Address Your Weaknesses (If Necessary). The personal statement presents an opportunity to address weaknesses in your applications and offer explanations as to why things went wrong. Drawing attention to the low points in your application is a risky business, and pulling this off correctly can be tricky. If you feel it necessary to justify or explain something, first ask yourself the following two questions: a) Is this issue worth mentioning? b) Does your explanation legitimize the deficiency? For example, there is no need to address the fact that you received a B in physics. On the other hand, a failing grade in physics is something that is probably worth addressing. If you failed physics because you found it too hard or simply got lazy, it is better to leave the issue unmentioned. A deficiency resulting from circumstances beyond your control, such as an illness or death of a loved one, is something that the admissions committee and your interviewer should know about. When addressing a weakness or deficiency, strive to incorporate that section into your essay so that the essay maintains its flow and focus. Suddenly presenting an idea without connecting it to the rest of your essay will seem jarring and out_of_place to the reader. If the issue is important enough, you may in fact want to build your entire essay's theme around that point.
B. Questions a PS should answer _ What positive characteristics do you possess (e.g., honest, compassionate, loyal)? _ What skills do you have (e.g., analytical, communication, organizational)? _ How have you changed or grown over the years? What challenges have you faced and overcome, and how have they made you more mature? _ What makes you unique? What sets you apart from other applicants? _ Why should the admissions committee consider you? _ How have past experiences impacted your life? Can you relate these experiences to your goals? _ What are your study and career goals?