Most prompts ask applicants to comment on how their backgrounds have shaped their goals, describe an influential person or experience, or discuss their ultimate career goals.
Some graduate programs request that applicants write a more generic autobiographical statement, most often referred to as a personal statement.
An effective personal statement conveys how your background and experiences have shaped your career goals, how you are well matched to your chosen career and provides insight into your character and maturity. If you are asked to write a generic personal statement, pretend that the prompt instead requires you to discuss how your experiences, interests, and abilities have lead you to your chosen career.
Before you write your admissions essay you must have an understanding of your goals and how your experiences to date prepare you for pursuing your goals.
A personal statement is a general statement of your background, preparation, and goals.
Many applicants find it challenging to write a personal statement because there is no clear prompt to guide their writing.Your graduate school application provides the admissions committee with a great deal of information about you that cannot be found elsewhere in your graduate application.The other parts of your graduate school application tell the admissions committee about your grades (i.e., transcript), your academic promise (i.e., GRE scores), and what your professors think of you (i.e., recommendation letters). With so many applicants and so few slots, it's critical that graduate admissions committees learn as much as possible about applicants so as to ensure that they choose students who best fit their program and are most likely to succeed and complete a graduate degree.Remember, the idea you choose to talk about can tell an admissions committee a lot about you.And it demonstrates your interest in your field, rather than just describing it.Writing a statement that tells a graduate admissions committee all about you and can potentially make or break your application is stressful.Take a different perspective, however, and you will find that your admissions essay is not as daunting as it seems.You can recycle the same information, but make sure you change the presentation to fit each individual program.For more than 35 years, students and families have trusted The Princeton Review to help them get into their dream schools.A fresh set of eyes often picks up something you missed.Finally, don't just reuse the same statement of purpose for each school to which you apply.