Many schools require applicants to write a personal statement when applying for SOAP residency because it is their basis to know more about the person. However, some schools specify their residency personal statement word count, which means applicants need to follow the word limit at the same time effectively explain who they are and what they have that others do not have. Thus, you must think of a good personal statement residency structure to get the attention of the readers.
Required Residency Personal Statement Word Count
If you are asking, “how long should a residency personal statement be,” then it can be 500 to 850 words.
The personal statement and medical residency letter of recommendation are your chance to sell yourself, and even though there is only a limited word count or page limit, ensure that you put all the details that you think will help you in getting into the program.
When it comes to the word count, bear in mind that it must be limited to one page. This proves also important when submitting and printing on the ERAS application. A word count of 600 up to 650 words is better, but if you want a shorter one, then writing a 500-word essay is okay too.
Additionally, the personal statement is a one computed page in ERAS, and it must be between 750 to 850 words. Be sure that your statements fit in ERAS allotted space because if there are lines that exceed the length restrictions, the program will eliminate it. By the time that you know how long should a residency personal statement be, you must start writing it while you still have enough time.
Common Structure of a Personal Statement and Tips
⇒ Use of paragraphs: Do not use many paragraphs, especially if you have a word or page limit. It is better to write 47 lines because they will help the admissions committee have an easier time to read your paper.
⇒ A clear beginning, middle and end: If you submit your personal statement AAMC application, make sure that your essay has a clear beginning and end. Doing so, you will make your essay flow naturally. It is important that all your sentences are connected together so that they are organized when it comes to flow. By following this tip, you can ensure that you’re making a well-presented essay.
⇒ ABC method: If you decide to write about your experience, you need to use the ABC method. ABC stands for action, benefit and course structure. What qualities you possess, what skills you have and what the activity is it that you did.
⇒ Keep it short: Because you need to meet the ERAS personal statement word limit, you should limit your essay to 4,000 characters. In this case, you should bear in mind of its conciseness by using clear and short sentences. If there are unnecessary words, clichés and overused words, you have to get rid of them.
How to Shorten a Personal Statement
There are times that you need to shorten your essay to meet the ERAS personal statement word limit, so if you are asking yourself on how to do it, here are some tips to get started.
⇒ Highlight all the adverbs: You need to read your personal statement again and highlight all the adverbs. To shorten your essay, remove all adverbs such as very, really, absolutely, completely and extremely. Doing this is essential to complete the medical residency application process through making a concise essay and submitting a good one.
⇒ Look for short phrases or single words followed by a comma: In the medical residency application process wherein need to submit a personal statement, you cannot include them as they would waste space. You must shorten your page to meet the word count requirement. Spot on single words or short phrases, such as in fact, because of this, to be frank, last, hopefully, in fact, in conclusion, and quite frankly. Highlight the phrases or words, and then read the essay again without these words. Remove the ones that do not enhance your essay.
⇒ Delete helping verbs: For instance, replace “is going to visit” with “will visit”.
⇒ Delete to be verbs: Instead of saying “I’m a voracious reader,” try writing “I read voraciously.”
⇒ Turn nouns into verbs: It is better to write, “I concluded” than “I came to the conclusion.”
Tips to Extend a Personal Statement
If you are thinking to extend your personal statement because it is too short, and it does not meet the word count limit, then there are great tips that you can follow.
⇒ What you need to demonstrate: To extend your personal statement, you can write about enthusiasm for a certain subject, genuine interest or things you want to pursue. You can write about your suitability for the job or course and your commitment to study. You might also want to write about your motivation in studying the course and ways that it fits into your future plans. Other things to write in your essay to make it longer include your conscientious attitude, great communication skills and hard working attitude.
⇒ The rules: If you forgot writing about “why you want to study that course,” then include it in your personal statement. On the other hand, be sure that you have not copied from others’ work just to get ideas on what you will write. It is better if you write it on your own. Also, when you write, avoid mentioning any courses or universities because the personal statement will be sent off to different schools, especially if you have applied for numerous programs.
⇒ Structure and content: It is better to make a plan on what you will include in your personal statement. The content of your essay should include important points. Even though you want to make it longer, irrelevant words should be eliminated. To replace those words and sentences, you can include information on what have you done to pursue your interest in that subject, things that make you suitable for the program and ways that your grades support your chosen interest.
⇒ Write what you studied: The personal statement is a place to demonstrate your intelligence. To extend your essay, you can talk about what you have found in that program that makes you interested in it and why relating it to what you have studied to reach this point.
⇒ Support with evidence: Whenever you make a claim or statement, be sure to back it up with evidence.
Knowing the medical application steps before applying is important. It will help you manage your time. Following these tips in shortening or extending, your essay will help you in coming up with a clean and crisp personal statement that captures the interest of its readers, who will realize that you’re worth spending time for an interview. In short, write what you want them to know about why you want to study and make them interested in meeting and talking with you in person.