5 Tips for Improving Your Personal Statement
Updated: May 20, 2022
1. Write concise sentences.
Every word should be included for a GOOD reason. When you proofread, take out any extraneous details. Remember, there is almost always a shorter and sweeter way to express an idea.
For example, consider the original version of this sentence:
"In addition, I find dentistry to be a
fascinating profession because it embodies problem-solving in applying the sciences in practical ways while also molding my creations with my own hands like an artist. The scientific and craftsman like product of dentistry is unique and one that I find appealing. It is a profession in which I can provide almost immediate relief in which patients see almost relatively quick results from treatment."
Now consider a possible suggestion to express the same idea more concisely:
"In addition to being someone who loves to be creative using my hands, I will surely find fulfillment in providing a tangible service through applying the biomedical sciences to clinical cases."
2. Hit a sweet spot in character count.
The AADSAS prompt allows 4,500 characters.
An ideal character count for a final draft would fall between 4,200 to 4,425 characters (not too short, not too long). The goal is to answer the prompt fully but avoid rambling on and on.
3. Refrain from negativity.
Avoid statements like:
"I spent my childhood being fearful of the dentist since he scolded me about my oral hygiene and seemed uninterested in educating me to help me improve. As a result, the last career option on my mind at the time was dentistry, until college came along."
Instead, focus on perhaps why a certain dentist inspired you to follow in his/her footsteps.
Accentuate the positive.
4. Do not treat your personal statement like a CV.
The AADSAS application has a separate place for you to list your work, professional, and research experience. Since space is limited when drafting your personal statement, be very selective in choosing which experiences to discuss. Don't feel obligated to mention ALL of your extracurricular activities in your personal statement.
5. Read it out loud!
Read the sentences you write out loud. This is an easy way to check if your tone is appropriate and if your ideas flow nicely. Chances are, if something sounds unnatural or cliche to you when read out loud, the admission committee member who is assigned to review your PS will be thinking the same.
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