The Personal Statement will often be used as a basis for discussion if you are called to interview.
Your personal statement should indicate:
Your enthusiasm for your subject, as well as particular interests within the field
Your academic ability, with a sound knowledge base and range of skills
Your potential to go beyond the syllabus and use knowledge in unfamiliar situations
Your self-discipline, self-motivation and commitment
Lucy Cavendish also cares about resilience and time-management, so you should use your personal statement to describe activities that have helped you develop these qualities, such as paid or voluntary work, or employment as a parent or carer. In subjects such as Architecture, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine, evidence of vocational (as well as academic) commitment is also important. The Personal Statement and Supplementary Application Questionnaire offer an opportunity to highlight characteristics that might not stand out elsewhere in the application.
Ultimately, admissions decisions are based on academic record, reference, written work, and contextual data, to assess academic ability and potential.