How to Write a Personal Essay for Pharmacy School

Anyone who has to write a personal essay for pharmacy school is likely to find the task daunting. Unlike providing objective or hard information such as PCAT or GPA scores, personal essays can appear to be highly subjective tasks without clear beginnings or endings. It is stated in the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) guide that these essays need to address why the applicant is choosing a career in pharmacy and how a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree would impact their 'immediate and long-term career goals.' They should additionally describe how their personal, professional, and education backgrounds would assist in achieving their goals.

Here Are Some Tips on How to Prepare for and Write Essay for Pharmacy School

    1. The perfect personal essay for pharmacy school does not follow a specific formula. What is very important to understand is that members of an admissions committee look at these essays from a number of different angles. Compare reading an essay of application to viewing an artwork. Everyone will interpret it a little differently. The PharmCAS statement mentioned above is the one that appears at the front of their portal.This is not to say it is what every reader looks for. Consequently, it is best not to follow a predefined formula. A common mistake is asking successful pharmacy students to say how they went about writing their application essays. It is a mistake to believe that a student who succeeded possesses the secret formula and that every candidate will succeed by copying that formula. What happens is the same formats are passed around and get posted on a variety of forums and websites. This results in numerous personal statements or essays sounding and looking the same.
    2. Begin your personal essay for pharmacy school by creating a rough plan or outline. Make a note of things about your experiences and yourself you feel are relevant and/or sufficiently important to include. Make sure the story you are telling is focused on you. When your essay reaches your reviewer(s), it is likely they will have looked at other aspects of your pharmacy school application such as your academic history, background, PCAT scores (where applicable), grades, recommendation letters, and so on. These begin to paint a picture of you in readers' minds. Your essay needs to match the 'you' story that is painted in other sections. If, for instance, your college record appears to have a biology or medicine theme, it would seem consistent for your essay to indicate your desire to work as a pharmacist from an early age. That a personal or application essay is a complementary and consistent part of an application is more vital than it is to provide a 'hook' or 'distinguishing' anecdote.
    3. What made you decide to study pharmacy? People choose careers in healthcare for numerous reasons (particularly so the pharmacy sector). Some student may say that they before they settled on pharmacy, they had plans to study architecture, oceanography, chemistry, safari park management, or veterinary science. It is to be hoped your choice is based on better planning than this. The point here is that it is better to devote some quality time thinking about what you want and to transfer those thoughts into specific and personalized statements within your essay. This surpasses writing something you think an admissions panel wants to read or something someone advised you to write.
    4. Sincerity and honesty pays. Read some personal essay for pharmacy school examples to understand that no particular 'success' formula exists. When you read different essays you may find that candidates sometimes believe that these essays are graded in the same way as essay questions for, say chemistry or physiology exams where checks apply to particular concepts, words, and phrases. This causes writers to include a number of 'discussion points' instead of telling their own personal stories. Hence, their essays can sound impersonal, formulaic, and/or detached, and harm the candidate.
    5. This tip on writing a personal essay concerns filling in gaps. Every student's journey to becoming a pharmacist tends to be a little different. Some people, for instance, might have attended college for a while, taken a break, and want to back. Other students may be entering college as first-time students. Then there are others who may have found it difficult to initially adjust, or found that personal circumstances diverted their attention during a particular semester. There is a separate section in pharmacy school application forms for applicants to talk about 'Special Circumstances.' Use this to cover any lapses or gaps. Personal essays can also be used to describe how 'special circumstances' helped you refocus on initial objectives and goals. Use your essay to tidy up any inconsistencies or to fill gaps you think are apparent in your college application.
    6. An amazing pharmacy personal statement means understanding the importance of punctuation, spelling, and grammar. These essays are a way of communicating your uniqueness in words and that is how they are evaluated by the recipient school/college. While interviews are a way of determining how well a candidate is able to communicate in person, application essays demonstrate the ability to communicate on paper.
    7. Get another person to read your pharmacy essay before submitting it. This does not mean simply proofreading it. Rather, it can help you see what your essay says about the person who wrote it - you. It does not matter if the reader likes your essay. If the reader is a friend, they will probably say yes. What you actually want is feedback! Ask the reader to list and show you three essential points in your work that exclusively indicate your reasons for wanting to study pharmacy. At times, writers get overly attached to what they write. Another person can provide an alternative view of what a piece actually says.
    8. To end up with the best pharmacy personal statement or essay, plagiarism should be avoided. The essays of friends and people you know, as well as websites that publish personal essays, should always be avoided. Your personal story should be original and told in your words. It is stated on the PharmCAS website that admission essays may be submitted as source documents to the Turnitin Admissions checking system to detect plagiarized content and other possible violations of the code of conduct for applicants. The PharmCAS and individuals in pharmacy colleges take plagiarism seriously.
    9. How personal essays are interpreted is very much down to the people who read them. The tips provided here are the perspective of one qualified pharmacist, educator, and admissions committee member. That said, it is likely four separate admission board members would offer four different perspectives, including the points that are important. Give readers chance to find out about the unique you, who you actually are, and the reasons you have decided to study pharmacy. If what you write is genuine, your story will tell itself!
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