How to Organize a Personal Statement โ€“ the Perfect College Application Format Recipe

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Overview

A personal statement is a significant part of the college admission process. You tell about yourself and describe your features in it. A successful personal statement highlights your strengths and gives you an advantage over other candidates. With an excellent personal statement, you raise your chances to get into a dream college.

You may be wondering, “how long should a personal statement be for college?” or “what should I include in my personal statement?” Our team covers all such questions and provides top personal statement examples.

Let’s get into it!

Contents

  1. 🔑 Personal Statement Definition
  2. 📏 Personal Statement Length
  3. Personal Statement Outline
  4. Personal Statement Examples

🔑 What’s a Personal Statement for College

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A personal statement is a document that shows your achievements, talents, and goals. You need a similar type of essay to apply for a job. However, a college personal statement is usually more detailed.

Some colleges also ask to write an admission essay, an application essay, or a statement of purpose. Those are similar to a personal statement but have their own traits. A personal statement focuses on you and your skills rather than the college you apply to.

Personal Statement Vs. College Essay

A college essay has something in common with a personal statement. The striking feature of a college essay is that it usually has a form of storytelling. The goal here is to be as creative as possible. On the opposite, you need to describe your skills clearly and directly.

Personal Statement Vs. Statement of Purpose

The goal of a statement of purpose is to convince the college that you’re the best candidate. This type of writing focuses on your academic performance rather than your interests or hobbies. Unlike a statement of purpose, the statement of purpose doesnโ€™t provide much information about you.

Cover Letter Vs. Personal Statement

A cover letter is a formal introduction to a college committee. This paper aims to make them interested in you as a candidate. A personal statement is more extended. You can include some information about your background and worldview.

📏 What Is the Typical Recommended Length of a Personal Statement?

Typically, a personal statement should include 400-600 words. The requirements might vary depending on the college. For example, a Common App is used in more than 900 colleges. It requires 250-650 words. Our advice is to check the information on the colleges’ websites.

Remember to keep the balance. A personal statement should be detailed enough, but not in an oversharing way. Include only the information that can show your achievements or character.

๏ธ How to Organize a Personal Statement

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Although a personal statement is a creative type of writing, it has a structure. Learn more about a personal statement outline below.

Personal Statement Intro

The goal of the introduction is to grasp the committee members’ attention. Make them interested from the very beginning. If you want your introduction to be engaging, use a hook โ€“ for example, a quote, a question, or an interesting fact.

A successful personal statement introduction is:

  • Original. It should show your creative or artistic side.
  • Related to the future profession. If you go with a quote hook, choose the one connected with your interests.
  • Personal. Do not try to act like somebody else. Be sincere and demonstrate your enthusiasm!

Personal Statement Body

You can divide the body of your personal statement into several sections. This is the most saturated part of your text, content-wise.

  • First, go into details about the experience that more or less fits the desired institution. Reinforce the readers with proof of your accomplishments.
  • Then write about your skills and talents. What are you naturally good at? What skills did you acquire over the years? How did you achieve these results?
  • Finally, share your professional goals. The best way to introduce them is to describe what you could give to the college and how do you see your long-term perspectives going.

How to End a Personal Statement

Your academic achievements are worth mentioning at the end. That’s how the college committee will pay closer attention to them. Another essential thing to note at the end is your goals. Think about what you want to achieve and what your expectations from the college are.

The top personal statement conclusion is:

  • Short. It shouldn’t be too wordy. Focus on the main points.
  • Memorable. Add some personal touch to make your personal statement stand out.
  • Precise. Do not add any new information.

What to Include in a Personal Statement

When you write a personal statement, remember your primary goal. You might want to get into a dream college or acquire an education to find a high-paid job. Every sentence you write is a small contribution to your future.

Points to include in your personal statement:

BackgroundLet the committee learn what formed you as a person.
AchievementsInclude your academic performance and extracurricular activities. Mention competitions you participated in.
Skills and talentsDescribe what makes you stand out from other candidates.
Relevant experienceIntroduce academic courses you took and relevant work experience.
Extra readingsList the books that you’ve read and that reflect your academic interests.
Academic goalsTell the committee how you want to expand your knowledge.
HobbiesShow your creative side!
Trips abroadDescribe the way traveling expanded your worldview.
Interests in the current studiesThink about areas you want to explore deeper.
Academic and professional goalsFinally, say a few words about your plans. Be ambitious!

College Personal Statement Examples โ€“ 250 Words

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Dental School Personal Statement

Marilyn Monroe said that a smile is the best makeup a girl can wear. Unfortunately, genetically I wasn’t that lucky. As a child, I had crooked front teeth. I remember I couldn’t even laugh without hiding my mouth until I got my braces on. From my own experience, I realized the importance of dental care. I know it can change people’s lives for the better.

I decided to become a dentist quite early. I was excited to have my AP biology and chemistry classes. In high school, I became a part of a volunteering project. We visited kindergartens and explained teeth care to kids. That experience helped me acquire basic knowledge of dentistry. It also boosted my creative potential since all the lectures were in the form of games. Later I took an online course on Coursera. “Introduction to Dental Medicine” helped me apply and work as my dentist’s assistant. Then I had a summer internship in a hospital where I learned more about mouth and teeth anatomy, dental materials, and treatments. Another important lesson I had is how to comfort patients who may feel anxious during the treatment.

I aspire to receive a more profound knowledge of dentistry. I’m looking forward to learning more about dental care for children to help those boys and girls build healthy self-esteem. There’s so much more to investigate, and I am open to new challenges!

Expert analysis:

  1. The work starts with an inspiring quote that is also relatable to dentistry. The candidate includes their personal experience to show how this sphere was a life-changer.
  2. The candidate lists achievements, including the classes, courses, and volunteering projects.
  3. In the concluding part, the academic perspectives are highlighted. The candidate expresses their interest in dental care for children. However, the ending lacks a re-emphasizing of the key achievements and skills.

PA School Personal Statement

Do you believe in superheroes?

I do, and those are medical workers for me. My father worked as a cardiac surgeon. For over 20 years, he has been saving people’s lives. He is a real professional and my role model. However, I’ve chosen a slightly different way. I believe that the foundation of medical care is nurse practitioners, mid-level providers, and physician assistants. The work of those people is often underestimated. It is full of challenges and essential for people’s well-being.

Father’s books were my primary source of knowledge. They complemented the science classes I took at high school and taught me the basics of medical care. The one that inspired me to study is Where Does it Hurt? by Jonathan Bush. It provides an overview of human anatomy, types of diseases, and treatments. The book also explains the organization of the medical industry. Another milestone on my way to becoming a physician assistant was a five-week online program, โ€œStanford Medical Youth Science.โ€ We had intense medicine and health science and professional workshops.

In the future, I am eager to expand my knowledge. I got it from my AP classes at school, my Stanford summer internship, and medical books. I aim to become a physician assistant and make healthcare accessible for everyone. I also aspire to ensure that workers of all levels are respected equally.

Expert analysis:

  1. The personal statement starts with an intriguing question. It makes the committee members want to find the answer. The candidate dwells on their family history, proving how much the healthcare industry matters to them.
  2. The candidate uses a friendly tone of voice but remains polite and follows the structure. The key skills and achievements are easy to identify and are repeated at the end.
  3. In the end, the candidate mentions a noble goal. They want to make healthcare accessible to people with different backgrounds. That allows the committee members to learn more about a candidate’s personality and single them out.

🔗 References

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