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A personal statement lets an academic institution, organization, workplace, or potential client know more about you and your career or academic goals.
Personal statements are most important when you are applying to an extremely competitive program, where all the applicants have high test scores and GPA's, and when you are a marginal candidate and need the essay to compensate for low test scores or a low GPA. It's most likely that your personal statement will be read by professors who serve on an admissions committee in the department to which you are applying.
It is important in developing your personal statement to carefully consider this audience.
Obviously, it is important that personal statements are not simply prose formulations of material contained elsewhere in the application.
It may be helpful to think of the statement as the single opportunity in your package to allow the admissions committee to hear your voice.
There is no set formula to follow in shaping your response, only choices for you to make, such as whether you should write an essay that is more autobiographically focused or one that is more professionally focused.
Tips On Writing A Good Personal Statement For Graduate School
From application to application, requested personal statements also vary widely in length, ranging from a couple of paragraphs to a series of essays of a page or so each.Often times, committees are sorting through large numbers of applications and essays, perhaps doing an initial quick sort to find the best applicants and then later reading some of the personal statements more thoroughly.Given that information, you will want your statement to readily engage the readers, and to clearly demonstrate what makes you a unique candidate--apart from the rest of the stack.What are the areas of specialty of this department, and what might it be looking for in a graduate student?Additionally, since personal statements will most often be read as part of your "package," they offer an opportunity to show aspects of yourself that will not be developed in other areas of your application.Personal statements should tell your story and be compelling across fields.Remember that a Ph D program trains you to build and utilize scientific skills to advance research.The members of the admissions committee will probably remember an interesting story longer than a repetitive listing of personal characteristics.Be selective in your choice of stories and consider telling the story to friends or family members to see what kind of reaction you receive. When you are thinking about your future, it is perfectly fine to dream big!You will want a story that relates to the program you hope to study or that exemplifies qualities you will need to have to succeed in the field. Consider your options and then compare them against your wishes.If you think it is too late to go to grad school, remember that it is never too late to accomplish your goals.