A while ago, I was asked to take a critical look at a personal statement, which spanned the student's life from age two to eighteen. The personal statement made gripping reading but was far too long and the student had not been selective enough in the abundance of material she choose from. The word count ran to 1귔 words _ far too long for a personal statement. The task of reducing your personal statement can be enthusiastically undertaken, but the problem is that you need to look at your original brainstormed ideas to organise your material for the selection process. The only criterion you need to apply at this stage is this incident of sufficient interest to the admission officer.
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.