Makeen Baroudi

25th June 2020

Common Personal Statement Traps (Part 2)

  • What are the most medical common personal statement traps?
  • What should I avoid when writing my medical personal statement?
  • What do interviewers not want to see on a personal statement?
  • How can I improve my personal statement?

1. Cliches...

The person reading your personal statement will have read, ‘I have always wanted to be a doctor ever since I was young’ or‘I want to be a doctor because I want to help people’ hundreds of times before. Even though you won’t be penalised for using cliches, it would not give a very good first impression. That in itself is enough of a reason to avoid cliches.

    Another way is by asking someone for their feedback. You don’t have to agree with what they tell you but it’s good to have a second opinion.
    Finally, have a look at other people’s personal statement if they don’t mind. See if they said something very similar to you then that’s probably a sign that you may need to change what you said.

Here is a link to sample medicine personal statements if you would like to have a look. Please only use this link to be aware of medicine personal statement examples. Under no circumstances may you plagiarize. UCAS uses incredibly powerful and accurate software to detect plagiarism.

2. Messing With What You've Read!

A great way to strengthen your medical application is by reading extra stuff. A book is a perfect thing to talk about during your interview. If you wish to quote a word or a sentence from a book to help deliver your point, then by all means do that. However, be careful not to fall into the trap of quoting too much that you start running out of characters, or that you quote what’s unnecessary.

In our opinion, try and avoid quoting something directly as much as possible. It just takes up the word count. Instead reflect on the bit that you wanted to quote originally. Discuss whether you agree with a conceptstrong> that a book/publication has explored.

    💡 For example, instead of quoting the four pillars of medical ethics, talk about what your thoughts are on the four pillars of medical ethics.

3. One Size Fits All...

As you know, the four universities you apply to will receive the same personal statement that you submit. However, the choice of universities does mean that you may have to tailor your personal statement so that it is more suitable for your choices.

    💡 For example, let say that you are applying to Newcastle, Leeds, Lancaster and Nottingham. Your personal statement here will probably contain less academia than the personal statement of someone who’s applied to Oxford. This is because Oxford and Cambridge give academic achievements more importance than other universities do. You still need to talk about the other aspects of your life if you’re applying to Oxford, it’s just that you will need to have a rich academic history.

You can have a look at what Oxford wants in a personal statement here. But this also applies to all other universities. Visit the universities’ websites (that you’re thinking of) and tailor your personal statement, as best as you can, so that it suits them all.

You can find free UCAT resources and free practice questions here on our website.

4. "Thank You"

Sure it is very polite to say thank you to the university at the end. Or to say something to the end that you appreciate them taking the time to read your application etc. However, you do not need to say that in a personal statement. By applying to that university, and taking the time to read about it, you are being polite.

    ❌ You shouldn’t end your personal statement with a, “thank you”. You want to end it with a powerful paragraph that tells the university why you are the best applicant and why they need to choose you and not the others.

Writing a personal statement for the first time can be really challenging. Given the importance of personal statements to a course like medicine we really appreciate the hard work that you do.

To take your personal statement to the next level, we recommend checking out our quality and affordable personal statement service.

Makeen Baroudi

Product Manager

Hi guys, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog page. We at TheMedicalGeeks try and pass on the lessons we learned whilst getting into medical school.

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