Really struggling to shorten personal statement- currently 5,955 characters!

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    I have read over my personal statement so many times looking for things to cut out/ways to shorten it, but I'm really struggling! I feel like I would be removing important bits if I cut stuff out.

    First para- intro of why i'm interested in the course
    Second para- more on my motivation for the subject
    Third para- skills developed from A Levels relevant to course
    Fourth para- activity done in school demonstrating my qualities
    Fifth para- my personal interests, reading etc
    Sixth para- conclusion

    Ahhhhh really struggling here.

    Anyone else with the same issue?
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    Get someone else to cut it down for you and start from there. You get really attached to your own words so it's easier if someone else does it with fresh eyes.
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    (Original post by Nadine_08)
    Anyone else with the same issue?
    Im sort of at the same issue - I'm at 3999 characters yet I need to add another paragraph for the EPQ. I agree with the person above though.
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    Merge your 4th and 5th paragraphs.

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    You really have to "kill your darlings" when it comes to your personal statement. You won't be able to fit in everything so it comes to prioritising what you think is most important. When I wrote mine, I left out entire paragraphs which I would have otherwise included.

    I haven't seen your PS (and for the love of God, do not post it on this forum) but I would guess that your personal interests would probably be the first thing to get cut down. Possibly amalgamate paragraphs one and two and get rid of some points. Skills would probably also get cut down. As someone else on TSR said (I can't remember who), a PS isn't your CV, full of skills and qualifications, but more of a love letter to your subject.
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    Get rid of long words, rephrase long sentences. Sometimes you might have repeated the same idea. Cut down the waffle and anything that doesn't add to the overall statement.
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    I definitely recommend getting a teacher to read your personal statement, to see if they can help you. I was over, but I discovered I was repeating myself a lot, using useless long phrases and being too 'wordy' I honestly thought it would be bad if I took it out, but I had no choice and it was okay. Secondly I would recommend prioritising, try and minimise the personal things and stick to relevancy to the course.
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    Mix together the first and second paragraphs, and cut down on any parts where you've repeated yourself.

    For your skills from subjects, don't do a huge list - give a subject, a skill and an example of how it developed (e.g. By doing History at A-level it gave me the ability to critically analyse sources and information, something necessary for this degree).

    Again, combine fourth and fifth. IMO, I wouldn't include any extra reading unless highly relevant - if so, only include one and don't go into a spiel about it.

    Look for where you've repeated yourself, and delete parts where you have.
    If you're being long-winded, cut it down, it's amazing the characters you'll get rid of.
    Get a teacher/parent to look over it to see what parts they think you could leave out.
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    (Original post by Nadine_08)
    I have read over my personal statement so many times looking for things to cut out/ways to shorten it, but I'm really struggling! I feel like I would be removing important bits if I cut stuff out.

    First para- intro of why i'm interested in the course
    Second para- more on my motivation for the subject
    Third para- skills developed from A Levels relevant to course
    Fourth para- activity done in school demonstrating my qualities
    Fifth para- my personal interests, reading etc
    Sixth para- conclusion

    Ahhhhh really struggling here.

    Anyone else with the same issue?
    Your third para is a waste of characters

    Your fourth and fifth paras should be stripped of anything that isn't directly related to your academic interests or specifically required by your choices (ie they say on their websites "we are looking for applicants that demonstrate this" )
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    (Original post by kirstybecs)
    Mix together the first and second paragraphs, and cut down on any parts where you've repeated yourself.

    For your skills from subjects, don't do a huge list - give a subject, a skill and an example of how it developed (e.g. By doing History at A-level it gave me the ability to critically analyse sources and information, something necessary for this degree).

    Again, combine fourth and fifth. IMO, I wouldn't include any extra reading unless highly relevant - if so, only include one and don't go into a spiel about it.

    Look for where you've repeated yourself, and delete parts where you have.
    If you're being long-winded, cut it down, it's amazing the characters you'll get rid of.
    Get a teacher/parent to look over it to see what parts they think you could leave out.
    Talking about A level subjects like this is an enormous waste of space.

    Admissions staff know how A level subjects relate to their subject. It isn't personal or unique.
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    I personally wouldn't bother with the 3rd paragraph. Even if your teachers keep on telling you to put it in, just ignore it since it doesn't add too much, and most people would be able to say the same.
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    Remove useless sentences / remove repeated stuff. Merge 4/5 together. Also 1/2 together.
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    I'm having the opposite problem. I can't find enough to write about! But like the others said try not to repeat yourself or babble to much about one thing. And you could blend your first and second paragraphs.
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    Give it to a teacher and tell them to be brutal. My personal statement was originally 4,500 characters, but with their help I was able to condense it really tightly without losing any information, and I actually added a lot of info.
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    Look at every individual line and ask yourself "Does this show my enthusiasm for the subject I am applying to? Does it tell the universities why they should pick me?". If your answer to these is no then you may as well not include it. That's the easiest way I found of cutting down characters.
    The next step is to decide whether or not it is a unique factor that sets you out from everyone else. I removed about 5 lines of text explaining what I gained from my A levels, simply because almost everyone applying to the course will have done the same A levels and gained the same skills.
    Finally if you're still over the limit you have to decide which points are more valuable than others. Even good points may need to be removed because they're not as good as others.
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    Thanks everyone

    Managed to get it to 4,482 characters! 482 characters to cut further..
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    Here are seven resources that can help you see what universities are looking for in terms of a personal statement:
    http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...onal-statement
    https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergradu...onal-statement
    https://www.ntu.ac.uk/study-and-cour...onal-statement
    Imperial College London - How to write an excellent personal statement - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jQ3MJgdkJY
    The Student Room - Why your personal statement may get rejected - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlg_oGHX7e0
    University of Birmingham - What makes a good personal statement? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWxFVtSUAsQ
    The Student Room - Advice from Oxford, Bangor, Sussex and Greenwich on personal statements - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy4bEL85mDU

    I would really recommend the Imperial College London and The Student Room videos, they really helped me. Also look at the universities you are applying to, does their site offer advice on personal statements? Check them out as well.

    If you find it hard to cut down anymore, then I suggest looking at the resources again and rewriting it. Once you have hit the max word count/line count then stop. Don't write anymore. Even if that means having a sentence or word unfinished. Go back through and edit it from there you may find it easier than getting every thought down on page and then editing it.
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    Down to 4,100 characters...
 
 
 
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