Here are some things to look at to ensure you are editing your personal statement successfully: _ Watch the tone: Read over what you have written and see what the tone is. Is it too casual, too formal, too negative, or too arrogant? If you feel that it is then chances are so too will the admissions board. Be aware of your tone and edit accordingly. _ Make your point: When you are writing things down, you know exactly what you are talking about, but will the reader? Remember that the person reading your personal statement doesn't know you from Adam and if you do not convey your thoughts properly you will lose a lot of meaning in translation. _ Cut the bull: Read over your statement several times. If you find something in there that is irrelevant or not meaningful, then it is bull and needs to be cut out. Nothing will sway an admission board more than an admission essay filled with bull. _ Stand out: Try not to be too cookie cutter when writing your statement. You have to remember that no matter how good your grades and scores, there are many others just like you. You have to give the reader a reason to remember you. Try to convey your persona in the personal statement in such a way that you will all but leap from the paper and surely stand out from the rest of the applicants. _ Have someone else read it: No not your mom. Have someone who is impartial to the situation read over your statement. Ask them their honest opinion and have them point out what they feel may have been irrelevant or non_thought provoking and also find out what they liked. Now go edit the paper and build upon the feedback you received. _ Check spelling and grammar: There is nothing that will tell an admissions board that you are not a good candidate to attend the institution more than a personal statement that is filled with misspellings and grammatical errors. Be sure you take your time and very carefully review your statement for anything that is wrong and don't simply rely on spellchecker as that will not catch typos and other grammatical errors.
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.