear why you’ll be an asset to the university
What better way to finish than by spelling out exactly why you'll be such a great student? Well, for many people, talking about yourself with confidence is actually one of the hardest aspects of writing a personal statement. But now's not the time to be shy.
"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.
"Share how you’ll make the most of your uni experience and how you’re looking forward to the challenge."
When you're doing this, think beyond the academic, says Shona Barrie from Heriot-Watt University. "Tell us why you will be an asset to our university community. So it's not just about getting a degree – it's about appreciating the bigger picture."
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5. Explain how university fits into your life plan
You could use your conclusion to look to the future, explaining exactly where you want to end up and how this particular course will help you get there.
"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.
- More like this: five practical tips to help with your personal statement
And finally...get some back-up
For answers to any questions about writing your personal statement, you can ask the personal statement experts on The Student Room.