Problems Students Face with When Writing Personal Essay for Graduate School

An undergrad personal statement can differ in many ways from a grad school personal statement. At this point in your life, you have achieved a lot. You are no longer a college student and it needs to reflect on your personal essay. This is your time to brag about your achievements in a professional manner. You can use some of the lessons you learned from your undergrad essay and apply it to this one.

The story you tell needs to be unique, honest and intriguing. When you are writing your personal essay for graduate school, honesty will serve you best.  Read through the requirements before you get started. This will save you some time in the long run. Know the number of words you need to use, as well as the required structure for the essay. Here are some challenges students have when writing a grad school personal statement.

Ensure Career Goals

A lot of grad students are not sure what their career goals are. You need to mention this in order to write a successful personal statement. Understand that you can always change this at a later stage. A mistake often seen is students mentioning a few career options. Be sure of one choice and go into detail describing why this is best suited for you.

Lack of Passion

In you undergrad essay, it is easy to come across as passionate. You have the opportunity to tell silly stories about yourself and what drove you to study this course. Do not lose that side of when writing your grad essay. A social work statement of purpose for example, needs to be filled with your passion for this course. You can still tell a story about how you got here. Attach that with the steps you took to achieve this goal. It is about balancing passion with facts.

Generic Writing

There will be a lot of students applying to do this course. You need to stand out from the masses. Writing a generic essay is not going to help you stand out. What makes you different from the rest of the applicants? There must be a story that no one else can tell the way you can. This is the type of winning topics you must use. All of the other applicants will try and express why this is the right course for them. You need to go a little further.

Incorrect Format

This is one of the biggest issues pupils face when writing a grad school essay. There is no excuse for not complying with requirements. Know what the graduate school essay format is. Nothing is to be assumed at this stage. Study the format or look at a few examples online. When you get the format correct, you just have to focus on high-quality writing.


No one can tell your life story better than you can. This is an advantage and you should embrace it. What you have achieved up until this point is enough. Keep your grad school essay professional and remember it’s better to show than to tell. Give some kind of evidence of your achievements if possible. A lack of confidence can produce mediocre results. You really want to tap into your strengths and draw confidence from there.

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