A Statement of purpose, or SOP, is a statement of perspective. It is one of the most essential documents for applying for admission to graduate schools & universities. SOP is an essay that elaborates on the admission committee, who you are, why you wish to apply, why to choose you, what's next in your future, and what you will do after qualifying for your graduation and Master's degree.
SOP is also known for many words like a letter, application essay, personal background, aim for graduate study, cover letter and more.
Remember that prominent universities like Stanford select students based on well-written SOP.
Why is SOP important?
SOP is one of the prime factors when an admission committee head selects you or provides an admission.
Based on your strong SOP along with transcripts, backlog certificate, Marksheet & academic background, reputed universities recognize eligible students and select them.
The most beneficial point is what? Do you know?
You can be selected even with a low academic profile with a high-quality SOP letter.
Doesn't that sound cool?
What is the statement of Purpose template/Format?
High-rated universities have their sop format/template, which is why it is the critical part where people get confused about what to write on their SOP and what not to because it is written differently for different courses. Likewise, MBA sop templates can be different from MS & UG courses.
There are plenty of sop templates available online. You must find an SOP format that can be followed for your particular course.
For applying to any degree, either its undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate courses, you need to write a strong SOP initiating from your basic academics to the future objectives; the letter should cover all the aspects of your past lessons, present courage & future goals.
Below mentioned are the information that you need to encompass in your SOP
This generally is in the first paragraph of the content to give the admission
Note that you don’t need to introduce yourself. Most of the candidates make this mistake they start talking about their childhood memories.
Make sure & don't forget the intent of telling about the powerful SOP.
Follow the given guidelines to write this paragraph superbly.
- Explain the previous academic career and connect it with the future optimizing goal.
- Briefly introduce how you align with that field.
- Tell them why it is quite an exciting course for you.
To maintain your humbleness, you need to write about your academic qualifications, projects, inspirations, strengths and the industrial complex you have attained.
The employment history section of the SOP format should fill in your gaps. You need to mention your employment history, like your job position, how long you worked in a particular position and organization, what were your job responsibilities and so on.
Why this country and city?
In this section, you must strongly argue your case for choosing the country you did. You can do this by relating your program’s excellence to your chosen country.
Include the factors like the top universities in that country, the scope of your program in your country, how being in that country will help you grow, the program variations in that country, career prospects, research options, further study opportunities and so on.
This paragraph should convince the reader and analyzers that you have analyzed your prospects in other countries and taken a final decision rather than just following a mass and choosing a country and city to study abroad.
In this section, you must also express your reasons for not choosing your home country for further studies.
Why this university and course?
In this section, you need to smartly depict how your chosen university will help you achieve your goals. The course should match your interests and, in the best-case scenario, your projects, your previous academic course, and your job.
You can also add factors like how your chosen university stands out. Does it provide research opportunities, how acclaimed is the university, its internships and placements opportunities and so on?
The financial support section can be used to show who will support you financially while you study abroad. Your financial support could be your savings, student loan, parents, and office, which could be sponsoring you. You can also mention scholarships, financial aid and stipends if you have them.
Your career plan
This is a rather important section of SOP in which you must combine all the above to relate it to your career plan and life goals. You need to mention how the program relates to your career goals, how your university can help, and how the country you have chosen is the right fit for you.
So, what is a perfect conclusion? The answer is there is not any. Rather than concluding your SOP with a so-called perfect conclusion, use any words if have left to embark on how this opportunity can change your life.
What should SOP be?
In short, your SOP needs to emanate the following features:
Well written theme
- Grammatically sound
- Coherent, smooth and interesting
- Cover one topic in One Paragraph if possible
- Complete and concise
- No verbose words
- No unnecessary jargons
- No braggings about accomplishments
- Humble, modest and honest
- No informal & touchy words
- Good Vocabulary
- Confident writing
- Proofread & Double-check before applying
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your SOP?
These are some of the most common mistakes made by SOP composers. These are the top 10 common mistakes to avoid while writing your SOP
- Going into details about the academic profile.
- Getting personal and using slang.
- Writing a flashy and verbose SOP.
- Dishonesty about your academic profile, projects and jobs.
- Grammatical inconsistencies.
- Not giving enough time to proofread and fix the flaws.
- Repeating your points.
- Highlighting and excessively trying to justify the backlogs and lower GPA.
- Flattery is going to take you nowhere
- Writing too much or too little (Keep the word count in check)
Important FAQs related to SOP
1. How do I write a perfect graduate SOP that is accepted?
He/She can only write excellent guidelines following SOP. It’s up to the admissions officer whom to choose and whom not to.
2. How do I polish my SOP?
Before applying the SOP letter, proofread and double-check the grammatical, spacing & formatting mistakes.
You can also show it to your friends and literate elders and see how they react.
Pro-tip: Look at yourself with the eye of the admissions committee.
3. Should I explain the low grades & low marks in my SOP?
You shouldn't explain anything concerning low marks, and do not attach extra-low marked documents. Some universities ask you about the year of the gap. You can say the reason for the gap between your studies. But in general, no university asks about low grades because your selection depends on your exam scores, financial profile, interests, etc.