Tired of the guessing game?
You’ve finally finished your personal statement and it’s perfect.
There’s not a grammar or spelling error in sight. Your mother, best friend, and barista at the local coffee bar all think it’s a winner.
The character count is right. There’s just one thing to consider before hitting the “send” button — will it meet the admission team’s expectations?
How will you know? CASPA guidelines are vague — “Write a brief statement expressing your motivation or desire to become a physician assistant.” School websites aren’t generally more helpful.
Do they want to hear that you’ve dreamed of becoming a PA since you were five and loved your toy stethoscope? Are they interested in your volunteer work at a homeless shelter? Will it help that you’ve been a science nerd since 9th grade biology? How should you tell your story? Should it read like a textbook, a novel, or something in between?
The fact is there hasn’t been much guidance.
Admissions directors and faculty from PA programs across the country have shared their thoughts on personal statements — what they hope to see, what they wish they’d never see, and tips to make an essay shine. Each school has a unique perspective, but common themes arise.