Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

should I use complex volcabulary in my personal statement? Watch

    • Thread Starter

    Will unis think that using ott vocab would be acting fake, would they rather a to-the-point clear ps which is quite simple? (Like saying portentous instead of momentous)

    There's no reason to use overtly complicated language but at the same time show you do have a good use and understanding of English etc. It's more about the content I would assume.
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play

    Using unusual vocabulary doesn't of itself demonstrate anything other than that you have access to a thesaurus. Going out of your way to use what I'll call 'difficult' words at best makes your writing less clear, harder to follow, and, therefore, less impactful. At worst, you may end up using your difficult words slightly wrongly and end up looking silly (cf Russell Brand). For example, 'momentous' and 'portentous' mean different things, and, funnily enough, one of the meanings of 'portentous' listed in some of the online dictionaries I looked at on my brief google is ' too serious and trying to be very important', which happens to be how you'll risk coming across if you go too far with difficult vocabulary.

    Keep your language as simple and to-the-point as you can. Tutors will be far more impressed with that than with what you're proposing.
    • TSR Support Team
    • Wiki Support Team
    • Peer Support Volunteers
    • PS Reviewer

    Only use vocabulary you know you are using appropriately and without sounding like you've used a thesaurus every other word- I.e. it should sound natural
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: October 14, 2017
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
    Useful resources
    Graduates celebrate

    How to write a good personal statement

    Expert PS advice from the people who will read it

    Uni match

    Find your perfect uni course

    Don't know where to apply? Let our uni match maker be your guide

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.