4. HAVE AN ENGAGING OPENING. Given the limited time committee members have to initially review each packet and read each personal statement, an interest_catching opening is essential, playing off the unified theme you have decided on. Choose a quote which sums up a hurdle overcome or an attitude which has brought you success in the past. Begin with an anecdote, a brief personal story which serves as a lead to your ambition and drive to follow in a mentor's or family member's footsteps. Ask a question, one which frames a hobby or a major life event that has set you on the path to medical school. Whichever opening you choose, it should be professional rather than chatty, and more importantly, get immediately to the heart of whatever it is about yourself you are highlighting. You have a limited number of characters at your disposal ), so setting the scene with your introduction should use up very little space. We all tend to be taken by personal stories, but the point is how your story leads directly to those characteristics that medical schools will feel best fit their program and faculty.
So how do I know what universities want? Start by reading about the university, the course you want to study and the "entry profiles" as these will give you information about the type of student the university is looking for. Universities also want the truth so do not lie about your abilities and they want your writing so do not ask someone to write the personal statement for you. Some areas to cover include why you want to study this subject, what your future career plans are, what you do in your free time, what skills you have (academic and non_academic), what's interesting and/ or different about you.