November 12 2009

Get into grad school with these three tips

by Barbie in Writing

It’s the time of the year when students are filling out graduate school applications, which often require a one- or two-page personal statement. Writing about yourself—and tactfully boasting about yourself, no less—can be a daunting task.

Carpenter Doc has been busy working with students on their personal statements, and we’ve identified some common miscues in these documents. Here are three ways to improve your personal statements so that your application falls in that highly sought after “yes” pile.

1) Qualify your success.

Your personal statement will inevitably include your accomplishments as an undergraduate student. In order to make these accomplishments stand out, provide as much detail as you can. For example, rather than saying “I got good grades,” you could say “I have a record of academic success, graduating with a 3.85 grade point average and dean’s list honors.” Remember, the more details, the better.

2) Show what you can do for the school.

You’re applying to the school—and the program—for a reason. Do your research interests align with the program’s current research? Can your undergraduate background offer a unique perspective for the graduate program? Your personal statement can illustrate your knowledge of the graduate program while explaining why you are a good fit.

3) Look beyond the books.

Academics are key, and you will certainly touch on your academic success in your personal statement. However, you should consider other experiences that show who you are and why you’re right for the program. Did you hold any leadership positions during your undergraduate years? Did a summer job generate your interest in the program? Do you have any relevant volunteer experience?

If you’re struggling with your personal statement or simply want another set of eyes to read it over, we can help. We’re running a special rate right now: A comprehensive edit of your personal statement for just $20. Contact us today!