Writing a graduate school personal statement can be a daunting and difficult task. In a graduate school personal statement you are selling yourself and trying to let the admissions representatives know WHY you should be chosen over other qualified applicants. This can be even more daunting when you realize that between two to five people at the School will be reviewing your statement _ YOURS needs to stand out from the crowd while also addressing the criteria and questions the school has outlined.
There are schools that require an applicant to submit a Statement of Purpose instead of a PS, the thrust of which is to present an applicant's goals in terms of what major to pursue, what research direction to take, and other specific study and career plans, if any. Therefore, in this case, you are required to submit a similar essay but with greater emphasis on your specific study and career plans. Most applicants are confused with the difference between a PS and a Statement of Purpose. This is not to say, however, that a PS cannot be a Statement of Purpose and vice versa, because as you will discover in the next section, these two can actually overlap depending on the outline you have created.