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Looking at several university websites the overall as to what they want seen in a personal statement is:
- Reasons for choosing dentistry- this can be built up throughout the personal statement however a good place to start the conversation would be the opening paragraph with many personal statements I’ve read over the years starting along the lines of “My desire to study dentistry is stemmed from…..”
- Work Experience- These first two points complement each other well, and a good work experience diary would explain why you have cemented the decision to pursue the course.
- Team working and leadership experience- Many applicants have a paragraph in their personal statement dedicated to extra-curricular activities, Team sports or perhaps a job where you have had to work with others would be great to include here. Universities require this section as many dental school have PBL/EBL based learning sessions were students work and learn in groups so these skills are invaluable
- Evidence of manual dexterity- To study dentistry you would need good manual dexterity, evidence of this can be shown in a personal statement through activities such as playing a musical instrument or painting. I’ve seen personal statements were applicants talk about doing henna decorations and embroidery. So there are many ways to show this skill without having to have played a musical instrument.
- Additional information- Any hobbies or activities you enjoy doing, dentistry is a stressful degree – so what do you enjoy doing away from academia. Have you won any medals or taken part in something your proud off, now is the time to mention it.
Your personal statement is your first introduction to the university, with that being said it’s important to set a good first impression and to let the universities know that you are a strong applicant.
Due to it being a personal it’s hard to advise someone what to write however I thought it might be useful to look at a few topics that universities require addressing in a personal statement