As you navigate your graduate school application, depending on the program you choose, you will be asked to submit required documents such as academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, required exams, examples of professional work such as research, writing samples or design portfolio, and a statement of purpose or a personal statement.
Each element of your application provides a specific purpose that will inform admissions officers of who you are and why you want to go to graduate school. Although there are many similarities between a statement of purpose and a personal statement, there are sublet differences that can improve your application.
Today, we will be discussing your statement of purpose and ways you can enhance it so it tells an informative, interesting and valuable story.
As soon as your program presents your prompt start by breaking up the prompt into different sections. Read through it multiple times and also take note of the instructions – font size, word count, numbered pages, etc. It may seem easiest to tackle other areas of your application first, but the sooner you familiarize yourself with the prompt, the more time you can spend perfecting it.
Tell Your Story
Your statement of purpose should show (not tell) admissions officers all the reasons that you are applying to graduate school. In an organic manner, you want to thread your experiences with yours interests, passions, and academic career, supporting why you are a great fit for their program. Even if you are unsure of what the future holds, everyone has a story to tell. Use your personal narrative to tie in all your experiences and how this program will help you progress towards your goal. This may seem like a daunting task, but if you start by recording your thoughts and peeling back those layers you will find deeper meaning.
Keep in mind that this is not the place for you to show off your academic awards or for you to write a long-winded narrative. Your statement of purpose should communicate a message that is focused, linked with continuity and concise.
Your personal network is certainly a valuable resource when it comes to critiquing and proofreading your statement of purpose. However, if you ask for 10 people’s opinions, you risk being pulled in 10 different directions. People will provide a myriad of opinions and perspectives, and addressing all of them is simply impossible. We recommend recruiting only 2-3 individuals to review your work. Try to pick people who can provide value beyond spelling errors. It would be even more helpful to choose people who have been through the graduate school application process or work in the industry you want to be in.
Remember, you do not have to accept all the feedback you receive. You should hear what your reviewer has to say, but ultimately this is your story, so let it reflect who you are.
If you are struggling with your statement of purpose or seek a personalized approach, our team of admissions consultants can assist in helping you formulate your application strategy. We not only understand the culture of the schools, but also the admissions process, and we have strong track records. Unleash your potential and click here to book your FREE 30-minute consultation.