What is a Personal Statement?
Applying to college can be a tedious and lengthy process for most people. First and foremost, it hinges on your test scores in the standardized exams from high school. Which then goes to show that every single test you take in this period is marginally important for your transcript. All institutions of higher learning have a pass mark that dictates their acceptance. Depending on which college you wish to join, there will be a predetermined academic qualification that follows.
Most institutions will require more than merely your educational records. Some of them will look at your co-curricular activities. Essentially, they are looking at what makes a well-rounded individual who fits their mold of students. In most cases, these institutions will require you to write a personal statement as part of the application.
Writing a personal statement can be one of the most arduous elements of applying to college. As a matter of fact, most students will get stuck in this section for one reason or the other. Therefore, it should be a relief to know that you are not the only one if you are having such difficulties.
A personal statement is, basically, an essay attached to your application that describes who you are. As you may already know application into any college, have to go through an admission committee. Wherein academic records do not tell the full story of who you are, the personal statement gives you the chance to tell me about yourself.
How Does a Personal Statement Look
A personal statement is quite similar to most other essays that you have written before. However, the open-ended nature of the piece is what confuses most students. It is quite common to be caught up in between deciding what can and cannot go into the essay. While you will usually have handy essay prompts to guide you along the way, writing it to your satisfaction can be another challenge altogether.
Most colleges will only require you to write one essay. However, you might find a few isolated cases where the particular school requires you to write more than one statement. In such cases, you will usually have an open-ended essay where you include only the information that you find befitting. On most of the other essays, relevant prompts will be provided to address a specific point of interest.
Most colleges will provide a link to an online word processor that stipulates the ideal length of a personal statement. Generally, a personal statement should be limited to a maximum of 500 words. It, hence, confines you to approximately 7 to 9 paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain its own main idea that is well expounded. Furthermore, the paragraphs should have a systematic flow, ensuring that the final piece is logical and coherent.
In conclusion, it is worth keeping in mind that a personal statement is an essay like any other. It should, therefore, have an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion.