How to write a personal statement for dental school
Personal statements are a very important part of the application process. While one’s grades and test scores are, of course, important, they are mainly used as a method of disqualification. That is, students who fail to meet the minimum requirements for their entrance to the program are disqualified. A personal statement for dental school, however, is used as a way to determine which students will be granted entrance to the program, after they’ve already met the minimum qualifications. A great personal statement can outweigh the fact that the student doesn’t have, for example, the highest test scores out of all of the other applicants. For this reason, students applying to a program should be putting forth a strong effort to write the best possible personal statement.
The first thing to take into consideration when writing a personal statement for dental school is, unsurprisingly, the actual instructions or prompts the student is provided in the application packet. These instructions may be very specific or they may present more as simple guidelines; in any event, it’s of the utmost importance that students address each question asked in the instructions and in the manner in which the instructions require them to. Don’t assume that it’s okay to fudge word counts or format for an application essay; this will make a bad impression on the committee before they’ve ever read the statement.
The second thing to remember is that the personal statement should be just that: personal. It should be an authentic look at the applicant, their dreams, ambitions, and goals, their personality, and their feelings on life and the program to which they want to be admitted. Although the personal statement should be both personal and sincere, it shouldn’t fall into the trap of being overly sentimental, however. Being straightforward and genuine is better than sensationalizing one’s goals.
Finally, the personal statement should be well written, well organized, and professional. Students should put as much effort into creating an outline and maintaining a strong flow of information, just as they would when writing an essay for any school assignment that was worth a significant portion of their grade. Students often write many personal statements when applying for multiple schools, and this can lead to them being sloppy with their writing style. It’s better to consider the personal statement as being of the same importance as a final exam.