Mistakes to Avoid in Personal Statement

Are you planning to apply for Post-graduate or PhD admission to a foreign university? Is the requirement to write a personal statement? Then definitely, you should not make these mistakes in your personal statement. But before moving on towards mistakes, let’s take a look at the definition of the personal statement. A personal statement is a picture of yourself that you show to evaluators in a piece of writing. In simple words, it is your introduction to a selection committee. It introduces you as a person, student, and potential scholarship winner.

This piece of paper invites your reader to get to know about you. It also helps in bridging the distances between selector and applicant.

The personal statement is an indication of your priorities and judgement. The important thing in a personal statement is what you say and how you say it. Everybody has stories, but not everyone is a good storyteller. This is important because you need to sell your story to get that particular scholarship. There are some mistakes which you should avoid while writing a personal statement. These include;

Things to Avoid in Personal Statement


Telling a Story:

Well, no doubt, it is about telling a story. But sometimes, students misunderstand this point and write their statements in chronological order of their life events. Yes, you should mention your life events, but where it is useful. Higher quality statements will be more selective and will talk about your experiences. It will discuss your experience related to the chosen course in detail. Generally, they are about your exposure to the chosen field. You should only focus on your recent accomplishments and experiences. Anything which happened in the past should use a minimum portion of your statement.

Repeating Information Already Present in your Application:

Sometimes, universities limit the word count of personal statements. It means that you can only write 200, 500, or 1000 words. So, in these cases, it is really hard to put this much information in limited words. Unfortunately, one mistake students make is the repetition of information already given on their forms. For example, students mention their A level grades which are already in their CV. Remember that the selector knows your personal and academic information. There is no need to repeat it in your statement.

Discussing Personal Issues:

Some students tend to discuss their personal problems in their statements. They discuss their ill health and personal grief. While discussing these issues is relevant, it will be helpful to discuss them separately in your application. Many applications portals ask applicants about their medical situations. If it’s already mentioned there, then no need to discuss that in your statement. You should not talk like you are looking for sympathy. If you feel that you need to discuss your issues, then 1-2 lines are enough.

Making Grammatical Errors:

According to an assignment help firm, focusing on application and personal statements is not a bad thing. But sometimes, students are often so focused that they forget about grammatical mistakes they are making in their writing. Grammatical errors create problems in the flow of statements. Poor grammar will cause the reader to focus more on the grammar instead of the content. No matter how good your content is, a grammatical error will leave a bad impression. It would be best if you always read your personal statement loudly. You can also call a friend or a family member to proofread your statement. In this way, you can identify your problems more effectively.

Failing to Demonstrate Your Capability:

Keep in mind that you are applying for admission to a foreign university. Therefore, it’s great if you could demonstrate that you can study in a university-style. In foreign, you will see a diverse culture and different way of living life. That is why it is vital to prove that you can live in such an environment. You should share your experience related to this. This can include anything, an international conference which you attended. You can also share the details of any online course which you attended. Things like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are also really good for this, and you can find lots of free ones online.

Not Going into Details of Experiences:

Including more and more experiences in your statements feels attractive. But this could also turn out into the opposite thing. When there is a word limit, you can’t go into details of the experiences. This may affect your application. For example, during your B.Sc. degree, you worked on a project relating to water pollution. But, it will not be beneficial if you mention that you worked on a water pollution project. It will not leave any impact on the reader. But, if you could mention that your project was hitting one of the SDG’s, this would be helpful. So, it’s better to talk about your experiences in detail. It’s helpful to talk about their impacts on society. It doesn’t matter if you have less experience. What matters is the quality and impact of your experience.

Personal Statement Should be Personal:

Students often take the advice they are given without questioning whether it is right for them or not. Sometimes, people give you advice that is totally out of the context of your question. It’s fine that you ask for advice, but you should write your statement personally. Many students don’t write their personal statements on their own. They prefer to spend some money and get their personal statements done. Remember that the other person doesn’t know you personally. He might miss some details about you. So, you should remember that a personal statement should be personal.


A personal statement is writing which requires you to think a lot. So, with so much to think about, it is highly likely that you might fall into one of those pitfalls. But, with the help of this article, you might be able to overcome your lackings. If you find yourself lost, get back to your basics rule. The rule is personal statement should be personal.