Writing an application
There is certain information you will need to hand when you complete your information; collect this and have it ready so you can confidently complete all sections. Never leave any parts blank!
- Personal details – address, date of birth, phone number, email address, parent/carer contact details
- Intended course choices
- Your GCSE subjects and predicted grades (which will be on your most recent progress report. If you have lost this, ask your teachers! It’s important that you are accurate here; the colleges write to us to check)
- Any support information, for example if you have any additional needs that the college should be aware of
- Personal statement
How to write a personal statement
You usually don’t get much space in which to write this, so it’s important that you write well and really shine! Think carefully about what you want the college to know about you, and what kind of impression you want to create.
Key things to include
- Personal qualities and skills
- Pack a punch at the beginning of your application by hooking your reader – outline what kind of a person you are.
- Stick to the truth (though no need to mention anything negative e.g. laziness, lack of motivation etc!)!
- Avoid generic phrases such as ‘I am organised and friendly.’ – that tells the reader very little – you could be anyone! Better than this would be ‘I am a highly organised and motivated person who thrives on being set tasks and then achieving them by setting myself deadlines.’ It’s great to provide examples.
- You don’t have to have target grade 9s to have something really positive to say here!
- If you need to get a 4 in English and Maths for your course but no other specific requirements, you could write that you are working hard in these subjects (which you hopefully are) so that you can ‘fulfil your dream of becoming a (whatever the career is), starting with your course in…’
- If you are applying for A levels, focus on the subjects you plan to take A levels and you could name areas which you have particularly excelled in, for example a particular topic in a subject.
- Be passionate about your subjects: Have conviction in your subject choices and use examples of how you’ve previously shown interest or aptitude for them.
- Hobbies and interests
- A lot of applications ask about your hobbies and other interests but this can include things like participating in House events too – being Prefect or House Captain is something which can go in this section OR personal qualities.
- Try to use any extra-curricular activities or achievements to further explain what kind of a person you are and how fantastic you are. If you enter House competitions in school it shows that you are a team player and put yourself forward to make contributions to a wider community cause.
- If you are amazingly good at something and won competitions, don’t be modest – say so!
GCSE Exam Boards for College Applications