In Foreign universities, SOP play a vital role to get shorlisted for interview
Well written SOP can compensate your low scores in Entrance exams
SOP is the first thing you should focus on after deciding on course & college
How to write better SOPs ?
Students planning to study abroad often grapple with writing SOPs. An SOP i.e. a statement of Purpose is one of the most influential part of your college application process (apart from your score) especially in countries outside India like US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia & Singapore. It can decide whether you get accepted into a college of your choice or not.
Your SOP is your voice that tells the admission committee of your dream college about your education and career goals, your future plans and aspirations. As its name signifies, a statement of purpose should state the purpose behind your application to a particular college.
Students often get confused between college essays and a Statement of Purpose. Although both the terms are often interchangeable, a college essay is required for graduate admissions and is more explanatory covering broader topics, about you, your interests and hobbies, people/incidents that have influenced you etc. while a statement of purpose is generally required for graduate and PhD applications and should essentially cover your educational and professional background and discuss your career goals.
Things to keep in mind while writing an SOP:
Always bear in mind that an SOP can make or break your chances of getting into your dream college. Work hard on it with patience and take out enough time for it. Do not leave it till the last minute and do a sloppy work!
- Give your Best Shot: a well-thought, well-written SOP can do wonders for your application, even if you have average SAT/GRE/TOEFL scores. Don’t throw away your chances of making it to the college of your dreams by writing up an average SOP. Make your SOP as good as it can get. Make it crisp yet detailed, short yet comprehensive.
- Take your Time: Writing the perfect SOP can be a time-consuming process. Take your time-2-3 weeks at least. Come up with at least a dozen drafts before your finalise your SOP.
- Look inside You: Take out time to introspect. You might get confused with the long list of dos and don’ts and not know what to write at all. In such a situation, the best way out is to shut yourself up in a room with a piece of paper and start noting down the basic points.
- Make it Unique: You will not be the only student applying to study in a college abroad. Your SOP should make you stand out from other applicants. Discover your USPs and showcase them. Again, for this you’d need to refer to pint no.3!
- Write what the College wants to Know: A college would try to understand where you come from, your personality, your ambitions and how driven you are from your SOP. Make sure you make these things clear to them through what you write. The admissions committee would be looking at choosing a class that is well-balanced and has a healthy balance of students with differing yet competent personalities. So apart from good scores in SAT/GRE/GMAT/TOEFL, the committee (comprising of at least 4-5 people) would try to pick out students who will make the class a stimulating place filled with interesting, confident and keen students. Your SOP should give them these vibes. But be careful, they’re quick to spot a fake.
- Your Passion for the Subject: Your SOP should reflect the enthusiasm you have for the subject you want to pursue. The admissions committee is looking for committed and zealous students who will contribute towards making the class as stimulating as possible.
- Avoid flowery language: In a bid to impress the selection committee, do not commit the blunder of using long and complicated words just for the heck of it. Try to be succinct instead and stick to short, crisp sentences.
- Be careful with the Grammar: MS word should be your best friend while writing out your SOP! Steer clear of grammatical errors, punctuation problems and spelling mistakes.
Share your SOP writing tips, experience & best practices in the comments section. Let everyone benefit.