2. Make excuses _ Lots of applicants have weaknesses in their application files, especially in their transcripts. Maybe you got low grades your freshman year. Maybe you had to leave school and work for a while. Maybe you got an F in that statistics class and had to retake it. Or maybe you got a degree in one field and are applying to grad school in a different field; or you didn't pass your medical residency exams the first time. Whatever your weakness is, do not offer excuses and do not bad_mouth anyone. So it wasn't your fault that the professor lost your final exam and flunked you, or jobs dried up in your original field of study, or you had the flu when you took the GRE. Don't say anything that sounds like an excuse or sounds like you are blaming someone else for you failing to achieve a goal. Even when it is true, it may make you seem whiny and unable to accept responsibility for your actions. Instead, address the weakness at the end of your statement, and explain how you have overcome it, learned from it, and are a better candidate now because of it.
Here are some things to look at to ensure you are editing your personal statement successfully: _ Watch the tone: Read over what you have written and see what the tone is. Is it too casual, too formal, too negative, or too arrogant? If you feel that it is then chances are so too will the admissions board. Be aware of your tone and edit accordingly. _ Make your point: When you are writing things down, you know exactly what you are talking about, but will the reader? Remember that the person reading your personal statement doesn't know you from Adam and if you do not convey your thoughts properly you will lose a lot of meaning in translation. _ Cut the bull: Read over your statement several times. If you find something in there that is irrelevant or not meaningful, then it is bull and needs to be cut out. Nothing will sway an admission board more than an admission essay filled with bull. _ Stand out: Try not to be too cookie cutter when writing your statement. You have to remember that no matter how good your grades and scores, there are many others just like you. You have to give the reader a reason to remember you. Try to convey your persona in the personal statement in such a way that you will all but leap from the paper and surely stand out from the rest of the applicants. _ Have someone else read it: No not your mom. Have someone who is impartial to the situation read over your statement. Ask them their honest opinion and have them point out what they feel may have been irrelevant or non_thought provoking and also find out what they liked. Now go edit the paper and build upon the feedback you received. _ Check spelling and grammar: There is nothing that will tell an admissions board that you are not a good candidate to attend the institution more than a personal statement that is filled with misspellings and grammatical errors. Be sure you take your time and very carefully review your statement for anything that is wrong and don't simply rely on spellchecker as that will not catch typos and other grammatical errors.