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Familiarizing themselves with the ins and outs of writing strong personal statements for graduate school can alleviate stress and ease the process of sending out those applications.Because personal statements are individual to the applicant, there is no one-size-fits-all way to write them.
Strong personal statements demonstrate awareness of audience and how content may be received.
Radunich advises applicants to think about their essays from admissions deans' perspectives: What would and wouldn't you want to read it if you were in their shoes?
As they write, students should remember that admissions personnel must read many personal statements and sort through thousands of applications.
Being conscious of how words or stories may be perceived by those with experiences different from their own can be invaluable to students.
"Metrics only show one small part of the entire picture," says career coach and former university admissions representative Meg Radunich.
"Graduate programs care about the person behind the standardized test score and grade point average.
Depending on the program and writing prompt, a personal statement and a statement of purpose may fill the same need in the eyes of the admissions committee.
In cases where both are required, however, things can get a little tricky.
Graduate school applications often have prospective students include personal statements.
These help admissions committees get to know the person behind each application.