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Personal Statement Advice: Ebba

Personal statements should be indelibly linked to you as an individual and an academic and, well, personal. We have therefore compiled personal statement advice from the Elite IB office team, who studied a range of course from Engineering to Politics, via Law, Business, and Natural Sciences, and suggest you read through the below before applying the relevant advice to your own personal statement.

If you only take in one piece of advice, however, begin your personal statement in good time to allow for multiple edits- it can be excruciating writing about your achievements and how great you are, so be sure to allow for lots of time to get used to writing in this way and to edit out the inevitable parts which later make you put your hands over your eyes in embarrassment!

Once an IB student, always an IB student. Ebba holds a BA in Politics and MA in Diplomacy, Ebba has a broad international background and is a long-time lover of the IB Experience. The resident in-house guru about extra-curricular activities and CAS, in her free time Ebba is a keen rugby player who does the occasional triathlon. Here is her advice for preparing the perfect personal statement…

A good personal statement is all about standing out from the crowd whilst remaining a sound applicant. If you imagine the amount of personal statements which admissions officers have to go through, you want to ensure that they will remember you and you want to back your statement up with your own passion and academic history.

My own personal statement was largely based on my Extended Essay which I had chosen to do in History. I had already gone through the process of ensuring that my topic for the Extended Essay was relatively niche, so this part had already been completed and I knew this would be my best bet for applying to universities.

And yes, my extended essay was not just on the Vietnam War, but I had chosen to very specifically focus something along the lines of “Did John Lennon influence Richard Nixon’s decision to withdraw from the Vietnam War?” 4,000 words later the answer to the question was a quite disappointing “no”, but this did not mean that I was not able to use this essay to demonstrate my passion for politics which was the degree I was applying for (and perhaps the Beatles), as well as prove that I had previously conducted research and managed to draw conclusions based on historical events.