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Guide on How to Write a Personal Statement for Grad School
While the process of gaining admission into an undergraduate program might have been easier, the grad school admission process is a lot more advanced. The process requires a series of documentation and academic requirements from students. You will have to submit recommendation letters and first-degree transcripts, take assessment exams, undergo interviews, and write personal statements.
Your personal statement is an important part of your admission process. It is a written statement that chronicles academic and personal experiences that aid your chances of admission. Therefore, every grad school applicant needs to craft winning personal statements essays as it has a great chance of influencing admission decisions.
Below are some grad school personal statement tips to help you while writing.
What is a personal statement for grad school?
A personal statement essay required during grad school application is a form of a personal account narrative. Grad schools require students to include a short and detailed narrative essay that introduces the grad school applicant and their personal reasons for applying to a certain course to the admission committee.
Although your grades are a huge determiner of your qualification into a graduate program, a personal statement that explores personal stories concerning your course of choice also determines your fitness for such a program.
Your responsibility is to make your case to the admission committee, proving why you’re a good fit for the program by outlining academic qualifications and connecting them to personal experiences.
Learning how to write a personal statement for grad school like a professional
What many students find hard when writing a personal statement is how to begin. The beginning can be intimidating. Of course, the blank sheet can be scary, but it can be nerve-racking and intimidating when you are writing a personal essay.
Here are some detailed steps to follow when writing your personal statement for graduate school.
1. Read and follow the application instructions.
Many grad school applications provide students a guide on how to write their personal statement or statement of purpose (SOP). Carefully read all the bullet points highlighted by the institution concerning personal statement essays. Those points will give you a proper insight into what the school expects from your essay.
A very important aspect of writing a personal statement is self-reflection. Before writing, reflect on your personal strengths and their message to the admission committee. Think of your personal qualities and abilities. What benefit does it play in your admission quest, and how would it reflect in your academics when given admission?
Self-reflection helps you form your ideas and have a strong idea and perspective on conveying your points in the essay.
3. Use an active voice when writing
Always use an active voice when you are writing your personal statement. It conveys authority authenticity and shows you are certain about the qualities you highlight. Avoid passive voice at all costs.
4. Give specific examples
Avoid general statements when listing qualifications and experiences. For instance, as a law student applying to grad school, give a personal story about how you have contributed to the law field since or before graduation.
How long should a personal statement be for grad school?
Your personal statement should be detailed, but that does not mean you must write five pages of a personal statement; always make it brief. Approximately, the word count of your personal statement should not exceed 700 words. A perfectly written personal statement can contain a page or two.
Making your personal statement concise means it should be brief and detailed, and engaging to the reader.
Amongst many things grad student applicants find challenging, the personal statement is one of them. It is not because it is difficult to write but because writing a personal statement requires more precision than other forms of writing.