When you applied as an undergraduate, your personal statement probably didn't make much of a difference, because undergraduate admissions are heavily based on numbers (GPAs, test scores, etc). Graduate and professional school admissions are different! Your competitors will have grades and test scores similar to yours, because most people who have the motivation to pursue an advanced degree did well as undergraduate students. As the number of applicants rises and academic budgets are cut, every year there's more competition for fewer admissions openings. How does the committee determine that you have what it takes to succeed in advanced studies? You guessed it. Your personal statement will play a determining role in whether or not your application is successful. So you know you need to write the strongest, most persuasive personal statement you can. But here are two facts you may not know. First, most reviewers will spend only a couple minutes skimming your personal statement. Second, because their job is to weed out the majority of applications, reviewers are looking for reasons not to recommend you for admission.
The goal of a PS is to present useful information, thus all or just a little of the information listed below should typically be included in a PS: _ A brief educational background; _ The reasons for choosing your major, what interests you about your chosen subject, and the details of what you have read about the subject; _ The career plans you have laid out upon completion of the program; _ Employment experience, voluntary work done, particularly if it is relevant to the subject, and the skills and experiences gained from these activities; _ Any involvement in enrichment activities such as special trainings or "camps", and _ Extracurricular activities, social, sports, or leisure interests. To further aid you in the task of identifying important information for inclusion, consider the following: