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I applied to primarily CS programs (only Stanford was EE), specifically systems and architecture. Here is an example prompt from Stanford's graduate admissions site (as of Fall 2010): The statement of purpose should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program at Stanford, your preparation for this field of study, study and research interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.The personal statement prompt doesn't change much across Ph. In the end, your essay will only improve through revisions.
Furthermore, the prompt will be similar across schools.
Based on chats with faculty, I would rank the personal statement as the third most important part of your application, behind (1) [great] published results and (2) letters of recommendation. programs, you can bet that your personal statement will weigh more than your GPA.
I am going to talk about the graduate school application process in phases and the first will be the personal statement (a.k.a.
"statement of purpose," "research statement," or "statement of objectives").
There are two ways to make revisions: (1) to revise the essay yourself, (2) to have other people read the essay and comment.
Personally, I cannot make effective revisions until a fresh essay draft has sit for a few days.
(1) is where you put icing on the cake by personalizing your essay for each school that you apply to. It also says that you were willing to put in the extra mile.
There are, however, some things that you should keep in mind.
The rest of this post will tell you what I learned about the personal statement and how to approach each part of the prompt.
To help those out there who are applying, here are three of my seven statements: The personal statement is the primary (perhaps only) essay that you will have to write.