What do universities look for in your application and personal statement

If you’re applying to university and want to be accepted, you’ll need to write an application that stands out from all the rest.

How do you do that? Every university looks at different factors in your application, but there are some characteristics they share.

Read on to discover what universities look for in your application and personal statement…

Good grades

When universities are assessing your application, they will naturally look at your grades.

A strong academic performance is a key indicator that you can handle the rigors of a college course.

Many universities will require an official transcript with all of your high school grades and standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT.

It is also important to keep in mind that some universities may value certain classes more than others.

For instance, if a university is highly ranked for its science program, then it may look favourably upon applicants who have taken advanced science classes and achieved high grades in them.

In addition to looking at your grades, universities may also consider your class rank in comparison to your peers.

Being near the top of your class can indicate that you are not only able to handle challenging coursework, but also excel at it.

It is important to demonstrate to the admissions team that you have what it takes to succeed at their institution.

A strong personal statement

What do universities look for in your application and personal statement

When it comes to making a successful application to university, your personal statement is arguably the most important part of the process.

The personal statement is the place where you get to show off who you are and why you should be accepted into your chosen university.

It gives you the opportunity to showcase your achievements, skills, interests and experiences, as well as giving admissions tutors an insight into your ambitions for the future.

In order for your personal statement to be successful, there are certain things that universities look for.

Here are some key elements that you should include in your personal statement:

1. Your academic background

In order to be accepted into your chosen course, universities will want to know about your academic history.

Talk about any qualifications you have achieved, any relevant work experience, as well as any extra-curricular activities you may have participated in.

2. Your career ambitions

Universities want to know what you plan to do after you complete your course. Be sure to include any areas of the industry you would like to go into or skills that you think will help you reach your goals.

3. Your motivations

What motivates you to pursue a particular course or career path? Show admissions tutors that you have put thought into why you’ve chosen the course and how it fits with your future plans.

4. Your commitment

Universities want to know that you’re committed to succeeding in your chosen field.

Talk about any activities or hobbies which demonstrate your dedication and enthusiasm for the subject, as well as any challenges you’ve faced and how you overcame them.

5. Your personality

Finally, be sure to let your personality shine through. Admissions tutors will want to get a sense of who you are, so use examples from everyday life which demonstrate what makes you unique and stand out from the crowd.

By following these tips, your personal statement should be strong enough to help you secure a place at your chosen university. Good luck!

Evidence of extra curricular activities

When it comes to evaluating a student’s application and personal statement, universities take a holistic approach that considers more than just grades and test scores.

One area they look for evidence of is extracurricular activities.

Extracurricular activities are those activities you participate in outside of the classroom.

Examples may include involvement in student clubs and organizations, volunteer work, part-time jobs, or internships.

Participating in extracurricular activities can be an invaluable experience, providing you with opportunities to develop new skills, build relationships with others, and gain real-world experiences.

Universities take extracurricular activities into consideration when reviewing your application.

The key is to demonstrate that you have taken the initiative to participate in activities beyond the classroom.

If you are able to show dedication and commitment to activities outside of school, then it can demonstrate to universities that you are a well-rounded and driven individual who can apply yourself and go above and beyond what is expected of you.

Good references

What do universities look for in your application and personal statement

Getting good references is essential when applying to a university. References can provide a great insight into your character, academic ability, and experience.

It’s important to get good references from people who can speak to all three of these areas.

When selecting references, it’s best to pick someone who knows you well, such as a professor, mentor, or former employer.

You may also want to include a coach or a supervisor from a volunteer organization or internship.

Whomever you choose, make sure that they are willing to speak positively about you and your work ethic.

When requesting references, give them ample time to write the letter and explain why you are applying to the university.

Include your CV, personal statement, and any relevant coursework or activities that you have completed that could be mentioned in the reference letter.

When writing your personal statement, it’s important to think carefully about what you want to say.

The personal statement should explain why you are interested in the university and the program you are applying to, as well as any relevant experiences you have had that demonstrate your abilities and interests.

It should be concise and articulate, and should focus on your achievements and goals for the future.


When it comes time for the admissions committee to review your application, they will look for that you are motivated, organized, and can communicate effectively.

A good reference letter can help them get an idea of who you are beyond your application materials.

Make sure to choose wisely when selecting references for your university application!

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