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How do you write a personal statement outlining reasons for entry to 6th form?  This...

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pimb | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 11, 2010 at 8:49 PM via web

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How do you write a personal statement outlining reasons for entry to 6th form?  This school has limited space so I must be very convincing.

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 11, 2010 at 9:41 PM (Answer #1)

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When applying for entry to the sixth form, you should first consult the application directions for the school to which you are applying.  The school may have special directions for its own application, and you will need to cater to these directions.  Next, you should be very familiar with the culture and purpose of the school so that you can clearly state how you will be an asset to the school and in turn how the school will be an asset to you.  In your personal statement, you want to avoid repeating information that will be demonstrated in other parts of your application (i.e. scores from the GCSE, etc.) so that you can leave yourself room to develop your character in the personal statement.  Find some sample student statements (these may be available through your current school's guidance counselor) that you can use as models for your writing.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 11, 2010 at 9:48 PM (Answer #2)

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OH I just loathe personal statements - writing them - I mean.  *But the practice is good for you now, you have many more to come, and somehow, it never seems like the right thing to improve on a previous personal statement.  I always start from scratch.

That said, here are a few tips I have for you when writing this thing.

**Review any directions in the application for your personal statement, including any prompt words, minimum or maximum length (usually a personal statement is limited to one typed page, but not always), etc.  If no specifics are given, here are some general tips that have worked for me in the past.**

  1. This is not a 5 paragraph essay - so it does not need a traditional organization, BUT, it should not read like a free flowing journal either.  It needs some sort of progression.
  2. Par. 1: Open with a story about yourself that helps the readers know a little more about you and why you are unique.  Don't tell them everything that is already typical of a kid your age seeking the same program.  They will have read hundreds of these personal statements and you want them to remember you.
  3. Par. 2: talk about your goals - why you want/need to be accepted into this school specifically to make your hopes and dreams come true.
  4. Par. 3: talk about your personality, academic, and/or other personal strengths (and maybe balance these with your weaknesses).  Just make sure your strengths are not, again, typical, and be sure the strengths outweigh the weaknesses in this part.  Also, quick tip: when I was reading applications for a freshman program at Baylor one year - one of the questions asked for strengths and weaknesses.  I would say 95% of the applications I read claimed "Procrastination" as the biggest weakness.  I declared in the middle of one application, "The next one I read that DOESN'T talk about procrastination is getting an automatic interview from me!"  *Terrible, but true.  Don't say you are a procrastinator.  EVERYONE is.  In fact, don't be one - and then say with confidence, "Unlike everyone else my age, I'm not actually a procrastinator.  I like getting things done on time."  :)

I hope this helps.  Below is a link that gives slightly more specific questions to consider.  It is difficult to brag on yourself and still sound humble.  But take this as good practice for the future - you have many more personal statements to come, my friend.

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