Watch now: How to begin your personal statement Check out our guides to concluding your statement, talking about your hobbies the right way and what to cut if you're hitting the Ucas character count.
This isn't the X Factor.' Even some Oxbridge admissions tutors mentioned this.
They emphasised the need for candidates to engage the reader with your (relevant) perceptions or ideas, not by something flashy.
We spoke to admissions tutors up and down the country, and they all said the same thing: don't get stressed out trying to think of a killer opening!
Check out our advice below on beginning your personal statement the right way, including what to include, what not to do and how to approach it (or even, put it off...).
An opening line should have a distinctive voice, a point of view, a rudimentary plot and some hint of characterization.
By the end of the first paragraph, we should also know the setting and conflict, unless there is a particular reason to withhold this information.
One of the dangers of trying to come up with a great opening sentence is that you can end up overthinking it and going overboard.
As one admissions tutor said: 'Be succinct and draw the reader in, but not with a gimmick.
Never forget that the entire course of a story or novel, like an avalanche, is largely defined within its first seconds.
To craft a compelling story, you must first launch it in the right direction. The first cardinal rule of opening lines is that they should possess most of the individual craft elements that make up the story as a whole.