Before you start writing, you should understand the meaning of the word. So, what is a personal statement in academic terms?
It is an extended story of yourself and your goals and achievements, and your guarantee to enter the college of your dreams.
There will be candidates with better grades and there will be some with accomplishments that aren’t even on your list. The trick is, however, to accentuate positive features and make your personal statement customized. Present yourself as a well-rounded individual with a variety of interests and emphasize your desire to develop academically.
The key facet of a statement is to look real. You need to appear as a person with an opinion, not a generic image of an applicant, trying to earn the place under the sun. This is achieved through personalized approach and friendly attitude. Think of the target audience you address and tailor your statement accordingly.
What should I include in the statement?
Apart from personal information and introduction, there are specific elements that you need to include:
- Give reasons. Your reasoning should be appropriate for the course. Tell the admission tutor about pursuing a career and goals you set for the nearest semester. This course may be defining for your academic studies, so demonstrate as much enthusiasm as you have.
- Provide a tutor with an explanation. Tell us why we should select you for the course. Do you meet the criteria? What have you done in order to achieve success in the relevant discipline? Show your admission officer that you have studied thoroughly to continue education and you are passionate about the subject.
- Support your statement with evidence. Show your teacher you’ve been doing work outside your syllabus. This may be reading books on the subject or attending lectures, evolving around this theme. You should not try too hard, however, by doing what everybody else is doing. You don’t want to force your tutor into reading someone else’s thoughts. A personal opinion is always welcome.
- Talk about profession. Say how choosing this course affected your career choices and how it will be relevant for an occupation of your liking. Give a meaningful explanation and avoid clichés when you talk about future profession. It should be something that is yours alone and can be found in your personal statement only.
Talk about experience
You should be careful with listing your experience, as the admission tutors want specific examples provided. They don’t like generalizing and demand students to assess their talents accordingly. Be accurate and mention achievements such as projects and assignments. You have to state your role in the project and give the admission committee a detailed picture of the process.
You can also include volunteering, if you had a chance to travel the world and learn from other cultures. In case you have no such experience available, there should be a part-time job mention with personal impressions and observations. This way, you will come across as responsible and stress resistant, which are good qualities in the future researcher. Personal statements have their target audience, and you have to keep that in mind while writing.
Say what you expect university life to be like. You don’t have to go into a lot of detail if you don’t have a plan yet. The admission tutors will add extra points for creativity and willingness to expand boundaries when it comes to studying. Be positive and don’t forget about the complimentary close. Thank the tutors for taking time to read your personal statement. It can be hard at first, but try to stay enthusiastic as you express hopes for the future.