Getting A Little Personal

Decisions, decisions…

As a college undergrad, the thought of potentially attending grad school in the future may be a daunting idea. And, while going the graduate route may not be the right decision for everyone, graduate school may also present dedicated scholars with more career opportunities.

Therefore, if you are planning on pursuing additional education after your undergraduate degree, you have most likely heard of the standardized tests, grad school interviews, and personal statements that stand in your way of securing admission into your coveted grad school of choice.

Particularly, if you are a rising senior, this summer is the season when grad school admission will be on your mind. Since gaining admission to top graduate programs is limited, it is imperative that you do everything necessary to set yourself apart from other applicants. Thus, the personal statement is often the great decider that determines your grad school destiny.

The personal statement is your chance to sell yourself and explain to the selection committee why they should admit you into their program. More importantly, if your standardized LSAT or GRE test was a little lower than you had hoped, a strong personal statement can advance you into the interview round of the grad school selection process.

So, now that you know the lofty weight a personal statement holds in the admission process, below are a few helpful tips when constructing a standout personal statement:

• Read the prompt: Instead of treating the personal statement like a personal narrative or creative writing assignment, it is important to address each point listed on the prompt in your personal statement.
• Brainstorm ideas.
• Write multiple rough drafts.
• Tailor your personal statement to each institution you are applying for. (Grad schools will most likely be able to tell if you sent them the same generic statement you mailed to 20 other schools.)
• Have your friends, family, and professors proofread for you.
• Develop an interesting angle for your personal statement.
• Write in first person and use active verbs.
• Be truthful.
• Be yourself.

Hopefully these tips will help you compose a creative personal statement and will be your ticket into your top grad school. Happy writing!


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