What to look for in a sample personal statement?


Personal statement sample essays are available all over the web, but how can you tell that what you have found is good enough to be a useful model for you to follow as you write your own personal statement? In this post, I’ll give you a few tips to help you evaluate personal statement sample essays.

Why this matters: When you find the best sample personal statements out there you will be motivated by the work of successful applicants from the past and inspired to write the best personal statement that you can.  The wrong free personal statement samples may send you down the wrong path and waste your time.

What to look for in a sample personal statement

Whether you are searching for medical school, dental school, law school or other graduate school personal statement sample essays, use these questions and guidelines to help you to find the best sample personal statements available.

1. Who wrote this personal statement sample essay? Was it written by a real student, a professional writer or a blogger? The best sample personal statements are ones written by actual gradate school applicants who were admitted to graduate school. Sure, a professional writer might be able to write a competent personal statement, but a professional writer doesn’t experience the same pressures that a real applicant like you faces. You want to see how your peers with similar time constraints overcame difficulties and got into medical school with their own outstanding personal statements.

The best sample personal statement samples may not even be “amazing” writing by professional standards, but they are an authentic glimpse into the lives of real prospective professionals who were able to articulate their motivations and experiences in a persuasive way. Admissions readers want authenticity, not perfection!

2. Does this admissions essay sample include any analysis or explanation to help you better understand the approach the writer used? Without explanation, it can be hard to figure out why a writer chose to write the way they did. A personal statement essay sample that includes analysis will help you to see why an essay worked and what techniques made it work.

3. Who published the sample personal statement? Sample personal statement compilations published by reputable graduate school admissions agencies (think Princeton Review)  are much more likely to include quality sample personal statements. A free sample personal statement posted on a blog by an unknown contributor does not have to meet the same rigorous standards that a reputable organization follows.

Members at Personal Statement Secrets get free sample personal statements from past successful applicants

I’ve been a graduate school admissions coach for over twenty years, and during that time I have noticed just how difficult it is for students to write a personal statement without a sample essay to guide them. I’ve also noticed that some students find a poor sample personal statement and end up with a mess of an essay that takes several revisions to correct.

Personal Statement Secrets, my collection of personal statement sample essays, was inspired by my 17 years of experience as a graduate school admissions coach with INQUARTA. These sample personal statements were written by students who were admitted to their chosen grad programs because their personal statements were persuasive and authentic.

Want free sample personal statements from successful medical school and dental school applicants? Get 8 free sample personal statements here. These are outstanding essays written by real med school and dental school applicants who were admitted to top programs. I have also included comments and analysis on the side of each essay to help you see exactly what each writer is doing and why their choices create a cohesive personal statement.

Get your free personal statement examples here!

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