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Explaining 'bumps in the road' in personal statement?

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I have heard differing opinions and sides as to whether or not to talk about some bad grades throughout undergrad in your personal statement...

 

Is this something you should definitely include? Or would focusing more on patient experiences/more impactful work that led you to the PA profession be more beneficial?  Or should you figure out how to include a couple bad grades and good patient experiences all in one?

 

Any and all advice much appreciated.  Thank you.

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It depends if explaining the bumps would interrupt your flow and distract the reader from the overall theme of your essay. I tried to squeeze in a personal tragedy in my essay but it didn't work out because it sounded forced and I couldn't really elaborate on it. In my final PS, I focused on my healthcare experience and took out that section altogether. If you can answer the question, "How does this explanation of my grades tie in with my desire/ability to be a PA, and how have I learned/grown from it?" then by all means include it. If you can't and it reads like a wedge jammed into an otherwise flowing piece, then scrap it. You'll probably have other opportunities to address it, either in the supplemental application questions or during the interview. 

 

...but this is my first time applying too, so take this with a grain of salt. Perhaps some more experienced veterans of the process can offer better opinions. In the end, it is your PS, so do what feels right to you. 

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I agree with jigglytofu. You want your PS to flow well and create a nice story. Grades may or may not be part of it.

 

But most schools do have a section on the supplemental where you can explain your grades if you choose to.

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Try it on in a draft and see how it flows. It's probably best done briefly (the cause of the problem) and then what it taught you and how you overcame it. 

 

How people overcome problems can be more interesting than reading about someone who never had any.

 

The cool thing about writing: it's not final until you submit it. 

 

Good luck!

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