Tips on Writing a Successful Personal Statement for Study Abroad
In your personal statement, which is also called a motivational letter sometimes, you usually write about yourself, your achievements and goals, and the selection committee decides whether you are suitable for the particular program/university or not. Pay special attention to it, as the letter can play a decisive role in the admission process.
In the article we collected some useful tips that will help you write a competent personal statement.
Know What Universities Want
The websites of educational institutions usually have the necessary information about the requirements for writing the statement. Pay attention to the volume — not less than and not more than a certain number of words. For example, to enter Purdue University in the US applicants need to write from 250 to 650 words. Often, universities offer a list of the questions required to be covered in a personal statement or essay, which somewhat facilitates the task.
No Time for Procrastination
Members of the admissions committee give only two important tips for writing an essay: start as early as possible and be yourself. The earlier you start, the more time you have to correct the errors, add the right information, which you suddenly remembered in the middle of the night. You will also have time for some external help and proofreading. Try not to depict a better version of yourself in describing your own merits and victories. Do not use terms in which you are not 100% sure.
Make a Plan and Follow It
Make a plan of the text and follow it. Make sure everything is logical — the introduction, the main part, and the conclusion. Describe your goals, and how you plan to achieve them. Do not think about something too global, like peace on earth. First, it is not original, and secondly, you need to link the chosen university with the achievement of your goal. Also do not forget about the benefits received by the university, because studies are a two-way process.
Explain by examples why you are suitable for the chosen program. Do not write – “because I’m smart,” describe the situation where you showed yourself this way. Tell a committee about your achievements. For example, The University of Durham website has a lot of useful information about personal statement. They recommend taking into account three points when writing: why did you choose this particular subject, why should we choose you and what is your uniqueness?
“Hook” the Audience
You can be smart and interesting, but if you do not “get” your audience from the first lines of the statement, the battle is lost.
Imagine that the commission reads up to 200 such works a day, and they all start like this: “My name is James, and I would like to enter the computer technology department because I like to sit at the computer.” No one remembers James, no one is interested in James. Add personal experiences and your story to be seen as a person, not just as some letters on a sheet of paper. “We want to hear your individual voice,” claims Stanford University.
No Samples, Zero Plagiarism
Please do not try to download samples of letters on the Internet, even if this is the top 5 best personal statements. Believe us, there are programs in the world that detect plagiarism, and if your essay is suspected, it will come back to you with the best wishes to choose another university. It is better to write not the most effective statement, but to be sincere, than to present a committee with the stolen work. You can look for some legit personal statement writing help from professional services and experts, but you should never use some common samples or even their parts.
Check It, Check It again, Make Someone Check It
Do not trust simple spell checkers, though they are good for recognizing typos and elementary grammar mistakes. Use paid grammar checkers or some external help to proofread your personal statement. There is nothing wrong with it; it is your way to be successful. Make sure you correct it yourself for several times. Read it aloud. This way you will find too long sentences which should be cut. If you stumble upon some too complex sentence or even a word, delete it or replace it.
Now you can send your personal statement… Wait! Proofread it again. Good luck!