Personal Statements

We found 35 articles

Four medical school personal statement pitfalls and how to avoid them
Crafting your personal statement for medical school can be daunting – you have had so many incredible experiences that got you here, and you want to put them down on paper in a way that is compelling and makes your readers want to interview you. Whether you are still brainstorming or polishing up your latest draft, this post will review common ...
How to start writing your personal statement
The personal statement is the most daunting part of law school applications for many students, including me. And starting the personal statement is often the most daunting part of writing it; I was no stranger to staring at a blank Word document for hours, with no idea where to even start. How does one encapsulate the most important parts of their ...
Finding your voice to write a statement of purpose
We all know that we need to distinguish ourselves on our graduate school applications and that the statement of purpose is a crucial space for doing so. I think of this challenge as a matter of “finding your voice.” As I see it, finding your voice is not only a matter of learning how to write in a stylish, distinctive way, important as that may ...
Avoiding clichés in your Common App essay
The Common App essay is a near-universal hurdle for American high schoolers. Millions of essays from the same seven prompts are written each year for admissions teams to read. As a result, a handful of clichés have emerged about the Common App essay: the school community service trip, the death of a grandparent, the sports injury—I could go on…
3 Tips for writing an excellent med school personal statement
We’ve all been there. You’re looking at a blank page, paralyzed at the idea of writing the most important essay of your life: the infamous medical school personal statement. You’re anxious, tired, and burnt out. Each day, the application deadline creeps a bit closer.
Getting started on a graduate school personal statement
You’re applying to graduate school. You have to write a personal statement. If that blank page is looking a little daunting, here are a few ways to jumpstart your process.
What not to do in your personal statement
Your personal statement is a critical component of your law school application. Here are the top five pitfalls to avoid when writing your personal statement:
How to write your medical school personal statement
Applying to medical school is a difficult process to say the least. Not only does an applicant need to do well in all of their premed courses and have a strong undergraduate GPA, but they also have to have hours of research and volunteer work, as well as have a good MCAT score. However, despite all of these significant hurdles, the most difficult ...
How to make the college admissions process less stressful and more rewarding
Let’s put it bluntly: the college admissions process can be taxing. Between standardized tests, constant deadlines, and the dreaded personal essay, there are myriad sources of stress facing every college applicant. But while studying for any particular exam might provoke some degree of automatic anxiety, the process itself can be rewarding. ...
Writing advice: know your audience!
Writing, in all forms it takes, can be very scary. This is because writing is hard! If you’re anything like me, you may also worry about what others will think of your writing. It’s inevitable that some people won’t like or agree with what you say, but what you can do is make sure that your writing is as foolproof as possible. You’ve probably ...
How to write the Common App essay
It may seem overwhelming to write a college essay for the first time. Especially when that college essay is for the Common Application and will be sent to every school that you apply to. In this post, I’ll go over some tips for writing the Common App essay, and what steps you can take to make your essay as compelling as it can be.
Avoiding the “Tragedy of the Commons" or the key to a killer Common App essay
For every rising senior, the infamous Common Application Essay is a bright spotlight. Some fear it, some relish in it, and many grapple with exactly how they can use it to shine in sea of strategic and significant applicants. Initiated as a movement to streamline the process of presenting yourself to a large assortment of schools, the Common App ...
Stuck on your common app essay? Forget the prompts!
If you’re anything like many of the students I have tutored (or like me), you opened the Common App essay questions and became very overwhelmed very quickly. There are so many options! And how are they both so vague and so specific? You read:
Finding your why for your medical school statement
Applying to medical school is one of the most involved application processes that anyone can go through. The application cycle feels overwhelming. Now that I'm well on the other side of the application process and I near the end of medical school itself, I can share some lessons to help you through the intense yet rewarding experience of the ...
10 steps to completing your college essay before school starts
It’s that time of year: you’re probably working on your college essay. You might even have a first draft. Great job! Take a breather and enjoy some of your favorite summer activities. When you’re ready to confront your document again, take a look at these revision tips that I’ve put together over years of helping students make their essays into ...
Where to begin on the personal essay
You’re nearing the end of eleventh grade, and you’re approaching that daunting but thrilling task that you’ve been imagining for years: you’re applying to college! Even before you make a College Board account or begin narrowing down your college choices, you probably already know about that one super critical piece of the puzzle: the personal ...
Application essays: the power of story
The blank page can be a daunting place for even the most experienced writers, and application essays can be particularly stressful. How do I encapsulate myself in something like six hundred words? What do I need to come across about myself to the reader? And how do I best convey it? It can feel like a tall order, I know.
The truth about medical school personal statements: a strategic view
What should I write about in my medical school personal statement? Well, that’s the wrong question.
Start early: tips for medical school personal statements
There are multiple pieces to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). The one that most people dread, if you’re anything like me, is writing your personal statement. Thinking about personal statements for medical school can be stressful. You might find yourself asking: what do they want to know?
How to write an effective transfer application essay
After completing a semester or more at one university, you’ve decided to apply elsewhere as a transfer student. Maybe you earned an associate’s degree at a community college, and now you’re ready for more. Or maybe the university you chose for your freshman year didn’t live up to your expectations. Regardless of your motivations, you’ll probably ...
Writing a personal statement for dental schools
Is what I’m writing too personal or not personal enough? Should I be writing more about teeth? How do I shorten my personal statement without omitting important details? Am I even answering the prompt!?
How to write a personal statement if you’re changing fields
Your personal statement must answer the crucial question of any graduate school application: Why are you a perfect fit for a program? To demonstrate that fit, many students craft an academic arc that traces their undergraduate experiences to their current application. But what if your path is more jagged? After switching from an undergraduate ...
The draft-drain-refine approach for personal statements (and other writing)
When I worked at Boston Consulting Group, my teams often produced 300-slide presentations within a few weeks of a client engagement. BCG had a mantra for producing detailed analysis efficiently that I find useful for all forms of writing:
How to fit you into your personal statement
The question “what do you like to do for fun?” has always stressed me out. As someone who preaches work-life balance and champions new experiences, I like to imagine myself as the type of person who would quickly rattle off an impressive and well-rounded list of hobbies and activities. The truth of the matter is that each time I am confronted with ...
Law school admissions: drafting the personal statement
The personal statement – that famous, infamous even, stress-inducing 500-750 words. What separates you from the law school of your dreams. Pages of scribbled down notes and back of the napkin insights into who you really are. Here are a few pieces of advice to help get you through it.
4 ways to beat writing anxiety on the personal statement
Writing is a daunting task. To transform your nebulous thoughts into a linear string of words requires a special kind of concentration. And when it comes to writing personal essays, like those required for most undergraduate and graduate applications, you are asked to not only concentrate but also be introspective. It’s no wonder that many of us ...
The biggest mistake students make on law school statements
By far the most common error I see on law school personal statements? Forgetting to tell the reader why you want to go to law school—emphasis on law! Often, students write personal statements as though they’re still applying to college. They tell a flattering anecdote about themselves, but they could just as easily be applying to an MFA or ...
How to spend the summer before your senior year of high school
If you’re a high-school student at the end of the spring semester, you’ve likely got two things on the brain: passing your finals and summer vacation. Hopefully, in that order. But summer vacation is no longer all fun and games. These days, there’s the expectation to fill June, July, and August with resume-building activities. Family vacations get ...
How to write a successful personal statement
The personal statement is an integral part of a job or school application because it showcases the applicant’s personality in an intimate way. The resume is a list of objective accomplishments and successes that the applicant has earned, but the personal statement highlights passion and aspirations that cannot be listed in simple bullet points. ...
To write a memorable college essay, tell a story
Essays Without Concrete Information Are Quickly Forgotten As I regularly tell students in my AP English classes, essays full of generalizations aren’t worth the paper they are written on. An essay that fails to include concrete examples of the concept under discussion is forgotten the moment the reader reaches the end—if, indeed, the reader gets ...
How to draft a college personal statement in 4 easy steps
There is no use beating around the bush: drafting your personal statement is one of the most challenging components of the college application. Even the most confident writers struggle to distill their identity within the bounds of a word count. The personal statement requires serious introspection about your life and long-term goals, and thus can ...
What books can I read to help me write my college personal statement?
What is a personal essay? What does a college personal statement sound like? You’ve looked at tons of sample personal statements, but none of them are particularly inspiring. How do you find your voice as a writer?
How to write a compelling personal statement
Hello, dear readers! Today, I will be talking about college admissions essays, and sharing with you some ways to help maintain perspective during the writing process. At first blush, the college admissions essay seems a very particular piece of writing—it is a hybrid form of personal narrative, argumentative prose, epic poem, and impassioned plea. ...
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