The personal statement is a critical component of your medical school application for two reasons. First, it provides you with an opportunity to differentiate yourself from other applicants. Most medical school applicants are extremely similar: they have high GPAs, performed well on their MCATs, and have done some research or volunteer work. The personal statement is your chance to highlight your application as a cut above the rest. Second, it will help serve as a basis for discussion during your interview. Once you are selected for an interview, your performance during the interview will be crucial in deciding your acceptance. Interviewers will often look to the personal statement to help them engage you in conversation. A strong personal statement will help foster a natural and mutually rewarding conversation with your interviewer. There are many important aspects when it comes to writing personal statements in general. These include correct spelling, grammar, sentence structure, etc. The following five tips are the ones that we feel are the most important for medical school application personal statements in particular.
Tension is one of the second most important elements in writing, closely allied to suspense _ the "what happens next" ingredient. The problem for many students is to try to condense the personal statement into 600 words. Obviously, the admission officer knows you only have this limited space, but nonetheless does judge you on the four minutes it takes to read your personal statement, if your personal statement includes tension and suspense _ it is sure to be a winner. The secret to a good personal statement is not to give away too much to quickly, keep us guessing, hanging onto every word, thus building up tension and suspense. In order for there to be tension in your personal statement, there must be (or have been) something important at stake. Perhaps this was your family life or what you believe is your future. Perhaps the reason why you chose the course you wish to study. Whatever it is, by not divulging the outcome too soon, you will maintain the reader's interest for that much longer. The following personal statement starts with a powerful suspense filling introduction: