Personal statement and dyslexia


Hi guys, I am in the process or writing my personal statement and I was wondering what to say about my grades, they are quite uneven, I got a 2:1 psychology, and pass at msc animal behaviour (I would have gotten a merit at masters if there weren't exams, I am very bad at exams but good at coursework), I also have dyslexia and not very sure about declaring it in the personal statement. I wouldn't say that my dyslexia hugely affects me, but have found it motivating, as I exceeded this far in the education system. Cheers


Plus forgot to mention I am applying for a phd in a anthropology department

Avatar for Mackem_Beefy

Hmm, a difficult one. You're not supposed to be denied progression due to disability so in an ideal world, it should go in your declaration.

However, on reading through an application form a potential supervisor could turn down a candidate for "other reasons". It shouldn't happen, but we all know the personalities that exist in academia!!! A difficult one, especially if it comes to light later (though you could say it's just been diagnosed after you noticing problems).

My immediate predecessor sufferred from dyslexia and that led to some interesting juxtapositions in the time I knew him. It did not stop him and he gained his PhD, showing such disabilities needn't be a barrier to people achieving their dreams or goals. If you have a decent supervisor who'll proof your work (and the help of spelling / grammar checker in Word or whatever else you use), that will ensure your dyslexia won't be a problem.

Ian (Mackem_Beefy)


Yes, I would agree with MackemB; you're not obliged to disclose anything in an application so I wouldn't. Having said that I would ensure your proposal is error free before you send it in. It's unlikely to come up even at interview but if it does, or you raise it yourself, I would frame it in such a way that you have gotten this far, thus have proved your abilities, capabilities etc etc and are more than up to the job.

Best of luck with it (up)


I am dyslexic and in the latter stages of a PhD so just wanted to send some encouragement and say it can be done (abliet rather slowly in my case!) I have always been open about it and for me this has been the best course of action. If you do get offered a place I would highly reccomend going to the disability unit at uni as you may be able to get useful additional support, but too disclose or not to the department at this stage I would suggest remains an individual descision. Good luck


I would avoid mentioning it in a personal statement. The last thing you want is to look like you're trying too hard to explain your grades not being perfect, and it's an issue you can address during the interview if you feel it is important.

I understand about exams dragging grades down, as I am dyslexic and feel the same thing happened to me. I was asked about my grades in an interview and tried to explain (without saying that I'm dyslexic) that the exam component affected my grade badly, but they didn't seem impressed! I should probably have mentioned it then, but I guess I'm a little paranoid about disclosing it, and I know the supervisor I'm going to start with next month has no idea about it (which I am worried about).

I also always avoided telling universities at all that I am dyslexic, as they harassed me so much with their disability service stuff (seriously...I got many emails and letters from them even though they hadn't offered me a place! I had many anticlimaxes from that), but yeah...I say it's best to bring up at a later date in a more subtle way.


======= Date Modified 27 Jul 2012 12:47:04 =======
============= Edited by a Moderator =============
A good personal statement should:
• Provide the admissions tutor with relevant background information about you.
• Reflect the distinctive style and characteristics of its author – admissions tutors are not seeking to admit clones.
• Explain why you have chosen that particular subject and supply concrete evidence of your enthusiasm for it.
• Show that you are positive and motivated.
• Include some reference to your future plans or careers aspirations. This is important if you are applying for a vocational course, but don’t worry if you aren’t sure what you want to do when you leave university.
• Be written in clear and concise English.

*link removed by postgrad forum team*


Hi guys, I also have dyslexia however I don't suffer from it as I don't let it deter me away from the chosen path in which I wish to take. When writing a personal statement I would put in about it as it shows you know your limitations however, it also shows your strengths at knowing how to deal with the problems that it arises.