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how to write a great personal statement?


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John’s Answer

Ayuni college admissions committees put the most weight on your high school grades and your test scores. Colleges receive applications from many worthy students with similar scores and grades—too many to admit. So they use your personal statement essay, along with your letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities, to find out what sets you apart from the other talented candidates. You have a unique background, interests and personality. This is your chance to tell your story (or at least part of it).

The best way to tell your story is to write a personal thoughtful essay about something that has meaning for you. Be honest and genuine, and let your unique qualities will shine through. Your personal statement essay gives the college admissions committee a better opportunity to know who you are, what your interests and capabilities are. Therefore, your essay should create a feeling that an admission officer knows you at a personal level. Don’t make the mistakes of writing essay like a resume by ignoring to give it a personal touch. Your admission will be neglected in favor of the next best candidate. The admission officer is interested in knowing what contributions you will make to the school community. Well, if your personal statement essay mirrors you as an active student, with the capability to contribute positively to the school community, you'll get the attention of the admissions committee.

Good Luck Ayuni

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Cindy’s Answer

When I think about my brand, I like to consider where I am today and where I want to be in the future. Think about what you're passionate about, the things that come easy to you or you like doing (hobbies, chores, or work that you'd rather do above everything else). Maybe your passion is something you care about deeply too. Then, consider a few things that are your strengths or how you present to others the things you're good at. This could be how others describe you to friends, other students, families, or colleagues. Next, decide what are your top motivated skills that benefit your current or previous employers or future companies. And lastly, give thought to what you offer that no one else can. All these variations of skills and competencies are things that you value and that you'd want others to find valuable too. Having a brand that you live behind helps people learn who you are and promotes your skills to others.

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Mark’s Answer

Hi ayuni!

What's the purpose for your personal statement? Is it college? Or maybe scholarship applications?

For college, your personal statement should paint a picture to help the college understand who you are. It's sometimes better to tell a story and give examples rather than just list accomplishments. If you're filling out an application, you'll want to make sure your personal statement complements your college application. Your personal statement, application and and any supporting documentation all combined should tell a story about who you are.

If your personal statement is for scholarship applications, it should indicate why you’re deserving of the scholarship. For example, if the scholarship provider has particular goals, you'll want your personal statement to line up.

You can write about your background or interests. Live lessons. You can list accomplishments, etc.

Brainstorm -
What were defining moments in your life?
What have you chosen to spend time on?
Whom or what are you inspired by?
What are you proud of?

Out of one or two of these ideas start writing. Edit your work and perhaps have someone else edit as well.

Hope this helps!!
Mark

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Serena’s Answer

Hi Ayuni,
A great personal statement should be able to demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the university,
Exemplify your strengths using anecdotes, for example, if your strength is leadership,
Describe an event in which your skills have helped your team to achieve success,
Highlight particular tasks that required your leadership skills -
Also share how you aspire to develop this strength in the future and why this particular university would be the best place for you to do so.

Do research on what the university is known for and their motto for students,
State how your interest and belief align with them.
Offer ways in which you can contribute to the university if you are one of the students,
And why you would be a unique candidate that they can’t recruit anywhere else.
Always back reasonings with personal examples.

Ask your family, friends and teachers to read your personal statement,
They may offer more advice and remind you of your strengths that you are not aware of,
Having them to proof read is also a good way to ensure the personal statement is brilliant.

Good luck!

Regards,
Serena

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Kabir’s Answer

When writing a personal statement for work, school, volunteering, etc, there are a few tips and tricks which can help you out.

1) Be very clear about what the overarching objective is. Are you demonstrating that you are a rounded individual? Are you demonstrating 'fit' with an organisation? Do you need to demonstrate alignment of values? Having a clear view of what you are trying to achieve is critical.

2) Create several drafts - I don't mean iterate your drafts, rather, create 2-4 separate versions of your personal statement focussing on different things, and then see which parts stand out in each and try to bring those together.

3) Print it out, and give it to friends/family/advisors to read and provide feedback. All feedback is good feedback

4) When looking at other examples, focus less on the content and more on the structure. If you read something compelling, work out why it is compelling - is it telling a story? Does it demonstrate overcoming adversity? Is the language concise? Then, work these concepts into your document

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Richard’s Answer

Tell the reader (s):
1. The reason you are applying to the university/college. You might include what your ambitions are in the future.
2. Reasons the institution is a good fit for you--it supports scholarship and it has a diverse student body.
3. Mention clubs, societies you were a member of while attending your present school.
4. Talk about employment experience or volunteering you were involved in.
5. It must come from you—therefore, use the writing style you are most comfortable with—don't stress out about using long vocabulary words.
6. Revise, Revise and revise until you are satisfied.
7. Get it done--don't delay.

Richard recommends the following next steps:

Check samples on-line and bloggs.
Saved!

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Mayada’s Answer

A personal statement is great when you dont copy and paste and make it as original as possible.

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Lindsay’s Answer

Hi Ayuni,

I always say that to write a good personal statement, make it just that-- PERSONAL. This is a chance for the admissions committee to understand you as a person since they don't know anything about you except your stats. I think the major thing to keep in mind is to make your personal statement sound like yourself. Don't embellish it too much or review it to the point where you make yourself sound like a completely different person. Answer the question/prompt the way you would answer it if someone asked you that question in person (: This is the one way for whoever is reviewing your application to get to know you as a person before your interview so you don't want to make it sound like someone else. Make it unique to you and that'll help you stand out. I find that a lot of people don't answer the question. Make sure to be sure that you're answering the question and that any stories you include build up to your main response (answer to your prompt). It's hard to describe the perfect personal statement because everyone writes them differently, but showcase your personality and you should be fine!

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