Getting Started on Your College Essay

Oftentimes, simply beginning a writing assignment is the hardest step toward completing it.

A personal statement is a statement of purpose; think of it as your mission statement. Ideally, it is an adroit articulation of dreams, goals, and plans. It is your personality, personal history, and everything else that makes you who you are, presented in an easy-to-read and readily relatable package. Your personal statement is what, all else being equal, separates you from every other candidate or applicant.

One of the most difficult parts of writing a personal statement or an application essay is simply starting. There is so much you want to tell the admission officer who will determine whether or not you attend your school of choice that deciding where to start can sometimes feel overwhelming.

Like most things, a good personal statement requires preparation. Before you start writing, it will be necessary for you to spend some time contemplating, ruminating, meditating, and otherwise brainstorming. Consider these questions:

  • What have you accomplished or been through that is undeniably noteworthy?
  • Do you have any personal experiences that have made you a better person?
  • Do you have any demonstrable skills that simply make you better than your competition?
  • What are the most compelling personality traits you possess?
  • What are your goals, and what steps have you taken towards accomplishing them?

This type of information will form the backbone of your personal statement; however, it is important to note that you must present this information in a way that incorporates it with the larger logical conclusion that attending this school, winning this scholarship, or getting this job is the perfect next step for both you and the institution you are applying to.

You will always have a more productive writing session if you know what you are going to write about ahead of time. This doesn’t mean you have to know the exact phrasing or verbiage you intend to use, only that you be aware of the important experiences and generalities you wish to address in your personal statement or college essay before you sit down to write it.

Have a question? Ask the experts at Test Masters!
Have a question? Ask the experts at Test Masters!

If you continue to have difficulty starting (or finishing) your college essay, the experts at Test Masters are available year-round to help with all of your college admissions needs.

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