Personal Statements

A personal statement is an essay that an applicant has to write when applying for private schools. There are prompts or questions that have to be answered within the specified word count. This is an opportunity for students to let admissions officers know more about them and demonstrate how they could be a good fit for the school. However, many students fail to achieve this goal because they are not able to write a good narrative that makes them stand out from the other applicants. 

Along with good grades, impressive test scores, and letters of recommendation, a well-written personal statement can make a big difference in private school admissions. Our educational consultants understand how the admissions process works for top-tier schools and what admissions officers are looking for. This guide will help keep your child from making common mistakes when writing personal statements and admissions essays.

  1. Be authentic and honest. Let your answers give admissions officers a glimpse into your personality and how you can be an asset to the school.
  2. Avoid generalizations. Be definite with your answers. Tell them why you are applying to a particular program and why you think you will be a good fit.
  3. Use specific examples to support your statements. Your personal experiences will be the best stories you can share that will prove how compatible you are.
  4. Avoid using cliches. Be creative in your narrative. Your goal is to engage the admissions officer to keep on reading until the end of your essay or personal statement. 

At Cardinal Education, our holistic approach to admissions lets us unravel your child’s potential and highlight their uniqueness to get the differentiation they need. Over the years, we have developed our own formula and strategies for writing admissions essays and personal statements that have helped numerous families get into the best schools.

For students who are not strong writers, we advise them to enroll in our Program in Writing and Reading. This program aims to make them active and curious readers to develop comprehension and widen their vocabulary and ultimately, unlock their writing ability. We teach them the fundamentals of writing so they can organize their thoughts and ideas and express them in writing.   

A personal statement should demonstrate a student’s passions and interests which are unique. Remember that what we are aiming for is differentiation so think about your child’s activities that are not common among other students. If your child is into painting, consider what makes the artwork unique and how it is being used to drive change in the community or inspire others.  

Each school will have its own requirements but typically, student statements are 1000 to 3000 characters long or approximately 250 to 500 words. Admissions officers go through hundreds of personal statement essays so it is important to keep to the maximum requirement and make sure that the first statement piques their curiosity to continue reading until the last sentence. 

When writing a personal statement, focus on the question and only write relevant responses. It is very easy to get carried away and veer off course but with the limited word count, your child might not be able to express the most ideas important ideas that admissions officers are interested in.  

Yes, especially if you and your child are not very strong writers. Among all the other application requirements, the personal statement is one of the biggest factors that affect admission decisions so it must be written well enough that it creates impact and sticks to the minds of the admissions officers.  Contact us to learn more about our writing program.