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Personal Statement Tips and Advice

10 Things a Spellchecker Won't CatchAdmissions Video
We should warn you that there are hundreds of spelling and grammatical errors that can go unnoticed by your computer's spell-check program. That's why you will still need to proofread your application the old fashioned way, by eyeballing it.

Beware of Sample Personal StatementsAdmissions Video
Writing a graduate school application can be intimidating. It's not easy to know the best approach, format, or style. That's where reading sample personal statements can help. But be careful...

Sometimes It's Best to Say Nothing About a Poor GradeAdmissions Video
The axiom that 'no one's perfect' holds as true for college students as it does for anyone else. Even serious, dedicated, hard-working students sometimes graduate with a transcript that includes one or two poor or even failing grades. Those grades can later become a major source of anxiety for students who decide to apply to graduate schools. What should you do if you're a grad school applicant with one of those less-than-perfect college records?

Finding the Focus of a Personal Statement
One time I worked with an applicant who obviously had a lot of great attributes. She had done well in school despite having first to overcome a personal illness, and then cope with a serious illness in her family...

Overcoming Writer's Block in Your Graduate School Personal StatementsAdmissions Video
When fall starts to give way to winter, there are several things we can always accurately predict. There will be lots of leaves to rake, the days will get shorter and a lot of extremely talented graduate school applicants will struggle with writer's block.

Making Your Personal Statement Connect
I often work with international students who are applying to competitive programs at U.S. graduate schools. Many of them run into the same two difficulties: one, writing a strong personal statement in English (when that isn't their first language); and two, explaining something that Americans might interpret as a weakness in their school or work records.

Finding Your 'Wow Factor'
I worked with a re-applicant a few seasons ago who was applying to political science programs. She had applied to schools on her own the previous year and been turned down by all of them. That experience had completely undermined her confidence. She worried she was 'good enough,' but not special enough, to get accepted to her target schools.

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