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But unlike your undergraduate essay, where you might’ve offered a quippy story, your grad school application essay should be more focused on your academic and professional goals, and why grad school is essential to achieving them.Oh, and it should also give the admission committee a good sense of who you are and what you value at the same time. ) All that being said, a lot of the advice that helped you write your undergrad essay still applies: tell a unique story, use vivid examples, be genuine, and, perhaps most importantly, explain why you’d be an asset to the program—and why the program would be an asset to you.
Also revisit the essay prompt to make doubly sure you’ve answered it fully and accurately.
Then have other people read your essay to check for these things too.
For a truly polished graduate essay, remember the little things too, like making sure your files have easily identifiable names.
And it might go without saying, but make sure you follow the directions! And last but never least: don’t forget that the essay is about you!
Your grad school application essay is also an opportunity to explain anything in your academic record that might raise an eyebrow among the admission committee, like a semester of poor grades, time off in your schooling, or a less-than-perfect GRE score.
For example, if you worked part or full time to help fund your undergrad education, that lends some important context to your experience and achievements; maybe your undergrad GPA isn’t quite as high as it might’ve been otherwise, but graduate admission counselors will likely appreciate your hard work and dedication.
Just remember, even some personally meaningful experiences, like the loss of a loved one or a life-changing volunteer experience, don’t really stand out in graduate admission—they’re too common.
So if you are considering a potentially well-tread topic, try to approach it in a unique way.
And you can talk about your academic achievements, internships, published work, and even study abroad experiences.
They all make great graduate personal statement fodder. Before stuffing your application essay with every accomplishment and experience from your time as an undergrad, make sure you’re only highlighting those that pertain to your intended graduate studies and future goals.