Writing guides28 October 2020

How to Write a Personal Statement Correctly

What is a personal statement?

This is a significant document that will affect admission. It should convince the admission committee that you are the ideal candidate for enrolling in the chosen university. Grades and English proficiency are clear requirements, and specific points can often be clarified on the university website, but the process of creating a personal statement still contains many questions.

How to format a personal statement for grad school

Speaking about the format, it should be noted that a large volume for the statement does not guarantee a positive assessment from the reviewer. It is important to concisely state your thoughts, so you should not write in long, complex sentences. Personal statements must be the length of one A4 page and use Times New Roman font.

The statement should be clearly structured and divided into semantic paragraphs.

What should a personal statement include?

The purpose of the personal statement for the applicant should be expressed in the first sentence: what program you decided to enroll in, what university, and in what specialty. Important: you should not start your statement with a famous quote or an aphorism.

The main part of the statement should contain answers to the following questions:

  • What is your education now?
  • Why did you choose this particular specialty?
  • What disciplines do you want to study?
  • What are your academic interests?
  • What knowledge and skills do you want to acquire during the course?
  • How do you see your future career?
  • What are your personal interests (hobbies, sports, literature, travel, music, etc.), and can you develop them within the chosen university?

How to Write a Good Personal Statement: Tips

We will analyze each point of the plan in order.

Tip #1. How to begin a personal statement

As we noted earlier, in the first sentence, you need to introduce yourself and express your intention to enroll in the chosen university. You can continue the personal statement with the help of a vivid personal story or with a question that interests you, which influenced the choice of the future specialty.

The introduction should be memorable and catch the reader’s attention. The admission committee must check an uncountable number of personal statements for the entire period of their work. If the introduction is standard and unremarkable, then most likely, the person checking such a statement will not finish reading to the end.

Tip #2. What to include in a personal statement main body

In the main part of the statement, it is necessary to substantiate the answers to the questions presented earlier. The interest in the program should be sincere, and it is not necessary to say that it was a choice exclusively of your parents.

Don’t be afraid to talk about personal experiences, even if they are based on something negative. Let’s say that you have had problems with academic performance in a subject for some time. It is important to acknowledge that this “questionable” fact of your background is also an experience, and you successfully deal with it.

Of course, it is better that your personal statement reveals you in a positive light. Explain where you are currently studying, the disciplines you like the most, and your GPA. Further, it is worth substantiating in more detail the choice of university. Universities are divided by training profiles and by the corresponding rating, which will certainly influence the choice.

Be sure to go to the university website and look at information about the institution, such as when it was founded and the values of this university. Without giving yourself away, you can mention the same points in your statement, which will show the compatibility of your views with the educational institution.

Other criteria for choosing a university are the curriculum, internship opportunities, and career prospects. Also, the location of the university, city, and country is a factor. If you are impressed by capitals and big cities, then you can say that you are an active and energetic person. If you like small cities and countries, then it would be appropriate to mention that you are attracted by the culture and traditions of small states.

Tip #3. How to close a personal statement.

In the last paragraph, summarize what has been said so far. Rewrite in one sentence why you are interested in this program. You can also add that you will make a great contribution to the life of the university. On your part, you have a strong academic background, the desire to work hard and become a professional, and you will actively participate in the academic and extracurricular life of the university.

With all our tips and tricks at hand, you now know what to write in a personal statement. Your application will shine, and you will gain an advantage over other applicants!

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Photo by andrewlloydgordon from Pixabay

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