Using plagiarized content _ Personal statement examples can serve as excellent guides when it comes to writing your personal essays. However, using the actual content of these samples and passing them off as your own is one surefire way to jeopardize your statement. Plagiarizing other people's work so that your personal essay appears highly interesting is a sign of incompetence and irresponsibility. Surely, you would not want to communicate these poor qualities to the selections committee. If you must, make use of personal statement examples, you need to use them only as guides. You can use the outline as a sample, so you will know which experiences to include in your essay and which ones to leave out.
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.