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Personal Statement
Information Provided by Kaplan Test Prep

The term, "Personal Statement," brings a shiver to the spine of many a potential grad student.

You should think of the personal statement, however, as an opportunity to show admissions officers what you're made of. They want to know why you want to attend their grad program and this is your chance to tell them as clearly and compellingly as you can.

Two Basic Purposes

Personal statements can serve two basic purposes.

  • Show whether or not you can write a clear, coherent essay that's logically and grammatically correct. These days, students' writing ability is often presumed deficient unless proven otherwise.

  • Provide you with the opportunity to present the admissions committees with a more "three-dimensional" portrait of yourself.
Start early. Go over your goals and aspirations, write several drafts, and talk to students and teachers. Then, give some thought to your goals. How will you accomplish them? What can you contribute to the graduate school community? What can you contribute to their particular school or program? If you can answer these questions in a clear, concise manner, the statement will be a relative breeze.

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