I'm in the process of writing one. I thought it was okay until I read some samples I found online and realized I wouldn't get accepted to 3rd grade with my statement. Okay that's a bit harsh. Does anybody have any tips for this? I see some as essentially life stories, and others as "I'm so F-in cool just look at all the things I did!!" I mean look at this: http://www.eduers.com/personalstatement/Physics.html Mine is more of a "Why I got into physics, what I learned in undergrad, why I want to go to grad school and what I want to do afterwards." But of course not as dry as that. I haven't done any extracurricular activities. I did undergrad research, but I earned credit for it. Does that count? Then of course comes the Personal Achievements/Contributions question. UC SB apparently requires this, so I can't skip it. It's essentially what's the best sob story turned heroic epic you can churn out. Unfortunately (or actually fortunately) for me I have both my parents, lower-middle class but always have food on the table, not a minority in any way. What the hell do I write then? Do I just send them a blank page? They also want a CV like some other places do as well. Should I list the undergrad research I did even if I got school credit for it? For example right now I am writing a program that is supposed to model the phase separations of a mixture of lipids and cholesterol in a lipid bilayer at a certain temperature. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.