Case Study Writing A Personal Statement Personal Development Essay (2023)

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Why I want to follow this course. (Try not to be too “woolly” or make “motherhood and apple pie” statements)

Why I chose my HL subjects

This must be linked very strongly to the choice of course you intend to follow

What my SL choices -either contribute to my chosen course

-or contribute to a more rounded education.

What is my extended essay about?

Why did I choose this topic? (CAREFUL: use only if it enhances your application in some way)

Positions of responsibility held.

Outside interests, hobbies, CAS activities undertaken, memberships of clubs, etc., or any other activities you are involved in. Any qualifications obtained (e.g. Certificates for music.)

(Video) Key Tips To Writing Your Personal Statement | *Example Essay*

(These should either enhance your course choice , or show a broad range of interests, or both)


This should in some way refer back to your introduction, and look forward as well. What do you see yourself doing in 5 to 10 years time? And how do you think your course choice will enhance the opportunities available to you?

Look at how the sample statements provided achieve this aim

Qualities an Admissions Tutor looks for in prospective Undergraduate students:

GCSE results.

Interest from pupil

Known ability to show commitment and motivation

Technical ability in subject

Evidence of general intellectual / subject specific curiosity and passion

Evidence of being able to be an independent learner

Intellectual flexibility and suppleness

(Video) HOW TO WRITE A PERSONAL STATEMENT! (Job Application, College, & University Personal Statements!)

A good match between the candidate and the course applied for

Willingness and ability to argue lucidly

Strength of character, self-discipline, maturity, perseverance, stamina

Interest vigorously pursued beyond the syllabus


A career in Law would give me the opportunity to pursue an intellectually challenging field of study which holds utmost importance to upholding the core values of our current society. I believe that law will provide me with a continuous and stimulating learning experience due to its progressive, ever evolving nature in the context of globalization.

The appreciation of other cultures and society will assist me immensely in the study of law. As an international student having lived in many countries before and currently pursuing the International Baccalaureate; accepting different cultures and their perspectives has become a day to day way of life. I have been inspired to believe that I am an international citizen with a unique cultural identity.

Studying the Theory of Knowledge has helped me gain greater awareness of our world and to conduct rational and logical approaches to complex questions and their uncertainties.

Additionally, in History, analyzing a variety of biased sources and striving to substantiate points with historiography, I believe would help me in the study of law. My passion for History in reading into the significance of past events and its effect on society will be further supported by my participation in the Model United Nations.Recently, I was pleased to accept the vote of most Diplomatic delegate, achieving my goal to develop my skills in public speaking and debate. I was challenged with the issue of international property rights, passionately arguing and often siding for countries whose views differ from my own.

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My participation in the Global Young Leaders Conference in America and seeing first hand the significance of Washington and New York’s worldwide economic importance was truly inspiring. I was challenged to engage in passionate discussions on matters such as human rights, and the justification of current wars directly affecting politics. This experience has inspired me greatly and consolidated my interest in global affairs, giving me the opportunity to hone diplomatic skills through thought-provoking simulations.

Representing the student population in formal functions, my role as Student Delegate has allowed me to take on leadership qualities, encouraging maturity and I believe that now I am more confident and self assured, because of the obligation to set a positive example to other students.

I have undertaken community services which have shown me firsthand the social challenges in Bangkok. Looking into the pleading eyes of homeless children selling religious garlands has made me realize the discrepancy between the poor and the rich making me determined to try and make a difference with the skills acquired in the study of Law.

I teach English to Thai students on a voluntary basis. Through these rewarding experiences, I’ve learned that language barriers can be overcome by non-verbal communication and that human connections can still be achieved.

Striving to improve my ability in piano, a hobby which I have pursued since young, I am determined to complete my Grade 7 exam. Another activity I have highly enjoyed and persevered is undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

I am a highly self-motivated student and I have taken the initiative to research into law cases such as the Donahue vs. Stevenson case concerning tort’s law in practise and a corporate litigation concerning business conflicts such as an accusation of forgery and fraud. The juxtaposition of the ethical boundaries and corporate legality shows me how complex the judicial system is- further inspiring me to study and explore more. A vacation internship in a law firm will help me to understand and gain deeper knowledge on the daily workings of Law. My choice to study Law in the UK is because of my international lifestyle as the well-established British law system can be adapted allowing me to practise even in my home country Malaysia.

I hope that my passionate desire to study law will convince you to accept me into your University.


The book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” written by personal-finance author Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter was the initial stimulus that led me to discover the realm of business management and finance. Additionally, it ignited my ambition to become a successful investor. Having had a long term influence from members within my family who are associated with finance and investment careers, I confidently believe that I’m more sensitive in the business field as well as being more critical minded and analytical towards current business affairs. I also understand that these qualities are considered to be essential for a substantial investor, who should possess additionally a considerable amount of determination. I am armed with these qualities; moreover, Business Studies and Mathematics have always been my academic strengths which would allow me to enjoy the course.

The economic collapse in 1997 in the Republic of Korea caused numerous prominent companies to suffer cash flow crisis. It was the first time I had the opportunity to witness a major economical and political transformation first hand. This has made me recognize the importance of business management and the commitment it requires to comprehend the basic management principles. These principles such as investment, management, marketing, human resource management, asset management, and organizations are the foundation for creating a good business. On the other hand, I sincerely believe that by studying finance, it will benefit my family businesses and furthermore my ability would then profit society by helping those people who needs support, which is one of my objectives that I wish to fulfill later on in my life.

(Video) How to Write an OUTSTANDING Personal Statement for College: A Crash Course

Studying in an international school has enabled me to socialize and mix with students from different cultures. I am also an active person participating in many extra-curricular activities. One large project involved being in the Royal Barge. This involves traditional Thai dancing to show respect to different cultures and additionally celebrated the 60th birthday of the Royal King of Thailand in front of more than two thousand people.. I am currently running an activity myself which invites my peers within Year 13 to experience a different culture via traditional food. The activity is solely managed by me and this has developed my proactive, leadership, organization, and recruitment skills. I’m also involved in charity activity; for instance, I joined the 4Kali going to Khao Lak in Phuket where I visited schools to support them rebuild damage from the Tsunami. I helped to organize various activities and programs for the schools and the children. This charity activity was a big stimulus that enhanced my interest to help people who need support for the better future of the world.

Living in Bangkok for 5 years of my life, I can speak Korean, English, Mandarin and Thai, which will be invaluable in helping me operate successfully in today’s globalized society. Having lived overseas for my whole secondary school life has expanded my appreciation of different cultures, especially as I had the chance to interact with people from a variety of backgrounds in International Schools. Learning TOK as a part of my IB course has enabled me to be very open minded – never limiting my views in many different matters to just one perspective. Because of the insight and background which a British education can provide me with, choosing the UK to further my education was a certain and easy decision. I aim to study MBA after my Bachelor’s Degree to extend my knowledge and study finance to a higher level.

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Can you get rejected because of personal statement? ›

If your writing is flagged as unoriginal, the universities you apply to will be alerted to this and are unlikely to make you an offer. If your statement is entirely unoriginal, then your application has a good chance of being rejected, leaving you without any options.

What is the best opening sentence for a personal statement? ›

Try to avoid cliches and the most obvious opening sentences so you stand out from the very first line.
  • From a young age…
  • For as long as I can remember…
  • I am applying for this course because…
  • I have always been interested in…
  • Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…

How do you start a 500 word personal statement? ›

Tips on writing a 500-word personal statement essay

Start by brainstorming different themes in your life (volunteering, arts, interest in storytelling, etc) Choose 1 or 2 themes you want to focus on. It should be personal. It can feel a little risky to write, and reveal yourself. Remember, we want to get to know you!

What should you not say in a personal statement? ›

The ten biggest mistakes when writing your personal statement
  • Telling a story. ...
  • Repeating information already contained in your application. ...
  • Spending too long discussing personal issues. ...
  • Making simple grammatical errors. ...
  • Failing to demonstrate capability of university-level study. ...
  • Using clichés.
Sep 15, 2022

What words should you not use in a personal statement? ›

Here are some words you should remove if they feature in your personal statement.
  • Passionate. Possibly the most overused word when it comes to personal statements. ...
  • Team player. You're a team player and can also work well individually? ...
  • Watching TV. ...
  • Extensive. ...
  • Also. ...
  • Jokes and puns. ...
  • Expert. ...
  • Overly long words.
Nov 17, 2021

What makes a weak personal statement? ›

Overusing Flowery Language. You want a personal statement that's dynamic and well-written, but that doesn't mean taking a deep dive into a thesaurus. Use words that convey your message clearly and concisely; don't search for flowery or complex language to impress admissions committees.

What makes a personal statement stand out? ›

If you want to make your personal statement stand out, demonstrate your engagement with the subject - this could be writing about a topic you've studied that you really enjoy, or a book or blog post you read that made you want to learn more.

Should I use quotes in my personal statement? ›

Don't use a quote.

It can be tempting to use a quote that has inspired you when writing your personal statement. However, admissions officers generally won't appreciate this, and it will most likely result in eye rolls.

What is a catchy opening sentence? ›

Start with the chase. A good hook might also be a question or a claim—anything that will elicit an emotional response from a reader. Think about it this way: a good opening sentence is the thing you don't think you can say, but you still want to say. Like, “This book will change your life.”

What is a good introduction for a personal statement? ›

The introduction is the first thing the admissions committee will read. That's why the first sentence of a personal statement should be a catchy, attention-grabbing hook or story that grabs the reader's attention and sets up the main point of your essay.

How do you start a killer personal statement? ›

University Applications: How to Write a Killer Personal Statement
  1. Firstly- don't wait to get started! ...
  2. Make a plan BEFORE you start writing. ...
  3. Know what's expected. ...
  4. Perfect the format. ...
  5. Let your personality shine. ...
  6. Show real interest in the subject. ...
  7. Tell them why should they choose you. ...
  8. Get someone to proofread your writing.
Oct 14, 2018

How do you start a strong personal statement? ›

Start with why you chose it, then try and summarise this in one or two sentences. Be original and refer to personal experiences as a way to draw attention. Avoid overused opening sentences, quotes and clichés like 'when I was young…' They want to know about you now, not your childhood or Shakespeare!

How do you start a personal essay example? ›

How to Start a Personal Essay. Start your paper with a statement about your story, while at the same time catching the reader's attention by making use of a hook sentence. It may be a suitable quotation, definition, fact or even an intriguing question.

Should I introduce myself in a personal statement? ›

A personal statement should include an introduction, your relevant skills/experiences, and your goals. You want to keep your personal statement relevant for the program or job in question.

What are four things a personal essay should not include? ›

🚫 Make sure you're not doing anything from this list.
  • If you're still writing your essay, start with this guide on writing a personal statement. ...
  • Whining. ...
  • Someone else is the hero. ...
  • Reads like a resume. ...
  • Lack of focus. ...
  • Leaves out personal growth. ...
  • Overcomplicated language. ...
  • Incorrect grammar or spelling.

Should personal statement have a title? ›

DON'T write your statement with the goal of telling schools what you think they want to hear. Sincerity is important and recognizable. DON'T use quotes or give a title to your statement.

How many paragraphs should a personal statement be? ›

Clearly structured and correctly wri en statements

No more than 4,000 characters (about 47 lines; approx 2 pages). Aim for 4-‐5 paragraphs: STRUCTURE!

Can I use the word I in my personal statement? ›

Consider The "I" Problem: This is a personal statement; using the first person pronoun "I" is acceptable. Writers often feel rather self-conscious about using first person excessively, either because they are modest or because they have learned to avoid first and second person ("you") in any type of formal writing.

Which phrases should never be used in an essay? ›

You should try to avoid expressions that are too informal, unsophisticated, vague, exaggerated, or subjective, as well as those that are generally unnecessary or incorrect.

Should you mention mental health in personal statement? ›

Personal circumstances

For example, this might be something that caused you to miss school - such as a physical or mental health condition, or caring for a family member. If your personal circumstances have affected your qualification choices, you can mention this in your personal statement.

Do universities actually read personal statements? ›

They don't score Personal Statements, but they do read them with the referee comments and take these into consideration. The PS doesn't form part of the assessment to reach interview and doesn't form part of the scoring at interview.

How do you avoid using I in a personal statement? ›

Use the third person point of view.

Never use “I,” “my,” or otherwise refer to yourself in formal academic writing. You should also avoid using the second-person point of view, such as by referring to the reader as “you.” Instead, write directly about your subject matter in the third person.

What is the best structure for a personal statement? ›

Personal statement structure
  • Reasons for choosing this subject(s)
  • Current studies and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Experiences and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Interests and responsibilities and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Your future after university.

How can I sell myself in a personal statement? ›

Start with why you're the perfect fit for a place on your course. Mention the most important aspects of your relevant skills and experience early. Prove the points you've introduced – it's here you'd talk about your current and previous studies, your skills, and your work experience.

Can you exaggerate in your personal statement? ›

You can use paragraphs to structure your personal statement. It is okay to show off and exaggerate about your experience and skills. Write the statement in any person but ensure you remain consistent (First person, third person etc).

What are the 5 sentence openers? ›

In this lesson you have learned to use several kinds of sentence openers: dependent clause, prepositional phrases, infinitive phrases, -ing word groups, and transitional words.

What is a good hook sentence? ›

A question hook is when you ask the reader something that they can visualize and try to think of in their own minds. Then, the writer answers the question. Example: Have you ever watched the high-flying, jump shooting, slam dunking, ankle breaking players that play in the NBA?

What is a good way to start a sentence? ›

Seven Effective Ways to Start a Sentence
  • Adjective (a word that modifies a noun) ...
  • Adverb (a word that modifies a verb) ...
  • Prepositional phrase (a phrase that starts with a preposition) ...
  • Infinitive phrase. ...
  • Gerund phrase. ...
  • Participle phrase. ...
  • Adverb clause.

What is an example of a personal purpose statement? ›

Examples of powerful personal purpose statements include: I serve others as a leader, live a balanced life, and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference in the world.

What is included in a personal statement? ›

Your personal statement should include a brief overview of who you are, your strengths and any work experience and/or education you've got. Be sure to include skills you've gained, such as time management, customer service, teamwork, computer skills etc.

What is usually in a personal statement? ›

Your personal statement should share something about who you are, something that can't be found in your resume or transcript. For colleges: It should paint a picture for colleges to understand who we are and what we bring to the table.

How do you start a personal statement about yourself? ›

Start with why you chose it, then try and summarise this in one or two sentences. Be original and refer to personal experiences as a way to draw attention. Avoid overused opening sentences, quotes and clichés like 'when I was young…' They want to know about you now, not your childhood or Shakespeare!

How do you start a personal purpose statement? ›

Steps for Developing a Personal Mission Statement
  1. Step 1: Identify Past Successes. Spend some time identifying four or five examples where you have had personal success in recent years. ...
  2. Step 2: Identify Core Values. ...
  3. Step 3: Identify Contributions. ...
  4. Step 4: Identify Goals. ...
  5. Step 5: Write Mission Statement.

How do you introduce yourself in a statement of purpose? ›

In the first paragraph, you should introduce yourself by briefly giving your background and stating your current career goal or objective in the thesis. Your introduction should be relevant to the specific program and its coursework you're applying to.


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