Admission, application and entrance essays: writing, editing, proofreading

Choosing Appropriate Personal Statement Topics: 5 Helpful Tips

Writing your personal statement has got to be one of the most stressful pieces of writing that you have produce to date. It may seem very obvious to say but your whole future is riding on you writing a really good personal statement.

Before you start writing the first thing that you need to do is think about the topic that you are going to write about. This is going to be the most difficult bit. Perhaps the most important advice at this stage is to focus on positives and things that are interesting about you.

  1. Focus on your achievements in the classroom and out of the classroom. Some of your best achievements may not have happened in the classroom but you still need to include them. Success in sport of in a Scouting group will show that you are well motivated and are a good team player. These sort of activities and skills show you to have good all round abilities and interests.
  2. It is not a good idea to dwell on poor grades or scores. You may decide that it is appropriate to share that in did not do very well in a recent exam. You may feel that by citing a low grade in one area balances out when you talk about your excellent grade in another area. It’s a good idea to just not talk about the low score – just talk about the positives. You want the admissions officer to be able to focus on your strengths not your weaknesses.
  3. Avoid the obvious. So, you are applying to go to medical school, it is obvious that you have motivation and deep interest in medicine for you to embark on the selection process. But so has every other applicant. Instead of saying ‘I have always wanted to be a doctor’, (which sounds shallow), make the effort to say why you are inspired and what inspires you.
  4. Be concise. Don’t try to put everything about yourself in this one piece of writing. Imagine that your personal statement is a ‘taster’. You want staff to read your statement and think, ‘this is an interesting student, and we need to know more about them’. Stand out from the crowd but for all the right reasons – don’t lace your statement with a load of gimmicks such as making your statement rhyme as it will end up in the rejection pile.
  5. Avoid the risk of upsetting or offending. Do not touch on political or religious issues or beliefs within your topic. This shows insensitivity and a lack of respect. Its Ok to have your own views but there is a time and a place to discuss these issues and it is certainly not in your personal statement.

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