How to Write a Great Personal Statement

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A personal statement essay is your chance to state your achievements and qualifications in a manner that will be compelling to the admissions committee. Other components of your application are mostly numbers (test scores, GPA, etc.) or out of your control (letters of recommendation). Your admissions essay is your one chance to set yourself apart from all other applicants with the same grades and the same test scores. You need to think very carefully about what information in your essay will make the committee take notice and say: “This person should attend our school!”

What is Personal Statement?

The role of personal statement is to make one candidate stand out from other applicants. Countless applications list many similar qualifications, experiences, and goals. Creating a personal statement that is notable for its content requires a great deal of preparation and planning. Personal statements need to be meticulously organized, well-written and focused on setting the applicant apart from the larger group. Whether a personal statement includes an effort to disclose or explain a misstep along the way or to communicate the applicant’s all-encompassing passion for the degree program or specialty, the content must be clear, the ideas must flow well, and it must be in the applicant’s own voice and words.

Things You Should Know Before Writing Your Personal Statement

  • It can make or break your chance of admission. The role of a personal statement is to provide the admissions committee a reason to offer you a seat in the class or degree program. If you can convince the committee of your great passion for the field or your longtime desire for this degree, then your personal statement will accomplish its purpose. 
  • A personal statement should include a specific story or anecdote that “shows” the reader your commitment and abilities, rather than just “telling” them. A creative or moving story will be remembered by the reader if it tells the story in a way that explains the applicant’s desire to pursue a degree in the field to which he is applying. The story could be personal, based on family experience, or it could be an account of a significant encounter with a friend, acquaintance or stranger. The personal statement’s story should reveal a candidate’s inspiration to pursue the degree program.
  • The principal role of personal statement is to provide the admissions committee with a personal representation of the candidate. The committee wants to learn about an applicant beyond the standard details of application materials. A personal statement provides insight into an applicant’s reasons for pursuing a degree program, including long term goals, motivation, and commitment.

Crafting Your Best Personal Statement Essay

As a rule, personal statements are written on a particular theme. Remember, however, that the focus is on you. You’ll need to use personal events from your life and what you’ve learned to craft a compelling story. What do you feel strongly about? What provides you with your inner drive? Also, you want to show that you know how to think. How do you think about the world? What events from your past have influenced your mindset? Where are you headed? Nobody expects you to have all the answers, to have the next fifty years of your life charted out, but it’s worth your while to think hard about where you want to be in five or ten years, and to articulate how the program you’re applying to can help you get there.

There are four common types of Personal Statement themes. You can click on the links below to see more information about common personal statement themes. 

  1. Describe a significant experience or achievement
  2. Discuss an issue that is important to you
  3. Describe a person who has had an influence on you
  4. Why is our school right for you?

Above all, be sincere. Too many applicants write what they think an admissions committee wants to hear. Admission officers have read it all – they know the difference between a sincere, honestly expressed personal statement essay and one that is made-up fluff. Professional editors at EssayEdge can help you transform your personal statement into something that will stand out among the flood of essays from similar candidates. Whether you’re off to college, graduate school, an MBA program, medical school, or law school, we’ve got the right editor for you at an affordable price.

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