Personal statements are commonly requested when applying for scholarships and graduate / professional schools.
It is a sample of writing (often around 2 pages) describing you at your best, your reasons for choosing the course you have chosen, your research interests, your objectives, and the unique ways you can contribute to the program to which you are applying.
A great personal statement shows five things:
Good personal statements tell stories that demonstrate your strengths.
Know your strengths – How can you be of value or how can you contribute? Begin by looking at your good experiences for evidence of your strengths and then ask those who know you best for their thoughts. Many people find they have hidden strengths that are only obvious to their close friends and family.
Know your audience – Research the program(s) and organization(s) you are applying to through online searches, program descriptions, and emailing for more information. Talk with professors, graduate students, and advisers.
Show the university that there is a good match between you and the program you are applying for.
Tell a story that shows your strengths with examples. Avoid just writing a first-person essay where each paragraph is a direct response to the points you are being asked to address. Avoid starting every sentence with “I” or “I want.”
Source: British Council Foundation