Is this true?

<p>I heard that the application committee only looks at your personal statements for ten seconds. Is that true? Also, just how important are these statements? Could it make or break you?</p>

<p>I'm not an expert on the process or anything, but uh, ten seconds is ridiculously fast. I'm sure that they read them fairly fast given the amount of applications they have, but I doubt that they just glance at them.</p>

<p>From what I know regarding the UCLA admissions process, one's application is handed out to trained alumni readers who read your application in its entirety. They make their judgments, if I remember correctly rating various aspects of your application, and writing comments as needed. Your application, with comments inserted, is then handed over to the admissions officers who come to the final decision. Yes, it is very much possible that admissions officers only glance at your personal statement, but that's because another campus representative has already taken the time to digest it. As for Cal, I vaguely recall coming across a document that suggests Berkeley's admissions procedures mirror that of UCLA's.</p>

<p>Even though there are thousands of applications every year, they take more than 10 seconds. For me personally, I think my essay is what got me in (my stats weren't as great as some of the ones I hear on these boards), so they had to read mine pretty well, I think. </p>

<p>Certainly don't skimp on your essay, this is a chance to prove yourself and add things the application doesn't already ask for.</p>

<p>the personal statement is a huge part of your application. like you've probably been told already, your personal statement is your chance to show them who you are and what you're all about. the people who read applications recognize this, so they have an entire process where they have, i believe, two or three people independently read your entire personal statement and assign it a score. then those scores have to reasonably agree or else they have more people read it. so yes, your personal statement is up there with your gpa and SAT score.</p>

<p>Don't sweat the personal statement. It really doesn't matter - if you have good scores that is.</p>

<p>here's my (somewhat well grounded) impression: they have 2 or 3 readers independently spend a few minutes reading the essays. The readers (again, independently) then use the essays and the rest of the application in assigning a "comprehensive score" (i bet it's something like a 1-5 rating) that includes all academic and nonacademic considerations. </p>

<p>the readers don't care so much about how well written the essay is, but focus more on the content--they're looking for leadership, special talents, overcoming hardships, and so on. Sentence structure, grammar, organization, etc., aren't that important as long as the textual errors don't detract from the content, though of course it's better to have an essay free of errors than one riddled with them. for what it's worth, when I applied my essays had several grammar errors and typos and i still got in.</p>

<p>Listen to whatever you want. If you want to be accepted, you shoud do everything in your power to make it happen. Do you think that means having essays into which you put time, thought, and effort, or not?</p>

<p>Ask yourself this: do you have any good reason to believe the 10 second rule? I don't think you do. I know I don't. I do have reason to believe that the essays can make or break an application. </p>

<p>If you want to be accepted, do what's in your control to make it happen.</p>

<p>"Sentence structure, grammar, organization, etc., aren't that important as long as the textual errors don't detract from the content"</p>

<p>Textual errors ALWAYS detract from the content.</p>