Personal Statement Guide
Writing your Personal Statement for Dental School
Writing an award-winning personal statement may seem like a daunting task, many students feel like they don’t know what to write about. To remedy this, the very first step in writing your personal statement is to brainstorm volunteer activities, shadowing activities, leadership roles, and unique experiences that are interesting and informative to help you start writing your personal statement. Within your personal statement you should address these three main points:
Why do you want to be a dentist?
What experiences have prepared you for a career in dentistry?
What qualities and abilities do you possess that will help you be a successful dentist?
As you are brainstorming topics try and address these three questions.
Remember dental admissions officers read hundreds of personal statements, your personal statement must impress them or they won’t take a second look at your application. Try and find exciting and compelling stories that will help answer the three questions above so admissions officers will remember your personal statement and application. You want your reader to say, “Wow, this person is really interesting, I would like to meet them or know more about them.” Be very illustrative rather than descriptive when writing your personal statement, you want it to flow like a well-written story. Show your reader rather than telling them by paying attention to detail and giving graphic examples. Accentuate pivotal events and exciting stories.
Try and stay away from the usual personal statement pitfalls like, “I want to be a dentist because I like to help people.” Well of course, almost every pre-dental student wants to help people, to improve on that idea tell a story related to dentistry about a life experience that has made you want to help people. Evolve your ideas, and complete them don’t leave an idea unexplained. Remember your personal statement is your time to shine, so SHINE!
Your personal statement should be 4500 characters max (Required by the American Dental Education Association)! When writing my personal statement I found this was not enough space to accommodate all my experiences and stories that
have led me to choose a career in dentistry. I would suggest trying to find multiple stories for each of the three main points listed above and just keep writing, write as many interesting and compelling stories as possible. Once you have your stories look them over with a friend and pick the best ones that fulfill the three integral questions listed above. Then start piecing them together into your personal statement.
Once you have completed your personal statement have it evaluated and checked by many people including an English major, and another pre-dental peer. You should have completed 4-8 drafts before you have completed your final draft. Then your personal statement will be ready to be sent off to dental schools.
It is important to look at other personal statements to help you get an idea of what the format should be like so I have included links below. Good Luck!
6 Interviews 1 Acceptance
11 Interviews 5 Acceptances
5 Interviews 3 Acceptances
1 Interview 1 Acceptance
8 Interviews 3 Acceptances
4 Interviews 4 Acceptances
7 Interviews 1 Rejection 6 Acceptances
Statistics: GPA: 3.93 AA: 21 TS: 21 PA: 22 Bio: 24
8 Interviews 4 Acceptances Applied to 17 schools
Some Advice from a current dental student at Nova:
…I would say that some things worth mentioning in your website, that many people over look I think, is the fact that EVERY little detail matters more then you know. Your spelling, what you say, the way you say it are ALL of the utmost importance and might separate you from someone else with similar stats (even the return address, I don’t have great hand writing so I had special return addresses made). Also remember that at the interview, once again, EVERY little detail matters. Open doors, be kind to EVERYONE because there could be someone there who has a say in whether you get in or not. Also being persistent is VERY important. I didn’t get in to Nova right away but as opposed to giving up I emailed the dean of admissions directly and asked him about my status and let him know that I wanted to be in THEIR dental school more than anything. Once again every detail of the email was managed,
spelling…etc, and the emails were VERY professional and formal. Finally if you go to an interview and really want to get accepted there I would fed-ex (express send) thank you letters so that they get there as soon as possible in an effort to once again separate yourself from the pack. These are just some things you might want to mention somewhere on your site… Main thing is find something that makes you special and use that to once again try and separate yourself from others (i.e. I think I mentioned something about being home schooled and how that helped me gain valuable skills).
- Thanks for the contribution Hordel
If anyone else is interested in posting their personal statement on this website please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Note: I will only accept your personal statement if you are already in dental school, due to the risk of your personal statement becoming public. Any information within your personal statement can and will be excluded in the interest of privacy.