Of all the requirements for PT school in Canada, the personal statement is definitely one that raises the eyebrows of many applicants each and every year. The confusion is largely due to the ambiguity of piecing together a descriptive essay about yourself that conveys to admissions committees that you’re the right fit for their program.
Some of the common inquiries we hear with each passing application cycle include:
- How do I write a good personal statement?
- What do I need to include in my personal statement?
- What do admissions committees want to hear?
- How do I organize all of my thoughts into a brief but strong personal statement?
At PhysioSchool.ca, we hear you loud and clear. We had all of the same questions when we were applying, which is why we’re writing this blog today to answer your questions and provide you with some helpful tips on how to write your personal statement for physio school applications.
Here we go.
Tip #1 – Start early
We cannot stress this one enough. Start getting yourself “in the know” early, so that you can plan accordingly. Before putting pen to paper, you should first be able to answer the following questions:
- Which PT programs require a personal statement?
- What types of questions do various schools ask on their personal statement?
- How long can my answers be (i.e., word/character count)?
Once you gather all of this information, you can start chipping away on mapping out the content you’d like to include within your personal statement.
Tip #2 – Genuinely ask yourself: “Why do I want to be a physiotherapist?“
It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll be asked, “why do you want to be a physiotherapist?” on a personal statement. Admissions committees are very interested in knowing your intent for choosing physiotherapy as a career. Why? Because they want to ensure that they’re admitting individuals who have made an informed career decision and are genuinely passionate about becoming a physiotherapist.
For that reason, we highly recommend sitting down with yourself to think hard about why you want to be a physiotherapist. And believe us, we understand that it’s not always a simple question to answer, as there may be many reasons why you want to pursue PT. We suggest that you write all of these reasons down in front of you. It will help give you clarity, and most importantly, it will help guide your entire personal statement. When you have a strong “why” from the beginning, writing your statement will come a lot easier. On the contrary, if your foundation isn’t solid, your personal statement may fall flat.
So, please! Ask yourself: “Why do I want to be a physiotherapist?”
Tip #3 – Write out a list of your experiences
Your personal statement is essentially your way of “selling yourself” to the admissions committees. Apart from providing them with a compelling reason as to why you want to be a PT, speaking about your work and volunteer experience can really help you impress those who make admissions decisions.
In order to make writing about your experiences a seamless process, we recommend first writing out a list of your work and volunteer experiences (PT- and non-PT-related experiences). Ensure to include what your role was during each experience, whether it was work or volunteer, the location, how long you were at each location, and the types of people you worked with. This will essentially function as your rough draft.
Once you have all of that information laid out in front of you, turn your rough draft into sentences to be used in your personal statement. Be sure to mention how these experiences will help you in becoming a good physiotherapist one day.
Tip #4 – Do your research on the physiotherapy profession
As mentioned earlier, PT school admissions committees aim to admit those who have made an informed career decision. That being said, it will bode well for you to convey that you are knowledgeable about the physiotherapy profession throughout your personal statement.
Having exposure in physiotherapy settings prior to applications will certainly help you out with that, but it would be in your best interest to also do your research on the profession. The PT profession is incredibly diverse; physiotherapists work in a variety of settings with a wide-range of patient populations. Given that, it’s important to become familiar with the profession at large in order to show the admissions committees that you understand what PT has to offer.
Tip #5 – Rigorously edit and revise your personal statement
This one’s a no-brainer. Once you think you have a finished product, you must rigorously edit and revise your personal statement. Do your very best to catch any spelling or grammatical errors, run-on sentences, redundancies, and any other issues you pick up on that may be problematic for your readers. The good thing about this is that you don’t have to do this alone! Reach out to any friends, family members, and/or mentors that you trust to proofread your essay as well. A second or third set of eyes may pick up on things that you missed, so it’s great to have some people in your corner to help with editing and revising.
We realize that this may be one of those tips that one can simply just gloss over, but in all seriousness, we cannot emphasize the importance of this one enough. Remember that the admissions committees don’t just judge what you say in your personal statement, but also how you say it. The applicants who can do both of those things very well are usually the ones that come out on top.
Writing a great personal statement for your physio school applications can be a challenging task. However, if you follow the tips that you read about in this blog post, you’ll eventually be able to muster up a personal statement that you can be proud of in no time.
We hope you found these tips helpful. Thank you for reading.
If you’re looking for extra help and guidance on writing your personal statement, check out our PT Application Booster course today! We have an entire module dedicated to helping you write a personal statement that will give you the competitive edge for physio school applications. What are you waiting for? Enrol today!