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How to Write Your Personal Statement for Graduate School

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❶In the two years that have passed since I earned my undergraduate degree, much has changed in my life. First, double check to see if the school provides specific guidelines.

Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School

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What Do Schools Look For in a Personal Statement?
What Is the Difference Between a Letter of Intent and Personal Statement?

After all, this essay is basically your autobiography: Unlike the statement of purpose, the personal statement should focus mostly on your personal history, from your failures to your triumphs. Most importantly, remember that your graduate school personal statement should focus on your successes.

While the statement of purpose elaborates on your professional goals, the personal statement explains what personally motivated you to explore your interests. For example, in my personal statement for a Japanese Studies MA program, I wrote about my hot-and-cold relationship with the Japanese language and how a literature class and a stint abroad ultimately inspired me to keep learning.

Your statement of purpose should explain why grad school is a practical next step in your professional life—but your personal statement should focus on what personally motivates you to take this step. A great personal statement shows that you can write cogently and coherently. After all, strong writing skills are imperative for success as a grad student! So in addition to telling a good story, make sure you use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.

Use paragraphs to break up your thoughts, too. Because the personal statement is slightly less formal than the statement of purpose, feel free to play around a little with paragraph form and length. Want to improve your GRE score by 7 points? We have the industry's leading GRE prep program. Built by world-class instructors with 99th percentile GRE scores , the program learns your strengths and weaknesses through machine learning data science, then customizes your prep program to you so you get the most effective prep possible.

The personal statement is a fiercely important part of your grad school application. Personal statements actually, grad school applications in general! Rather, try to start working on your essay at least two or three months before your application is due. Setting aside more time lets you work on your graduate school essay routinely without having to squeeze in too many hours each week.

If you only have a month or less until your application deadline, get started on your essay pronto! Doing this also gives others more time to edit your essay for you! Please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include information on how you have overcome barriers to access in higher education, evidence of how you have come to understand the barriers faced by others, evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, evidence of your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality, or evidence of your leadership among such groups.

On the other hand, if you were to apply for an MS in Mining, Geological, and Geophysical Engineering at the University of Arizona , your personal statement would follow these parameters:.

Your personal statement is an opportunity to sell yourself, in terms of your research interests, research experience and research goals.

Unless you have extensive research experience, most personal statements should be about two single-spaced pages. Your writing should be clear, concise, grammatically correct and professional in tone. You may convey some personal experiences that have led to your current interests or that make you a particularly promising candidate. Clearly, grad programs can approach personal statements quite differently.

Many times these guidelines will tell you what to include in your essay, thereby clarifying what your overall angle needs to be. How much you talk about your interests, however, will depend on whether you have to submit a separate statement of purpose. If so, you can focus less on your research plans and more on your passions and motivations for applying.

Skills you want to improve? Field you want to break into? Finally, always choose a positive angle. Check out our best-in-class online GRE prep program. We guarantee your money back if you don't improve your GRE score by 7 points or more. PrepScholar GRE is entirely online, and it customizes your prep program to your strengths and weaknesses. We also feature 2, practice questions , official practice tests, hours of interactive lessons, and 1-on-1 scoring and feedback on your AWA essays.

How you choose to outline your statement is up to you. You can always cut it out later as you draft and edit. Schools want to see that you can tell a story concisely yet effectively. Once you finish drafting, give your essay to people you trust for feedback. I am a very different person now than the one I was just a few short years ago. Events in my life, both planned and unexpected, have conspired to bring me to a place where I know for sure that teaching is in my blood and I am now seeking admission to the Ph.

In the two years that have passed since I earned my undergraduate degree, much has changed in my life. I returned to my homeland of Malasia after six years of living in the United States and began working for a major international company. My family never had much money for food, let alone presents. I am passionate about becoming a tax accountant. This is probably not a sentence one hears everyday, if ever, but for me it is true. I know many people fear and loath taxes, and are frightened and put off by the complex laws that govern their applications, but I am just the opposite; they fascinate me Although it might seem like it simply involves luck, getting into graduate school involves more than just having your name randomly drawn out of a pile.

Admissions officers are looking to distinguish candidates in any way possible. As more highly qualified candidates are applying to graduate school every year, the process of selecting students often goes beyond comparing test scores and grades to using more subjective measures like the graduate school application essay.

For some students, their graduate school admission essay is their first -- and best -- chance to grab the attention of the admissions department at the school of their choice. Prospective students should consider it their one chance at an interview with the school; in many cases, it's a better option than interviews since the applicant has the chance to set the agenda rather than being forced to answered a prepared set of questions.

Your graduate school personal statement needs to show the school you are applying to your unique qualities and how you would enrich their school if you were accepted.

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4 SAMPLE GRADUATE SCHOOL ESSAYS #1. "From Working Poor to Elite Scholar" --This essay uses an outstanding combination of personal information and academic exposition. The personal information makes the reader interested in this young woman as a person, and the academic information proves that such interest is.

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Don’t make assumptions about your graduate school personal statements. Many programs simply ask you to submit a personal statement without any further guidance. Other programs will tell you exactly how they want the essay structured along with word count limits and formatting requirements.

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For something as important as your grad school essay, you're going to want expert input. Put our pros to work to help you write the best grad school personal statement when you choose from our graduate school essay services. In this total guide to graduate school personal statement examples, we’ll discuss why you need a personal statement for grad school and what makes a good one. Then we’ll provide three graduate school personal statement samples from our grad school experts.

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Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School. Writing a personal statement for graduate school may at first seem like an overwhelming task. It sets the tone for your grad school application after all. While every personal statement should be different, these examples can help you brainstorm ideas and give you a place to start. Graduate Personal Statement: Rather than a letter, a personal statement for graduate school is an essay. It's intended to show who you are as a person, your personal and academic goals, and why you might be a good fit for the program.