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Personal Statement And Essays - Study in USA

Personal Statements and Essays constitute a very important part of the application form. Almost every college in the U.S.A requires you to submit a number of essays on various topics in order to know more about you as a person. Unlike India, where the sole of focus of determining your merit is through your marks, a college in the U.S would admit you even if your scores aren’t that impressive provided that your essays are powerful, descriptive and convincing.

The basic purpose of these essays is to help assist colleges in the U.S with their holistic admission process where the focus is on the individual as a whole rather than only on the academics. They help provide an insight into the person behind the scores, marks and achievements. More often than not, a good essay is the difference between a rejected and an accepted application.

Also referred to as Statement of Purposes, these essays help colleges understand more about why you want to join their institution and are used to judge your intellectual capabilities. The authorities expect you to be honest and frank in these essays and give you the freedom to express and talk about things related to yourself that might convince them to prefer you over other applicants.

For International Students, these essays and write – ups are all the more important as they help the college know in detail about your background, motivations, interests and experiences. An idea about all of these factors helps them in choosing a candidate who is ideal for their college philosophy and setting and who will be able to adapt to the American education system.

There are 3 – 4 essays or personal statements that you would have to submit along with the application form. Most of these are mandatory and your application form will not be considered without these. The topic for each essay is different and each one looks to reveal something new about your personality to the college authorities.

The various types of essays that you are required to submit during the application process are:

The Main Essay/Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose

The main essay or the personal statement or the statement of purpose is the most important write – up that you submit to the college authorities. It plays a major role in determining the fate of your application. The Statement of Purpose helps applicants distinguish themselves from others by informing the college authorities about something that defines them, apart from their scores and qualifications.

While using the college application website, the main essay will be a part of the application form itself. To write the essay, go to the ‘Writing’ section of your online application form. Some of the common topics include:

Writing about your background and life story.

Writing about an incident where you experienced failure and how it affected you.

Writing about the time when you challenged a belief or an idea.

Describing your ideal environment or place.

Writing about your transition from childhood to adulthood.

Some colleges give you the freedom to write on any topic you wish to as their focus is on analyzing your ability to organize your thoughts and express freely.

Writing Supplements

Apart from the main essay, there are many other shorter essays that you are required to write and submit along with the application form. The topics for these essays or ‘Writing Supplements’ differ from college to college and are specific in nature. Usually, the purpose of these writing supplements is the same as the main essay, i.e. to help you tell the college authorities more about yourself as a person.

More often than not, these writing supplements are accompanied by specific questions that you are supposed to answer. These questions are very general in nature and are on topics related to your thoughts, likes and dislikes.

It is important to keep in mind that these supplements are not the same for every college and are very specific to the college and course you wish to join. For example, students who wish to pursue courses in the field of Engineering might be require to write an additional mandatory essay describing why you want to join this field as well as specifying your previous experience in this field.

Additional Information

Additional information basically refers to the information which is a vital part of your application or who you are as a person, but has not been mentioned in the application form earlier.

You can use this space to tell the college something about yourself that might make a difference to your application such as your circumstances, qualifications etc. This space can also be used to address certain problems in your application form. For example, if there was a genuine reason behind your drop in grades in Class 11, an explanation can be provided using this section.

What to include in the Essays and Statement of Purposes (SOPs):

Give a detailed view about the career you wish to be a part of after graduating. If you’re not sure, then give an insight into the field you would want to join.

Clearly explain why the career/field you want to join is important to you.

Explain through your SOP how joining that particular course will help you move further towards your dream career.

Tell the college authorities about your strengths and weaknesses and why they should prefer you over other candidates.

Describe how the non – academic opportunities in the college will help you move forward in your career.

Talk about your achievements and specific skills that according to you are vital parts of your personality.

Study in USA