Medicine personal statement checklist

Advice & Insight From Personal Statement Specialists

Using a checklist and creating your own “marking scheme” will ensure there is nothing missing from your personal statement. Writing a personal statement checklist can also help you with time management so you know what topic areas and themes you still need to tackle.

Effective strategies to check your personal statement.

  • Read your personal statement out loud; perhaps record yourself dictating it to pick up on any errors.
  • Pass it around – although “too many cooks spoil the broth” asking for constructive feedback from others is a vital part of the personal statement writing process. Make sure you have given your personal statement to a mixture of medical and non-medical people. It can be useful to ask a language teacher to read over your work to spot any glaring errors that you have made.
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Content Checklist

  • Does your personal statement have a captivating introduction which covers why YOU want to study medicine? If you have specific career plans and ambitions, make sure they are in there.
  • Have you referenced your work experience? Think of how you have gained an insight into a career in medicine beyond shadowing or voluntary placements – have you mentioned any medical conferences or health commissioning events you have been to? Have you been reflective and explained the relevance of your work experience?
  • Have you shown an interest in medicine and evidenced your scientific intellect? If you’ve completed an Extended Project Qualification, write about it. Any relevant literature that you have read also deserves a mention – reading books or journals shows you have a curious mind and that you would be suited to a career where lifelong independent study is critical.
  • Have you got a paragraph on your extracurricular activities and achievements – avoid this paragraph making up more than 20% of the statement. Do each of your achievements show you have the relevant transferable skills making you ideal for the course? Use the ABC test to check all your points are relevant:
    • A= Activity: What have you done?
    • B= Benefit: This is the skill you have gained?
    • C= Course: How is this skill relevant for a career in medicine?
  • Does your conclusion summarise your key points and ideas highlighting your understanding of medicine and personal attributes?
  • Have you double checked that everything in your personal statement is truthful? When it comes to interview preparation, you’ll thank your past self for creating an honest personal statement without embellishments of the truth

Structure Checklist

  • Are you within the 4000-character limit? Be aware of the settings on your Microsoft word account and make sure the character is including spaces. The application form will not let you exceed over the maximum character count so don’t risk losing the end of your statement.
  • Your statement should have the following structure:
    • Opening: A gripping first sentence and introductory paragraph
    • Middle section: A section building upon why medicine is a career suited to you, your achievements, experiences, and skills?
    • Closing: A snappy conclusion to round everything off

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Style Checklist

  • Have you double checked that you have used accurate punctuation and grammar in your personal statement? Remember that the UCAS application form doesn’t have a spellcheck function; so, make sure there are no spelling slip ups. Even on word spellchecker doesn’t pick everything up – so proofread, proofread, proofread. Have you asked a fresh pair of eyes to read over your personal statement focusing simply on any mistakes?
  • Proofread your personal statement and check for repeated words. Its sometimes useful to count the number of times you have used commonly used words and phrases such as “also” and “in addition.”
  • Are your sentences easy to follow and not too long and convoluted? Are there any unhelpful lists or irrelevant points?
  • Skim through your personal statement – any overly verbose words or phrases that you do not know the meaning of should be changed or deleted. If you are struggling to find alternative key words or phrases the General Medical Councils “Tomorrow’s Doctors” document. This outlines skill needed by medical students.
  • Check for any acronyms or abbreviations used in your work – although they can be great for saving characters, they may cause confusion for the reader.

What next?

If your happy with that final draft, then its time to upload and press send. It can be useful to make sure you have a copy of your final draft somewhere which will be accessible when the interviews start rolling in. Be sure which version of your personal statement you have submitted.

Medicine personal statement checklist.

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