How to write Personal Statement for College: Guidelines & Tips

20th November 2018 by Varada A | SOP For College

Personal statements are basically essays which are requested on a grad school or university application form in response to certain question(s). Some colleges may prescribe to be precise and specific in answering the questions. But there will not be given any guidelines about the things you should include. It totally depends on you to choose whether it should focus more on your personal aspects or professional flanks.

Also the length and format of these personal statements vary with the course and the university to which the candidate is seeking admission for. This becomes more vital when one is applying to top universities and exceedingly competitive courses. Because almost all the applicants will be having stunning scorecards and impressive resumes. It turns out to be more than necessary for an average student with low grades or GPA to write up a winning personal statement for college, through which he can compensate for his academic short comes.

Hope, it’s known that the personal statements are read by professors referred as admission officers or admission committee members who are particularly employed for reviewing applications to each department. They are well-experienced in the course field and have an ability to evaluate students correctly to a larger extent. So it’s a must to understand the character of the audience before writing some stuff for them.

The very next thing to be noticed is that the personal statement for college should not replicate any other admission documents submitted. Realise the fact that each candidate is given an added opportunity to show how they evaluate themselves and how they think they are apt for the course of study. Also it’s the only “personal” thing in your application, where you can make hear your voice.

Frequently, the admission officers used to sort out the few best from the heap of applications by merely reading the opening statements first and then moving on to read them thoroughly, if impressed in the beginning. Thus, it’s important to consider this fact and hence drafting the personal statement in an engaging way from the very first. If you are stuck on how to start a personal statement for college then it is advisable to browse on internet and go through few examples to get some ideas to inspire you. The best thing to do in this concern is to be direct. Speak about the focussed matter right from the initial statement. Alternatively you can also refer to examples of personal statement for college freshmen.

Now let’s have a look into how to write and submit a personal statement.

  1. Understand what the course or university seeks for in a potential candidate
  2. Research on the program and school to which application is to be sent
  3. Frame some personal questions and answer them
  4. Prepare a rough draft
  5. Read it and check whether it is addressing the main theme and logically blends
  6. Get some expert or known person to proof read your draft
  7. Add modifications and corrections
  8. Revise and proofread your personal statement for college to eliminate all possible typos, spell mistakes and grammatical errors.
  9. Check with the length or word limit
  10. Submit

Above in the 3rd point it is mentioned to frame some personal questions. Below some most common and important questions are included for an easy reference.

  • How am I distinct from the rest of the applicants? What are my unique traits?
  • What made me to choose the program? What are my expectations about the course?
  • What was that initial element which made me interested in this field? How did it grew thereafter? How did I realise that it is my call? What are the major factors that concreted my decision?
  • Are there any books, authors, personalities or concepts that influenced me to pursue a career in this field?
  • How has my earlier academic endeavours and trainings etc. prepared me to pursue higher studies?
  • Which of my academic achievements are relevant to bag me the place in this college?
  • Did any of my research interests and thesis can have use here? What lessons I have learned from them?
  • Any of my volunteering or non-academic experiences that can contribute to my personal statement for college.
  • What are my future career goals and how this course will be helping me to gain them?
  • What is the best thing about myself that the admission committee should know?
  • What am I planning to do after this course?

Let’s see what has to be done in order to make the personal statement for college a perfect draft.

  • Address all the aspects asked for
  • Tailor-write each personal essay for different courses and different schools separately.
  • Speak in a positive tone.
  • Select a topic that focuses on your strengths rather than one wanting you to lie about your weaknesses.
  • Try to be honest yet humble.
  • Speak confidently about each point and back it with evidences.
  • Write in paragraphs and make each paragraphs logically connected.
  • Write a striking introduction.
  • Focus on 2-3 personal skills or aspects rather than writing the entire life story.
  • Edit it harshly.
  • Us standard vocabulary and formal language.

Go online and read through a personal statement example for university application to see how it has been written. This will also give you a fair picture about the content arrangement.

Now let’s see what will make your personal statement for college get rejected.

  • Writing common Reponses instead of writing something that helps to stand out.
  • Generalisation of things without focussing about the self.
  • Use of common and over-used words and phrases.
  • Overemphasis a minute fact.
  • Repetition of information in the application unnecessarily.
  • Negative connotation about a person, situation or event.
  • Being offensive or emotional and discussing political or religious matters.
  • Over-creative and using cynical slang.
  • Always using the words-“I, my, myself” etc.
  • Submitting without proof-reading or editing.

As soon as the graduate course is nearing to complete, it’s better to start the task of writing personal statement for college. Because from brainstorming till submitting the draft, there involves a number of laborious steps as we have already discussed above in this article. But there is no need for worrying about it. One has to talk about himself and by exerting some smart efforts and techniques, anybody can end up writing in an appealing personal statement.

If you need assistance in writing your personal statement for college or any other admission document, contact us….We are available 24/7 to render help for the true aspirants.


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