Set Yourself Apart

By "nongeneric" 1 mean a personal statement that only you could have written, one that does not closely resemble what all other applicants are likely writing. You come up with this type of statement by being personal and analytical You could achieve the former by including information rarely shared with others and the latter by assessing your life more critically than usual. In any event, a personal and analytical approach is key to success in this endeavor.

AN IMPORTANT EXERCISE

In order to begin writing your personal statement—your story—you'll need the answers to some basic questions. Pretend you have five minutes to speak with someone from an admissions committee. This person asks, "What's most important for us to know about you?" You must make a case for yourself and hold the listener's interest. What would you say? Figuring that out, determining what you would say, is a challenge that is critical to your success in preparing an effective statement. Answering the following questions will facilitate this task, but be patient with yourself—this is a difficult exercise.

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