The statement of purpose is the first point of contact between you and the admissions team, and it remains the only document within your application packet where you are able to speak frankly and directly about who you are and why you want to pursue dentistry in the USA. The SOP is your chance to stand out among the crowd, and become more than just grades and test scores. Hopefully, the following tips will help you write your SOP's to perfection.
What is the admission's team looking for in a PERSONAL STATEMENT?
The admission team is looking for your story, and most importantly, they are looking for the motives of inspiration from your story. So be sure to include events that humanize you and your life struggles and all that you did to overcome adversities, but keep in mind that they have to be relevant to your career. Even though you may have had to overcome difficulties such as deaths of loved ones, financial constraints, etc. do not over- highlight them or over emphasize on them. Instead, try to potray how you derive motivation from all that you have been through.
Also include detailed descriptions of your motivations for becoming a dentist in the USA and how the denat education in the U.S. resonates with you. The admissions team is continually trying to assess if you are a good fit for the program, and the Statement of purpose allows them to dive deep into your personality, and if you could talk a bit about ' why U.S.A?' That would help.
What should my PERSONAL STATEMENT contain?
Figure out what you want to say and make it interesting. A lot of students are overly concerned about making it too formal—the best letters are Semi-formal yet not too informal.
Talk about courses you’ve taken, the dentist's you may have shadowed, work experiences and even relevant extracurricular activities. Be specific about why you are mentioning each event how it helped you grow as a person. SOP would be a great place to talk about the inspiration of any research paper briefly you might have written.
What should my personal statement NOT contain?
Avoid Clichés. Every single professor that I talked to when preparing this post mentioned that a lot of the rejected SOP's started with "Ever since I was little, I've wanted to become a dentist" Cliché's don't work. Avoid these bland statements whenever possible. Secondly, Make sure there are no conflicts between the SOP and the CV and be prepared to back up all that you have mentioned. I remember during my UCLA interview, the admissions team had my statement of purpose in front of them. So don't lie in your SOP. Sooner or later, they will figure it out.
Don't name drop professors from other CAAPID universities as this may be considered unethical.
Don't go over the page limit Don't talk about how much you love dentistry. Seriously don't.
And Lastly Don’t have grammatical errors in the SOP as this reflects poorly on your communication skills.
How much time should I give to write the statement?
Your statement should be one of the first things you write when you’re in the planning stages of CAAPID, so give yourself plenty of time to edit and rewrite it. Completing your statement at least one month before it is due will ensure that you can have your drafts read by friends and faculty. The more feedback you get, the better and tighter this document will be. Make sure your statement is read by at least one person who has already applied to CAAPID schools. Lastly, make sure the SOP is truthful, persuasive and 100% error-free dramatically. Don’t spin the wheels too long, but don’t skimp on editing.
Take home points
Do make it interesting and enjoyable to read. A good way to know this is through feedbacks from friends.
Do stay positive about your experiences and goals.
Do allow some of your personality to show.
Do use a semi-professional or a professional tone.
Do pay attention to document design (font choice, for example).
Do make sure that your letter is impeccably proofread and free of surface errors.
Do make sure that there are no conflicts between the personal statement and CV/LOR's.