Personal statement paragraphs in UCAS

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marshalld67
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Im adding my statement to UCAS, and it fits perfectly if i keep the paragraphs but remove the blank lines between each one. Its ok to do this or is it better to just cut characters from elsewhere?
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username3497538
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As long as you start a new line for each new paragraph I'm pretty sure it's fine! Just make sure it's not all a jumbled mess with no structure
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Interrobang
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It's far better to include blank lines- it makes it easier to read. There's very little that can't be reduced or removed to allow this to happen
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marshalld67
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(Original post by *Interrobang*)
It's far better to include blank lines- it makes it easier to read. There's very little that can't be reduced or removed to allow this to happen
I thought that but my statement is already quite succinct, it said to remove 5 characters so i did, then it said i was 7 lines over the 47, which is exactly the amount of empty lines there are so im not sure about cutting it down further
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Good bloke
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(Original post by marshalld67)
Im adding my statement to UCAS, and it fits perfectly if i keep the paragraphs but remove the blank lines between each one. Its ok to do this or is it better to just cut characters from elsewhere?
I have yet to see a PS that could not be improved by cutting out text to allow it to be properly formatted with blank lines between the paragraphs.

Ignore the blandishments of people who say it does not matter and spare a thought for the most important person in the admissions process (from the point of view of the applicant) - the admissions tutor who makes the decision.

He or she reads hundreds of the damn things, many without paragraphs. so make sure yours stands out for the right reasons by being easily readable and not conducive to a headache and isn't dragged into the mire like the other tosh that has to be ploughed through..
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(Original post by marshalld67)
I thought that but my statement is already quite succinct, it said to remove 5 characters so i did, then it said i was 7 lines over the 47, which is exactly the amount of empty lines there are so im not sure about cutting it down further
Ignore the character count; the important limit is the 47 lines limit. Clear, readable statements are typically about 3,200-3800 characters and 47 lines long.
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marshalld67
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(Original post by Good bloke)
I have yet to see a PS that could not be improved by cutting out text to allow it to be properly formatted with blank lines between the paragraphs.

Ignore the blandishments of people who say it does not matter and spare a thought for the most important person in the admissions process (from the point of view of the applicant) - the admissions tutor who makes the decision.

He or she reads hundreds of the damn things, many without paragraphs. so make sure yours stands out for the right reasons by being easily readable and not conducive to a headache and isn't dragged into the mire like the other tosh that has to be ploughed through..
Thanks, if i knew how to cut it out i would, but since the PS assistant is down and im a mature student doing this alone I've honestly got no idea what else i can cut! Its already pretty succinct as it is
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marshalld67
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Ignore the character count; the important limit is the 47 lines limit. Clear, readable statements are typically about 3,200-3800 characters and 47 lines long.
The character count isn't the problem at all, its just that its exactly 47 lines without the spaces - but the lines that are the ends of paragraphs are gerenally half full so its obvious its the end of a paragraph
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(Original post by marshalld67)
Thanks, if i knew how to cut it out i would, but since the PS assistant is down and im a mature student doing this alone I've honestly got no idea what else i can cut! Its already pretty succinct as it is
I bet it isn't. I bet there are far too many hollow and unsubstantiated claims, too many adjectives and too much on extracurricular activities. I bet you probably have some nonsense in it about the entirely useless prefect/head boy role you undertook at school.
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(Original post by marshalld67)
so its obvious its the end of a paragraph
Not when printed out it isn't. You need to save enough lines to put the blanks in.
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Cxletteee
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I submitted my UCAS on Friday, it had 47 lines and I didn't leave lines between paragraphs, just started a new line for a new para Considering this was under the character count I doubt a uni will reject you on the basis that you didn't leave an extra line between a new para (they can see it's a new one anyway)
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(Original post by Cxletteee)
I submitted my UCAS on Friday, it had 47 lines and I didn't leave lines between paragraphs, just started a new line for a new para Considering this was under the character count I doubt a uni will reject you on the basis that you didn't leave an extra line between a new para (they can see it's a new one anyway)
This, OP, is an example of the blandishments you must resist. It is advice that simply equates to Eat excrement, as I have done it and I'm hoping for a successful outcome, so I'd prefer it if you would join me.

Go for the high quality, stand out for the right reasons, approach and don't take part in the race to the bottom.
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marshalld67
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(Original post by Good bloke)
I bet it isn't. I bet there are far too many hollow and unsubstantiated claims, too many adjectives and too much on extracurricular activities. I bet you probably have some nonsense in it about the entirely useless prefect/head boy role you undertook at school.
It literally mentions nothing i did in school apart from how one of the a levels i did related to the work i now do in the sector, its got no extra curricular activities that aren't directly related to the course im applying for either. Since i finished a levels 4 years ago, I've been directly relating the experiences I've had through volunteering in the sector and explain why i now choose to study. Im trying to cut it down, its just difficult with no one else who has experience in writing them to read it haha

Of course im happy to cut stuff out I've just got no idea where, since i feel removing all the adjectives will make it look boring as hell
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(Original post by marshalld67)
It literally mentions nothing i did in school apart from how one of the a levels i did related to the work i now do in the sector, its got no extra curricular activities that aren't directly related to the course im applying for either. Since i finished a levels 4 years ago, I've been directly relating the experiences I've had through volunteering in the sector and explain why i now choose to study. Im trying to cut it down, its just difficult with no one else who has experience in writing them to read it haha
Well that is encouraging. Just prioritise the messages in it and be prepared even to kill your babies - your favourite bits.
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Doones
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(Original post by marshalld67)
It literally mentions nothing i did in school apart from how one of the a levels i did related to the work i now do in the sector, its got no extra curricular activities that aren't directly related to the course im applying for either. Since i finished a levels 4 years ago, I've been directly relating the experiences I've had through volunteering in the sector and explain why i now choose to study. Im trying to cut it down, its just difficult with no one else who has experience in writing them to read it haha

Of course im happy to cut stuff out I've just got no idea where, since i feel removing all the adjectives will make it look boring as hell
Your PS should be primarily about the course and why you want to study it, it's not about what you've been doing for the 4 years to get there.

Forward looking, not backwards.

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marshalld67
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Your PS should be primarily about the course and why you want to study it, it's not about what you've been doing for the 4 years to get there.

Forward looking, not backwards.

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Thats the aim,

What I've got is (numbers being the paragraph)
1 why im interested in this topic
234 how I've been preparing and what knowledge i have gained that relates to studying this topic, aka work experience acquired
5 I learnt how to speak french, this is a degree in international development - so i consider it a huge achievement, and very useful in the sector. so its extra curricular
6 what specifically about the courses i am looking forward to

Sounds good? Im literally 2 lines over the limit at the moment with 3740 characters, but i feel the statement doesnt really have an ending as it now ends on one of the topics im looking forward to studying
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(Original post by marshalld67)
Thats the aim,

What I've got is (numbers being the paragraph)
1 why im interested in this topic
234 how I've been preparing and what knowledge i have gained that relates to studying this topic, aka work experience acquired
5 I learnt how to speak french, this is a degree in international development - so i consider it a huge achievement, and very useful in the sector. so its extra curricular
6 what specifically about the courses i am looking forward to

Sounds good? Im literally 2 lines over the limit at the moment with 3740 characters, but i feel the statement doesnt really have an ending as it now ends on one of the topics im looking forward to studying
I'd cut the French paragraph as a starter for ten. I'd then get rid of the 'what I'm looking forward to'.

You will then have room for a proper conclusion, tying up your application for the reader.

Job done.
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Doones
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(Original post by marshalld67)
Thats the aim,

What I've got is (numbers being the paragraph)
1 why im interested in this topic
234 how I've been preparing and what knowledge i have gained that relates to studying this topic, aka work experience acquired
5 I learnt how to speak french, this is a degree in international development - so i consider it a huge achievement, and very useful in the sector. so its extra curricular
6 what specifically about the courses i am looking forward to

Sounds good? Im literally 2 lines over the limit at the moment with 3740 characters, but i feel the statement doesnt really have an ending as it now ends on one of the topics im looking forward to studying
I'm not a PS reviewer, but I'd suggest getting 2345 into 23. e.g. Learning french is great, but it doesn't take a para to highlight it.

By the way, what are the offer rates for the universities you are applying to? You can use that to judge the relative importance of things like the PS.

Looking at this:
https://university.which.co.uk/search/course?c[q]=international%20development%20
They all seem pretty high
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marshalld67
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(Original post by Good bloke)
I'd cut the French paragraph as a starter for ten. I'd then get rid of the 'what I'm looking forward to'.

You will then have room for a proper conclusion, tying up your application for the reader.
.
Ill try and figure out a way to cut down the french part, but considering the course i want to try to keep it somewhere.

The what im looking forward to is my way of showing i know what this course is about, and heres the knowledge i have of it - seeing as none of my qualifications will directly relate to it.

thanks for the help! im hoping the PS Assistant will be back up soon
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marshalld67
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
what are the offer rates for the universities you are applying to? You can use that to judge the relative importance of things like the PS.
They all seem pretty high
Thanks, ill see what i can cut down! and im putting a super high importance on my statement because i only got CC in a level, thats health&social care, and a Merit in ICT

Im applying for a mix of foundation courses and normal courses, because i know i could do an access to get me in - but the foundation course offers more specific knowledge than just 'social science access'. Im basically want to get my statement perfect to be able to prove myself in an interview.

UEL has a foundation course, which i have the grades for - but I've heard they arent too difficult to get into when you have experience so I've also applied for the main course

SOAS doesnt have a foundation and their requirements are higher, but also high acceptance rate - so I've emailed the course to ask and im waiting for a reply but theyre my first choice now, even if i have to do UEL foundation then maybe transfer

Ive also applied to a foundation at Sussex because theyre the best for international development, and wanted to get an alternative option to UEL
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