Check for logical flow and paragraph transition which make the statement strong and easily read. _ Read the personal statement over _ if you need to read any of the sentences twice, and then re_structure them. Have I left myself too short on an important area and too long in another? Cut and chop away until you know that this statement is strong, logical and captures the attention of the reader. If you step over a platitude or cliché _ remove and find another way. At the same time _ give yourself a limit of how many reviews you will do, otherwise you will keep chopping and changing losing the essence of what you are writing. _ Lastly, peer review _ a person or people you can trust to be brutally honest and who knows you well. Preferably someone who also understands that this personal statement is for admission to graduate school. Get several people to give you a boredom rating along with a rating of whether or not you have truly reflected who you are.
Engage the Reader from the Start. When it comes to your application, all the information you submit is already set in stone__ except the personal statement. This is your chance to get your program's attention, especially if you feel that your MCAT scores or GPA may be lacking. You want your reader to be interested from the very start of the essay. Admission committee members are often short on time and may be more likely to gloss over your essay if it has a generic, flat, or boring beginning. One way to begin an essay is with a personal vignette__ a quick snapshot of a moment in your life that relates to your decision to apply to medical school. Consider the following two opening statements: a) I've always known that I want to be a doctor. Since my first encounter with death, I've recognized that it is my responsibility to help people. b) The lights flashed, and the sirens wailed as I watched the ambulances cart my next_door neighbor to the hospital. I was ten years old, and it was my first encounter with death. Do you see how the second example engages the reader's attention right away? It is a snapshot rather than a factual statement, which immediately catches the reader's interest. Personal vignettes are not the only way to start your essay, but they are easy to shape into engaging opening statements.