It is often said that personal statements are often autobiographical. This may well be true, because a wise maxim is "write about what you know." And, if there is one thing we all know more about than anything else it is our own lives. Often students only write about the reasons why they wish to embark on a particular university course and many personal statements lack emotion, suspense, and tension. However, in a work of fact, emotion, is a key ingredient in successful personal statements. And, while students life's may differ considerably from one other, we will each have known the full gamut of emotions. It is important when writing your personal statement that you convey a sense of place to your reader and the way to do that is with the five senses sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. It is all too easy to forget that scenes, which are indelibly etched on your own mind, will not be equally clear in the reader's unless you make them so by your writing.
2. Make excuses _ Lots of applicants have weaknesses in their application files, especially in their transcripts. Maybe you got low grades your freshman year. Maybe you had to leave school and work for a while. Maybe you got an F in that statistics class and had to retake it. Or maybe you got a degree in one field and are applying to grad school in a different field; or you didn't pass your medical residency exams the first time. Whatever your weakness is, do not offer excuses and do not bad_mouth anyone. So it wasn't your fault that the professor lost your final exam and flunked you, or jobs dried up in your original field of study, or you had the flu when you took the GRE. Don't say anything that sounds like an excuse or sounds like you are blaming someone else for you failing to achieve a goal. Even when it is true, it may make you seem whiny and unable to accept responsibility for your actions. Instead, address the weakness at the end of your statement, and explain how you have overcome it, learned from it, and are a better candidate now because of it.