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Common Mistakes in Personal Statements

  • Repeating what is written in the application form.Your essay is your opportunity to tell the admission officers something that you could not include into your application form or delve more into something you wrote there. There is no point in simply retelling your application or CV.

  • Not writing to the specific university. Apart from telling about yourself, your statement should also demonstrate how you would fit in that University. Explain one or two things about the university that make it the best choice for you. Make sure that you are not writing only the general things that can be true for any university.

  • Having a boring introduction. It is not a good idea to start your essay by repeating the question asked or by introducing yourself. Think about something to grab the attention of the admission committee. For example, you can startfromconveying something that you really believe in or describing a situation that influenced your way of thinking.

  • Trying to make too many points. It is better to focus on a single well-thought-out point than briefly mentioning many different ones. Think about supporting your points with various examples.

  • Not sharing something about yourself. When writing you should always ask yourself if your essay reveals something about your character. Your essay should be unique and personal.

  • orgetting to proofread. Not only proofreading helps to avoid spelling, grammatical or punctuationerrors,but also gives you an opportunity to check if your essay does not accidentally contain the name of another university you are applying to.

  • Forcing humor. Do not try to sound witty or funny if you are not. In anycaseif you include a joke into your essay, be sure to ask an adult or two to read it to see if they agree with you that it is funny and fits into the situation well.

  • Trying to be someone else. Don’t try to seem like a perfect student who is committed to every subject area, has numerous talents, plays multiple sports and enjoys volunteering and extra-curricular activities if it is not who you are. Just be yourself and express your genuine thoughts and feeling.

  • Not answering the question. Each application form includes brief instructions on the points you are asked to cover in your essay. Make sure that your essay addresses those particular points.

  • Writing your personal statement (essay) at the last moment. It is not wise to hurry up and writing your essay the night before it is due. Start writing well in advance, take some time to think about it and return to it later to polish.