Writing a Winning Personal Statement

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Showcase the ‘Best’ in You

When it comes to short-listing candidates, admission officers are looking for those who perfectly fit the criteria and possess most of the required characteristics. While your GRE score and GPA do say a lot about your scholarly abilities and knowledge, there are characteristics that can only be defined by a strong personal statement.

Unfortunately, sometimes even the most deserving applicant may fail to capture the attention of admission offer due to an unimpressive personal statement. If you wish to avoid such a misfortune, you must focus on writing a winning personal statement.

In order to maximize your chances of being selected as a suitable candidate for the psychology program, here are a few helpful tips for writing an impressive personal statement.

1. Highlight the Abilities They Are Looking for

In our previous article, we discussed the characteristics admission officers look for in applicants. The best way to write a personal statement is to sort out the characteristics that can make you stand out as a strong candidate. It is best to choose a few strong adjectives that can define more than one characteristic at a time. This ensures that all the abilities and skills are covered in the least possible words.

2. Keep It Different than the Rest of the Documents

Personal information has to be submitted along other documents that include your GRE and academic score, and other reference material. Make sure your personal statement does not repeat or rehash the information already present in other pieces submitted along the application. Rather than talking about your score for a particular class, talk about the assignments and instances you felt challenged, and how you overcame those challenges.

3. Make Every Word Count

A personal statement is usually required to be not more than 500 words long. It may seem long initially, but once you start, you will find it hard to conclude. Make sure you are not wasting your words on vague information that is of no use for the admission officers. Make sure the information is insightful rather than detailed. The moment you lose focus would be the moment the readers lose interest.

4. Showcase Don’t Show Off

Appropriate usage of metaphors, allusions, and alliterations is a sign of an intellectual writer – intellect and writing skill being two of the major characteristics sought by the admission officers. Make sure you use these literary devices to showcase your talent. However, while doing so, it is important to refrain from using clichés or banal statements that can render your statement unoriginal and dreary.

Write, Read – Re-read

In the end, the quality of your personal statement boils down to the quality of editing and proofreading it goes through. Before you make someone else read it for you, make sure you have read and edited it multiple times. Omit all the typos, grammatical errors, and ambiguous or vague statements. Check if all the necessary aspects are covered and the statement is free of unwanted information. Finally, get it edited by someone who has good command over language and writing skills, and is not reluctant about sharing his/her honest opinion.