Writing a psychology personal statement

A psychology personal statement is a small (no more than two pages with a half-and-a-half interval of the 12th–14th size) essay, in which you logically, judiciously, and reasonably explain to the admissions committee why they should choose you.

This statement should disclose your personality and motivation, describe (unobtrusively) your merits, and also explain why you chose this university and this specialty.

It should be easy to read, it should start with a phrase or sentence that immediately captures the attention of the reader. After all, the admissions committee reads hundreds of statements and it is yours that should immediately catch their attention with your individuality. In no case it should not be faded and sluggish – after all, the reader won’t simply want to waste time reading such a statement. Individuality and uniqueness are your future trumps.

It is worth mentioning your main achievements over the years of studying at the university (hardly anyone will read about the school). It can be the following:
  • A diploma with merits
  • Prizes in contests
  • Participation in conferences
  • Publications, etc.

Do not greatly praise yourself and your qualities – there are recommendations for this. No need to submit a detailed autobiography – this is a CV. You need a fascinating story, highlighting your strengths and proving your motivation.

It’s better to start writing the statement at least a month before the first deadline (better, of course, earlier). It is a paper that is difficult to write in 3 days.

  • A psychology personal statement should be written little by little
  • It should contain interesting thoughts that will suddenly come to mind
  • You will need to constantly come back and rewrite separate paragraphs, honing it up to perfection

Then it is very desirable to send it for a review to your friends – a fresh look will always find something that needs further work. It will not be superfluous to show it to a person who knows the language well, but better to a professional in general to correct the inevitable grammatical and lexical irregularities in the essay – you do not need them to distract the attention of the admission committee.

Some universities require different versions of the statement:
  • Some require a research statement – an essay, which indicates your research experience, your interests, motivation for the repertoire, etc.
  • Some require CV (resume), so you need to exclude from the statement the information about you that will be in the CV (awards, etc.).

In addition, if you know roughly what your referents will write in the recommendations about you, make sure that the information in them also does not overlap (except, perhaps, quite grandiose things). If CV is not required – then expand your statement. It should only supplement information with all the other items in your package of documents.

It is also necessary to individualize each statement for a particular college where you are applying, so think about it. You can explain to the end of the essay why you chose this university and who from faculty (professorship) is attractive to you on research.

5 stages for writing a statement

A personal statement, bright and memorable, will attract the attention of the admission committee. Writing a statement is required if you’re planning to get the master’s or doctoral degrees, as well as some bachelor’s programs. You should seriously approach the writing of the statement, particularly if there are many candidates for the program. When you know how to organize of a statement, it will be easier for you to compose similar kinds of papers. The whole process of writing a psychology personal statement can be broken down into the following stages:
  • First draw up a resume indicating the existing education and work experience, as well as the desired education and future work experience. In this case, you can write in the form of a table.
  • Write about your strengths and hobbies in the form of phrases and sentences. You should not just write compliments to yourself but specific examples from your life, studies and work, with concrete achievements. For example, when applying to applied chemistry, write that you have been putting chemical experiments since childhood, and won at various contests in school, so after school you entered the university for applied chemistry and are now ready for the next step – entering the magistracy.
  • Write why it is important for you to get to this university. Look at the information on the university and professors on the internet, find something interesting, which can be both a compliment to the university and a serious reason for your admission there. Even if you chose a university close to your home or the one where there is little contest, you have to write something of a more thorough one. Perhaps the university is not the first in the ranking but has a well-deserved staff of professors or a lot of monographs in your field.
  • Structure the sentences written earlier. The first paragraph is about where you want to go. Then the first, second, and the third paragraphs are about you. Then another two paragraphs describe why you chose this college. The final paragraph strengthens the first paragraph, adding there, why you think that you are ideally suited to the program.
  • The last stage is the editing. In this case it is important not only to correct mistakes, but also to add something significant to the text. It can be a live speech addressed to the admission committee or some kind of contradiction or a joke. This will give motivational writing liveliness and memorability.

Parts of the statement

As a rule, admission to universities among applicants is associated with writing different kinds of tests, memorizing answers to questions on different subjects, and interviewing members of the admission committee.

Also, the emphasis is on checking the depth of the applicant’s knowledge and his professional suitability. The level of knowledge of foreign languages and the degree of motivation are assessed.

In addition to the basic documents required for admission, most universities require a well-written statement from applicants.

It is necessary to pay special attention to writing a motivation letter to the university. Despite the fact that writing a motivation letter is a creative process, there are a number of principles and unspoken rules for writing it. A well-written motivation letter can become a decisive fact when enrolling in a particular institution of higher education.

Below are examples of the motivation letter and tips for writing them.

Facts about biography

Start a statement of purpose with the facts from a personal biography. Personal history, like nothing else, can show your sincerity when writing a motivation letter. Own experience gives the letter emotionality and sincerity. (Name, place of birth, education received, social experience.)


Good afternoon,

My name is Julie Smith, I was born in Massachusetts, in the city of Boston. After graduation, I had a desire to get an education in the economic sphere and enroll in one of the most prestigious universities.

From the very childhood I loved to read. At the age of 10, it was quite by chance that the book The Financier came to me completely accidentally and, to the surprise of my parents, I did not let it out of my hands. Then I could not even think that this book will affect my views and dreams.

Justification of interest in a particular discipline or specialty

The next part of the motivation letter should contain a clear justification for choosing this direction of training. It can contain both a description of your previous experience and indicate the desired professional prospects in the future.


I would very much like to get an education in economics at Boston University. To do this, I need to take preparatory courses, because I think that they will help me when entering the university. In the future, I would like to become a well-known business analyst.

Justification of the choice of the university

In this part, you should indicate the reason why you chose this institution for training.


I chose Boston University since there are no specialties in economic analysis and business analytics in other universities close to me, and I want to have the opportunity to gain knowledge that would help me in my future profession. This is the main reason for choosing the preparatory courses at Boston University and the Faculty of Economics at Boston University.

Result orientation

After completing the courses, I would like to have the opportunity of free communication in order to enroll in a prestigious university, where I will receive the education I dream about. If I talk about my plans for the future, I would like to work in a large international company. After receiving the education, I could apply all the knowledge gained in practice and become a good specialist. I am confident that the preparatory program at Boston University will help me achieve my goal.

Address to the university

And in the final part, it would be worth mentioning the results that you intend to achieve in studies and about your desire to actively participate in classes and various additional activities.


My education differs from the one I need to enter Boston university, so I would like to take a preparatory course for admission to the university within a year. These courses will be the road to my dream and give me the opportunity to carry out my plans. In addition, the program you offer includes everything I need to quickly adapt and get the necessary knowledge to pass the entrance exams.

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to your positive reply.

Yours faithfully,

Julie Smith

When composing a statement, don’t copy this sample, use it as a foundation to create your own original motivation. The narrative should be logical and consistent. The size of the statement should be about 1 A4 page.

Indicate precisely how the chosen program at university can help you realize your goals. Check the website of the college thoroughly looking at teachers and subjects on a certain program. Mentioning teachers and their academic works is can be very beneficial for your personal statement as it shows your interest in the specialty.

Thus, the purpose statement is one of the most crucial papers applicants have to submit when entering colleges. Thus, you must start preparing the statement as early as possible before the deadline and also use professional assistance if necessary to check it for possible mistakes. Moreover, working on a personal statement makes it possible for the applicant to once again check if his decision entering a certain program of a college is correct.

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