Is it OK to lie on your personal statement?

Advice & Insight From Personal Statement Specialists

Short and simple, lying on your personal statement not only shows a lack of integrity but will almost definitely come with negative repercussions. Lying on your personal statement may take the form of making up false claims about your qualifications and experiences. It can also be more subtle where students inaccurately elaborate on experiences and skills. Although you may be feeling pressure to stand out from the crowd, a good personal statement is rooted in strong analysis and evidence not lies.

Reasons to avoid lying in your personal statement:

  • Many universities use their interviews as an opportunity to ask students questions about experiences or skills they have referenced in their personal statement. Your personal statement should advocate your key attributes, skills and experiences. By asking students to expand on these universities can get an in-depth and compressive understanding about why they should offer you a place. Imagine the anxiety you would feel if an interviewer began grilling you on something untrue. Interviewers will be very familiar with books and resources students frequently reference in their personal statement. This makes them very qualified to discern whether you have finished the book. Interviewers are often clinicians themselves so have a true insight into hospital policies and NHS ethos. They can tell if you are overexaggerating work experience stories. You do not want your chances of being offered a place to rapidly diminish due to 15-20 untrue characters within the Personal statement.
  • If you lie on your personal statement, then your application becomes fraudulent. If you get caught out in the lie as described above, you could lose your offer (or place). If admissions tutors suspect you are lying about one experience you have referenced, they are likely to go through your application and check some of your other references and claims. The GMC are a council who regulate doctors in the UK by setting standards for doctors. Doctors are taught to act with honesty and integrity. Being an honest and truthful physician allows doctors to develop good doctor patient relationships and increase the public’s trust in the profession. Medical schools will look for honesty and truthfulness to be values of protentional students.
  • By lying on your personal statement your setting, yourself up to fail. Work experience allows students to develop a true insight into whether they are personally suited for a career in medicine. Work experience allows you to learn about yourself, the medical career and how effective care is delivered and received. If you have not made the effort to get work experience perhaps you aren’t ready to begin perusing your medical career. There is nothing wrong with taking a year out to get some more life experience.
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Why you don’t have to lie on your Personal Statement

Their may be several reasons why you feel your experiences might not make you a strong candidate for medical school. Admission tutors are aware that even the most proactive and tenacious students can struggle to be accepted onto work experience placements. You might feel as if your work experience placements were not very unique or long. Universities are not interested in what it is you have done but what attributes you demonstrated in this role and what you learnt. Direct observations of healthcare can be great to give you a realistic understanding of the physical, organisational and emotional demands of a medical career. However, work experience is more than just this. Consider what people-focused experiences you have had; experiences working with people in a caring or service role allow you to show you have an altruistic and compassionate nature. Perhaps you have experience in paid employment; can you reflect on this to show you developed the skills and attributes needed to study medicine?

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How to reframe and explain in your Personal Statement

Instead of lying on your personal statement consider explaining or reframing how you explain your achievements. This way the truth will serve you fine. When making a structural plan for your personal statement you want to consider what the themes of each of your paragraphs are. Perhaps you have a work experience paragraph and an extracurricular paragraph. Write a list of your top achievements for each paragraph and link them to skills or reflections you made from each experience. Your personal statement should have a positive tone. You don’t have to disclose your weakness; if you feel you were unsuccessful or “failed” during an experience reframe this to talk about the skill that you’re interested to develop as a growth opportunity.

Is it OK to lie on your personal statement?

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