Everything That You Should Know About a Personal Statement

Students need to prepare lots of different documents to apply to a college, and a personal statement may be one of them. There is no single factor that an admission officer considers when deciding whether a student will enter an educational institution or not, and it’s important to make sure that each of the requirements has been fulfilled. Before beginning to write this paper, find out several key points and helpful tips to pay attention to, and all this information is provided in this article.

What Is It?

Personal statements mean papers written by students to apply to an educational institution. It allows an admission officer to get a better idea of an applicant. In essence, it’s a short essay where an applicant should present oneself and one’s reasons for applying for a particular program.

Such data as test scores and GPA (grade point average) also provide an admissions committee with some important information, but these details are impersonal and do not give enough factors, allowing determining whether a student will perform well in the future. It’s the only document, which allows ‘talking’ to an admission officer, explaining who you are and why one should approve your application.

Why Is a Personal Essay Important?

Admission officers consider different factors divided into two groups:

  1. Hard factors;
  2. Soft factors.

Hard factors mean those, which admission officers can easily estimate and compare with others, while soft ones mean the factors that aren’t easy to quantify, for instance, recommendations, essays, etc.

According to the State of College Admissions report by NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling), this personal essay is the most important soft factor that may appear determining for your further career. While a good essay can increase the chances of qualifying, a poor one may ruin even the best impression from hard factors.

What Are the Requirements?

Students should know certain requirements in order to make sure that the paper matches them. It’s possible that they will ask you to discuss a certain topic in the document or reply to a certain question in the essay.

The paper should contain no more than 1000 words, so stick to this length. While it’s important to discuss a certain topic properly, keep it concise and clear. Several things can help with creating a great paper, and below, you’ll find a few tips to go through.

Add Some Information about Yourself

Add some important information about the application, but do not include anything, which has already been provided in other documents, so provide some new details. Maybe, there has been a special event in your life, which helped with choosing your future specialization?

Brainstorm Topics

It’s essential to pick a meaningful topic. Keeping in mind questions and prompts, choose any topic you like. Spend some time thinking of what’s most important to you, what events and people have impacted on your life if something makes you special. Avoid choosing obvious topics, but try to come up with a topic that can help to make an essay unique.

Choose Right Words and Tone

The paper should sound natural, so do not add complex sentence structure and many ‘clever’ words. Students should also avoid a lofty tone if they do not use it usually. The paper should give a clear image of the applicant in real life.

Edit, Edit, Edit

Revise the paper as many times as needed. This also means that it’s important to start preparing an essay beforehand so that you have lots of time for corrections. It’s unlikely that you can create a perfect paper right away, and it’s recommended to edit the paper several times, leaving a long break between each of the checks.

Proofread Your Paper

It’s great if you’ve prepared a final version of the paper, which matches the requirements and has been written in a clear, easy, and interesting manner. However, it’s easy to spoil an impression if there are grammar mistakes or other errors in the paper.

Therefore, it’s also important to go through the text in order to find and eliminate all problematic parts of your text. Use different software programs for this purpose. Although they cannot fully substitute human proofreading, such programs can appear pretty helpful.

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