Personal Essay For Graduate Admissions

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A chief criterion for being admitted to Stanford is the Statement of Purpose.

The following are five tips for writing an SOP that will help you get accepted into Stanford. It’s important to consider what kind of student a school or program is looking for.

The essay that each school requests may differ from school-to-school or program-to program; some may even ask for more than one essay.

Before you begin to write, read and reread the essay directions on the application for the school and the specific department to which you are applying.

Amid the buildings, newly admitted undergrads and graduate students walk around with vivid “I got into Stanford” expressions.

What does it take to get into a Stanford graduate program? Stanford admissions requirements can be intimidating, and the current average acceptance rate for graduate programs is only around 7%.

The only way for them to differentiate among applicants with similar scores and academic backgrounds is to consult and read the essay/personal statement.

Your personal statement reveals a great deal about your ability to write, to determine the purpose of the essay topic, to stick to a specified task, to sell yourself, and to explain why you are a good match to the school and program.

Merging ideas to form “show and tell,” as the author has done in example three, will give your essay both objective facts and compelling descriptions of your achievements. It is especially important at the beginning of an SOP to “hook” the reader.

An important rule to remember is to “show first, tell second.” This means that given the choice, an applicant should show, not tell. Starting with a colorless line like “For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed working with machines” won’t earn praise and will bore the admissions officers.


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