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个人陈述写作中常见的五类典型问题

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不同学校对陈述内容规定的问题往往不尽相同。有的学校几乎不作规定;有的却列出指定问题;有的学校对字数或页数有所限制,有的则没有;有的只要求一份“个人陈述”,有的却要求几篇短文;还有的除写一篇或几篇任选的短文外,还规定一篇必写的“个人陈述”。以下是申请普通研究生和法学院、商学院及医学院研究生院常见的具有代表性的问题。

第一类问题:高度自由发挥

这类问题只是泛泛要求申请人谈谈自己的背景、爱好、目标或任何自己感兴趣的话题,有的甚至连篇幅长短都不作限定。

--Provide any additional information you wish to bring to the attention of the Admission Committee. You may wish to discuss particular accomplishments, activities, employment, hobbies, or professional goals.

--We require all applicants to submit a personal statement. The statement should describe any unusual aspects of your background which might contribute to the diversity of our student body as well as describe any extraordinary skills or traits that you might possess which would be relevant to us.

--Please submit a personal statement not exceeding 500 words in length on a matter that interests you.

第二类问题:讲述有益经历

这类问题要求申请人对以往的成功或失败经历做分析检讨。

--Please discuss any significant activities or work experience which might enrich your study at our school.

--Describe an experience (either personal or professional) in which you failed. What did you learn from that experience?

第三类问题:挖掘求学动机

这类问题比较明确地要求申请人回答为什么选择该校,尤其是申请人能从该校获得什么。

--Tell us your reasons for seeking a professional education.

--At this point in your life, what motivates you to consider further education at our school?

--Discuss the aspects of your background and experience that have led you to choose a career in…

--This statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions committee and to discuss your personal and professional goals.

--How would you want your professional achievements and contributions to be remembered after your death?

--Discuss how a degree from our school/program will assist you in reaching your short - and long-term goals.

第四类问题:总结个人性格

这类问题要求申请人在回答的同时,对自己的性格特征进行分析总结。

--Please comment on your strengths and weaknesses in certain courses or activities.

--Discuss an ethical dilemma you have faced and how you dealt with it.

--If you could have dinner with any three people (alive now or from another era), who would they be and what would you hope to learn from them?

第五类问题:剖析不足之处

这类问题要求申请人对自身的不足之处作进一步说明。

--If you are unable to submit the minimum number of recommendation forms that we request, please give your reasons.

--Please explain anything in your application that does not accurately reflect your abilities or potential for successful graduate study.

--Discuss any unique aspect of your personal or professional background that may not be adequately presented elsewhere in this application.

当然,由于申请的学校(学院)不同,问题也会有所变化。下面对法学院、医学院及其他各类研究生院分别介绍有关要求。

法学院

由于法律行业要求研究人员或从业人员都具有很强的文字表达能力,法学院比其他类型的学院更加注重从"个人陈述"中体察申请人传情达义和缜密推理的能力。因此,法学院评审委员会更看重的是从申请人的陈述中,他们能发现什么,而不是陈述文章的长短。

商学院

商学院的申请材料中往往包含考察申请人是否具有成为经理、领导人员和团队成员的潜质。以下是三个常见的要求:

--Describe a situation in which you were compelled to take a stand against the majority. How did this experience strengthen your understanding of leadership?
--Discuss a significant accomplishment that demonstrates your potential as a leader and a manager.
--Describe a situation in which you were part of a group working to solve a problem and your contribution to that goal.

这三个问题分别从与压力抗衡、领导潜质和合作精神三个方面入手考察申请人的素质。

医学院

标准的AMCAS(American Medical College Application Service, 美国医学院申请服务中心)仅要求申请人提供一份“个人陈述”,而各个医学陆军的附加申请材料则常有关于以往经历的问题。

其他各类研究生院

申请人通常需在"个人陈述"中说明自己的学术研究兴趣所在及长期计划。