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How to Mess Up Your Personal Statement for Graduate Or Professional School Applications
If you applied as an undergraduate, your personal statement probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference, as undergraduate admissions are heavily based on numbers (GPA, test scores, etc.). Graduate school entrance exams and vocational school entrance exams are different! Your competitors’ grades and test scores will be similar to yours. Because most people with motivation for advanced degrees did well as undergraduates. The competition for declining enrollments intensifies each year as the number of applicants increases and academic budgets are cut.
How will the committee determine that you have what it takes to be successful in advanced research? Your personal statement will play a role in determining whether your application will be successful.
So you know you need to write a personal statement that is as strong and compelling as you can. First, most reviewers only have a few minutes to read your personal statement. Second, because their job is to filter out the majority of applications, reviewers are looking for reasons not to recommend you for admission.
Avoid the common mistake that puts your application in the rejection pile. Read on for 10 easy ways to ruin your personal statement.
1. Say thank you
Your parents and elementary school teachers taught you to write politely. But don’t waste your time thanking the committee for reading your application. Because you pay the school to review your application. Because then, hopefully, you can pay for the school and get your own education and training. Starting or ending a sentence with phrases such as “Thank you for considering this application” or “Thank you for your consideration” may be perceived as immature, obscene, or ignorant of academic culture. I have.
2. make excuses
Many applicants have weaknesses in their application files, especially transcripts. Maybe you did poorly in first grade. Maybe you had to quit school and work for a while. Maybe I got an F in that stats class and had to redo it. Or maybe you have a degree in one field and are applying to graduate school in another field. Or you didn’t pass the medical residency exam first.
Whatever your weaknesses, don’t make excuses or speak ill of anyone. So it’s not your fault that your professor let you down by losing your final exam, or that work dried up in your original field of study, or that you caught the flu when you took your GRE. Don’t say anything that sounds silly or like you’re blaming someone for not achieving your goals. Even if it is true, you may appear capricious and unable to accept responsibility for your actions. How did you learn from it and what made you a better candidate today?
3. Summarize your resume and transcripts
Many applicants try to combine their resume and transcripts into a personal statement. All this information is requested in the application itself and is visible to reviewers. A personal statement is too short to waste space explaining that you got a straight A in her senior year.Instead, describe your experiences and achievements relevant to your growth as a potential professional in your chosen field
4. Cute and funny
Maturity is one of the most common adjectives used by admissions committees to describe the ideal graduate or technical college student. You are finally applying to become their colleague, fellow professional. Show them that you take their time, the program, your future, and yourself seriously by maintaining a positive and professional tone. Unless the application instructs you to submit a creative writing sample, leave her stand-up routine to Comedy Her Club.
5. Suggest that the program can correct its mistakes by acknowledging you
Remember that committee members are busy professionals and have only a few minutes to read your statement. On the one hand, making a unique contribution to your program and claiming that adding to the diversity of your students brings new perspectives is a smart move and shows that you are a positive and professional team player. On the other hand, seeking admission on the grounds of correcting previous wrongdoing runs the risk of appearing disqualified or confrontational.
6. Be sarcastic
This doesn’t need much explanation. Your Facebook friends know you and will laugh at your sarcastic comments and sarcastic sarcasm. The admissions committee is not. They can easily misinterpret sarcastic comments or judge you as frivolous, cynical, pessimistic, or know-it-all.
7. Say potentially offensive things
Again, this doesn’t need much explanation. You know nothing about the people reading your personal statement. Assume they are very sensitive to all issues and write accordingly. Don’t assume they agree with your political, social, or religious views.
8. Shows inferiority or superiority complex
Many applicants struggle to find a balance between promoting themselves and not being arrogant in their personal statements. You need to showcase your strengths. However, many applicants lack humility, such as using self-deprecating language. Or describe weaknesses or previous failures without explaining how they worked to turn weaknesses into strengths. The admissions committee does not admit candidates out of pity!
Other applicants err on the side of conceit by giving the impression that they do not really need advanced training because they know so much about the field and have so much experience. They can’t explain what to expect from a professional education course. You want to trace the line between these extremes. Insist that you are well qualified to begin this course of study and that you have the preparation, motivation, maturity and focus they seek. Then, highlight the specialization you plan to have, what you will gain from attending the program, and how the training they provide is necessary for your professional success.
9. Plagiarize what you say or submit content that someone paid you to write
Most graduate and technical school applicants have not read hundreds of personal statements and are unaware of how unique each person’s writing style is. It doesn’t take long to realize that the language and style of the personal statement is different from the text found in the rest of the application. There are dozens of so-called sample personal affidavits that have been filed. The Commission knows this very well! You can also ask someone to write a personal statement. It may sound great, but keep in mind that such an essay is based on a customized template, using the same paragraph structure and phrases. It’s a smart move to get an expert to help you correct your words and refine them into persuasive writing. Stealing a statement from the Internet or hiring someone to write the entire statement is dangerous.
10. Use bad spelling and bad grammar
This should be pretty obvious. Admissions committee academics are generally high performers with high standards who do not ignore even simple typos. If your personal statement isn’t technically perfect, it can appear sloppy, lazy, or careless. This is not a quality I look for in a future colleague. Remember that people skimming your essay are looking for reasons to reject your application, keeping the pile of possible grants small.To review your essay , always ask someone with strong writing skills.
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