Submitting a psychology personal statement that is really just your resume in literary format is the most common mistake that applicants make. Although it can be challenging to narrow down the accomplishments that you want to highlight to the admissions officers, this is a necessary part of creating a winning personal statement psychology. When looking at your list of accomplishments, each one was part of your progress toward getting you where you are now. Moreover, most of them were specifically chosen by you in order to ensure that you were thoroughly prepared for a challenging psychology program.
And this is how psychology personal statements differentiate candidates from one another. It is what you choose to include and why that will distinguish you from the rest of the applicants. Also, it is why not turning your psychology personal statement into a list of accomplishments is so important. Writing out a series of achievements, regardless of how impressive they are, does not provide the admissions committee with the information they need to decide that you are a good match for their program.
Therefore, as you examine your list of accomplishments, make two lists: one of the achievements that were most personally meaningful to you and one of the accomplishments that you think most highlight your skills and proficiencies to others. The first couple of items on either list probably won’t match. However, your fourth most personally meaningful accomplishment and the one that is second on the other list might be the same. These are the items that you need to focus on in your personal statement psychology. For some, this can seem disingenuous. Wouldn’t the most ‘honest’ psychology personal statements contain the top item from each list?
Certainly, that is up to you as you are in complete control of the content of your personal statement psychology. However, keep in mind that your psychology personal statement is a reflection of your character, but not a test of it. And remember that, in the psychology world, balance is venerated. Stay focused on providing value to the admissions committee. The accomplishments that you choose to include in your personal statement psychology should help the admissions officers understand who you are in the context of demonstrating that you are a perfect match for their program.
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