Are you planning to study abroad? Is it your dream to study from the best colleges overseas? If so, you must be aware of all the requirements while filling an application form for any college or university. One such requirement is your Personal Statement.
While planning to study abroad, most of the people work hard for the standard tests like GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and others. They take classes and use various study aids. The Personal Statement is put off until the last moment. Finally, at the time of application, they write something in a rush and send it for admission. If you are doing this, you are practically throwing away all the chances of admission that might come your way. A good personal statement is essential for your admission to any college or university.
What is a Personal Statement?
A Personal Statement is a chance for you to express why you would like to pursue a particular course at a particular university. It is also an opportunity to articulate what skills and experience you have related to the area of your choice. It is your first personal introduction to the selection committee and a chance for you to stand out from the other applicants. With an impressive Personal Statement, you can seal the deal in one go!
Even though a Personal Statement serves many purposes, its main use is selling yourself to the reader. You cannot only talk about your talents and experiences; you have to make it relevant to the courses you are applying for.
Why is a Personal Statement Important?
A Personal Statement is important as it provides the university with a reason to offer you a seat. If they are convinced about your passion and determination towards your field of study, they will happily accept you. It provides a window to learn about your details beyond the standard application materials. It showcases your personality, experience, achievements, and future ambition. The significance of a Personal Statement in deciding your future increases when there is a lot of competition. Even if many applicants have similar achievements, the one with the best Personal Statement can get the admission.
Your Personal Statement has to be perfect and impressive. It is a chance for you to rise above your marks. Even if you have an average score in exams like TOEFL, your Personal Statement provides you with a space to showcase your talent. An impressive Personal Statement can make you a desirable candidate while an unimpressive one can dampen your chances of selection. You must write your Personal Statement in such a manner that leaves no chance for rejection.
How to Write an Impressive Personal Statement?
The content of your Personal Statement varies according to the course you are applying for, but the basic structure is the same. Writing a good Personal Statement is not a Herculean task. With due care, patience and attention, you can end up with a perfect Personal Statement. There are some important points you need to keep in mind while writing a Personal Statement.
♦ Your Personal Statement should be precise and clear. Usually, the character limit is about 4000 characters, but it may vary according to the university. Read the guidelines thoroughly before writing your Personal Statement.
♦ Take your time in organizing your thoughts before writing the Personal Statement. Do not rush into writing without giving much thought about what to write.
♦ Keep the subject you are applying for in your mind. Build your Personal Statement around this subject only instead of stating your general skills.
♦ Focus only on the relevant information. While writing the Personal Statement, concentrate on your strengths, knowledge, experiences and plans.
♦ A good opening statement can be favourable to you as it will provide a good first impression.
♦ Focus on your unique ideas instead of relying on other people’s statements. Do not plagiarize as it will directly lead to your rejection.
♦ While applying for a particular university show them that you know them. Keep referring to specific programs, courses, professors, research etc. and show them this program is a good fit for you.
♦ Write everything from a positive perspective. It is advisable to write in an active, not passive voice.
♦ Make sure there is a continuity and focus throughout your Personal Statement.
♦ Ask someone to proofread your Personal Statement. Many times we are not able to see our shortcomings. Other people’s feedback can help you modify your Personal Statement.
♦ It is suggested to write your Personal Statement in reverse order. Talk about your present ambitions and support them by mentioning your past activities.
These are some of the do’s of writing a Personal Statement. However, you have to be mindful of some of the don’ts also.
♦ Do not copy-paste someone else’s Personal Statement. All the Personal Statements are checked for similarity, and if you are caught, it could affect the chances of your acceptance.
♦ Do not exaggerate while writing your Personal Statement. It can lead to cross-questioning during the interview.
♦ Do not use famous quotes as they reduce the originality of your Personal Statement.
♦ Do not use complicated vocabulary as it can risk your reputation if you are not able to explain the meanings during the interview.
♦ Do not let the spelling and grammatical errors ruin your hard work. Proofread as much as possible.
What is the structure of a Personal Statement?
Writing your Personal Statement, according to a well-defined structure, makes it easy for the reader to navigate through it. A well-structured Personal Statement has the following features:
♦ It answers questions like: Who are you? What can you offer? What are your career goals?
♦ It has a clearly defined Introduction, Body and Conclusion.
♦ The introduction should be attractive and written in such a manner that keeps the reader interested in reading further. You should mention the reason why you want to study the chosen subject.
♦ The body should include your academic achievement related to the subject of your choice. You should also be able to portray your interest in the subject beyond the classroom. This can be presented through the books you have read or the events you have attended.
♦ The body of a Personal Statement also includes your experience related to the chosen subject. You have to pick quality over quantity. Don’t mention all the experiences, instead focus on one or two key experiences.
♦ Again, you can talk about your hobbies and interests in the body only. It should be a brief description focusing only on relevant ones.
♦ The conclusion should reiterate the main points you have already made. You can also talk about your broader goals for the future.
These are some of the things you need to keep in mind while writing a Personal Statement. Make sure you highlight all the relevant qualities and skills you possess. If you do it right, you will gain the most out of it. An impressive Personal Statement is your first ticket to study abroad.
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