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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Should my personal statement on the Common App focus on one topic or multiple?

I'm brainstorming for my personal statement on the Common App and I'm stuck on whether to focus on one aspect of my life or try to cover multiple interests and experiences. Have any of you gone with a particular strategy that seemed to work well? Would love some advice to ease my mind!

8 months ago

It's understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed at the outset of crafting your personal statement. I would recommend focusing on one theme or aspect of your life that can showcase your depth of experience, personality, and potential to contribute to a college community. Remember, the personal statement is your opportunity to give admissions officers insight into who you are beyond grades and test scores.

A student I worked with recently chose to concentrate on her passion for environmental advocacy. Through her narrative, she illustrated her involvement in community projects, her leadership in a high school club, and a pivotal moment that inspired her activism. This focused approach allowed her to demonstrate her commitment, impact, and the evolution of her interest, which all added depth to her application. Again, the goal is to provide a glimpse into who you are in a coherent and compelling way. While it can be tempting to cover many facets of your life, a story with too many threads might not leave as strong an impression as a well-told, singular narrative.

8 months ago

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