Since CASPA is opening on April 28 in just a few weeks for the 2022-2023 application cycle. Here are some things you can do to better prepare to write an acceptance-worthy essay that can get you into PA School.
1. Schedule a Brainstorming Session
Set a timer for 10-15 minutes & on a blank page & ask yourself why you want to go to PA school. Answer yourself in a stream of consciousness.
Make an effort to cast the judgment aside & be as vulnerable as you can with yourself. The hardest part of crafting an amazing personal statement is not actually writing it, it's knowing what important things for YOU to include.
If this is difficult no worries- try my PA School Essay Starter Kit that has 31 question prompts to help you get the juices flowing.
The mission is to move beyond any answers that are superficial- which almost always sound cliche such as: “I want to help people”, & move to a more personal reason why you want to pursue medicine that is specific to only you. This reasone ends to be more effortlessly unique & make students stand out naturally.
If writing isn’t your jam, try voice recording or videoing yourself.
Remember the most important part of this stage is simply to get the words out by any means necessary.
Don’t worry about writing anything substantially polished or even coherent to anyone but you.
2. Explore 3 Major Strengths that make you a Competitive Candidate
Spend some time fleshing out at least 5 personal, professional or academic experiences that have molded you into a great candidate.
Using only one phrase, how does each experience describe a particular strength?
It may look like something like this:
Struggle with Math & failing a class→ working hard to get an A the second time around= Commitment to academic growth.
3. Create an Outline
The outline is the unsung hero of every essay ever written. Once you have brainstormed your why to gain clarity about your unique desire to pursue the PA profession beyond the cliche answers & have fleshed out your strengths & experiences to back them up, then you are ready to start to organize the essay.
Using the basic writing framework: Introduction, Body & Conclusion, organize your experiences in the Body in order of impact/importance or chronology. Do not get stuck on which one, just pick one that feels the best fit and move on.
Allow yourself to mold the body of your essay first, since it is the meat/ plant protein if you are plant-based:)- in the sandwich & the most substantial part of the personal statement.
Pro Tip: Save the Intro & Conclusion for last as they can both be articulated as fancy summarizations of the entire essay.
K.Calcano is a Surgical PA, Blogger & the creator of PA Personal Statement Mastery.