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Typical Mistakes in Personal Statement Writing You Should Avoid

Do you feel worried about your personal statement? What should you include in it? What are the things that you need to avoid in it?  No worries. If you know the do’s and don’ts of personal statement writing, the process of creating a winning paper is going to be much easier.  Alternatively, you may want to opt for professional personal statement writers who can assist you with it.

In this blog post, you are going to discover the most typical mistakes in personal statement writing that students make while writing their personal statements. Read them. Learn from them. Avoid them in your piece of writing. 

Typical Mistakes in Personal Statement Writing You Should Avoid

Mistake #1 –  An Opening Paragraph that Sucks

An annoying opening paragraph that sounds like thousands of others can easily break your whole personal statement. Just imagine how many papers admission officers need to look through. Thus, you need to stand out. The best way to do it is to grab their attention starting from an opening paragraph. 

Mistake #2 – Not Hitting 4000 Characters

Typically, they give you the requirement to write around 47 lines. This is about 4000 characters. You need to hit this number. 

Otherwise, admission officers are going to think that you don’t put enough effort into your personal statement. They can make a conclusion that you are not motivated or interested enough to commit to a course in their college or university. 

Mistake #3 – Turning in Your Personal Statement with Errors

This is one of the most common personal statement mistakes that students make. The worst thing you can do is to write your personal statement and turn it in witing editing it. 

Poor grammar and spelling can spoil the overall impression. In most cases, admission officers won’t even keep reading your piece of writing once they spot one or two grammar errors. 

There are many free proofreading tools and spell checkers. Why not use them to your advantage? Also, make sure you meet all the requirements of personal statement formatting. 

Mistake #4 –  Going Too General in Your Writing

Avoid personal statement cliches in your writing. Don’t write general claims. They can spoil everything. 

If you can see from the name of the assignment, it should reflect your personality. It should show why you are different than other applicants. And everyone is different. You just need to analyze what makes you stand out from other classmates. 

Once you find these qualities that make you unique you need to present them in an engaging way in your piece of writing. 

Mistake #5 –  Making Excuses

Nobody likes excuses. Neither do admission officers. Avoid excuses in your personal statement at all costs.  It sounds boring. Excuses can make admission officers think that you lack responsibility and commitment.  

Mistake #6 – Boasting Even of Your Tiny Accomplishments

Never exaggerate in your personal statement. It may sound ridiculous. You don’t want admission officers to treat you like an ear-banger or boaster, do you? 

Mistake #7 – Lack of Confidence

Never show a lack of confidence in your personal statement. It makes a negative impression of you. Avoid such phrases as: 

  • I’m not good at this… 
  • I’m not sure I can do this… 
  • I don’t know if I can do this…   
  • I’ve never done this before so I’m not sure… 

On the contrary, focus on the strong points that you have. Showcase them in your piece of writing along with bright examples. 

Mistake #8 – Not Stating Why You Want to Study at This College or University 

Well, admission officers know your goals and motivation. What makes you choose their college or university among thousands of others? You need to explain this well in your personal statement. 

For inspiration, you can find some good personal statement examples on the web. Look through them. Pay attention to the way how students explain their goals and motivation. Analyze these samples. take the best approaches out of them and apply them to your own writing. 

Mistake #9 – Speaking Untruths

Lying is a devil. Avoid it in your writing. Avoid it in your everyday life. 

Why? Because when someone finds out about your lie,  they will stop to trust you. And it will be difficult to get back their trust. Even a tiny lie can spoil a relationship with other people in the blink of the eye. 

Imagine that you mention some kind of lie (even tiny) to make you look better in the eyes of admission officers. And later they somehow discover you actually lied to them. What do you think about it? What will the results be? 

Mistake #10 – Using Flattery  

Never use flattery in your writing. It’s a very cheap trick that actually doesn’t work. On the contrary, it has the opposite effect. Admission officers identify flattery easily. They may think you are so desperate that you think they are naive enough to believe your sweet words. It doesn’t work. Avoid it. 

Also Read: How to Develop Your Personal Credibility in Public Speaking


Now you know how to write a personal statement and what things to avoid in it.  Look through them once again and make sure you avoid them in your own writing. 

Now it’s your turn to make a great impression on admission officers

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