The numbers are in: as of 2015, the average graduate degree holder makes a full $17,000 more a year than someone with a BA. Of course, this fluctuates with your age and experience level and your field as well, but there’s no question that a grad degree can mean serious extra dollars. But how can you get into the competitive program that will get you a great degree? A good personal statement is the only way to stand out.

How to Write Personal Statement for Graduate School

Writing a personal statement doesn’t have to be a struggle. Just follow this personal statement format with four steps!

  • Think: Give yourself a few hours to think about what questions you’re answering and what you want to say.
  • Note: Make notes and an outline about what you’ve brainstormed. Be as informal as you like.
  • Write: This will be much less intimidating with your many notes to help you. Use your own words.
  • Read: Time to proofread! Getting someone to help you can make this much easier. Expect to go through a few drafts.

Tips for Your Graduate School Personal Statement

So what should you include in your graduate school personal statement? Here’s a quick look at the guidelines.

  • Include the reasons why you’re qualified to do what you want to.
  • Exclude other people’s words – quotes, clichés, and other tired old phrases.
  • Include what you’ve done outside the classroom where it helps show your qualifications.
  • Exclude extracurriculars that aren’t relevant to your program.
  • Include your journey to your current program, including setbacks that might show up in your application, like low grades.
  • Exclude the story of your life from childhood – stick mostly to undergrad and mostly high school.

The Current Trends and Buzzwords for Grad Personal Statements

You want to get into a great grad school, so here are the very latest trends in graduate personal statement writing.

  • Keep it brief and relevant
  • Relate your personal statement to the school you want to attend
  • Use action words

Action words are the hottest trend in both personal statements and job applications; they’re the true buzzwords of this year. Innovated, lead, created, analyzed, and discovered are much more interesting than simply “did”, and that’s how you can get the attention of the committee you’re applying to.

Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School

If you’re still puzzled on how to write a really good personal statement, we can help! Here’s an outline that gives you everything you need.

  • Intro: Here is where you tell your story. How did you come to want to study this field? What brought you here?
  • Body Paragraph #1: The “qualifications” paragraph. Discuss school related activities and extracurricular things that made you more prepared for graduate school.
  • Body Paragraph #2: Discuss why you belong at graduate school and what you’ll contribute to the program. Be confident yet humble.
  • Body Paragraph #3: Here’s the time for you to discuss your long-term goals and research plans. Show you have it together.
  • Conclusion: Tie it up neatly with a bow; make a few closing comments and end with a catchy last sentence.

Get the Personal Statement for Graduate School You Deserve

Your personal statement is your first and perhaps only chance to be an individual in a sea of applications. That’s why it needs to be perfect. Let us help you with our UCAS personal statement samples to figure out how to write the statement that shows who you really are, quickly and painlessly.

Personal statement examples graduate school aren’t easy, but it can get much more easier if you follow our tips!

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