They say an SOP can make or break your chance of studying in your desired university abroad? Is it true? And, for the uninitiated, what is SOP anyway? Read on to know everything you ever wanted to know about this most important document in your student visa application!
What is a SOP and How to Write It?
So A Statement of Purpose (SOP), also known as a research statement or a letter of intent, is written to the admission panel, which is responsible behind your admission in that particular program. SOP basically mentions about your academic background, your educational interests, professional contributions, goals and the main reason which steered your mind towards pursuing this program or course abroad.
It will not be an exaggeration to say that the SOP is the decision maker of your application.
Sometimes a well-written SOP does great work in helping you put a great impression before the admission panel even without having a great academic profile. It happens when you clearly mention your goals and ambitions.
In a nutshell, a well-written SOP brings before the admission committee your overall personality and why the universities must choose you over other applicants. Other than that, the SOP also shows how well one is able to express their thoughts using language and writing skills.
Format: A State Of Purpose is usually submitted in the form of an essay, however, certain universities may also keep it question-based.
Components of a good SOP
- There are several elements that are crucial to your SOP. These include:
- Personal background
- Financial background
- Academic details
- Professional experience (full/part time, voluntary)
- Immediate and long term goals
- Reasons why you wish to study at a particular institution
- Reasons of being interested in the chosen field
- About extra-curricular activities
- Published works, if any
- Papers submitted, if any
- Interests, hobbies
How to write a great SOP?
First and foremost, don’t think that if your writing skills and hold on the particular language is good, you can write a ‘perfect’ SOP. Rather, always keep in mind these three steps when writing your SOP:
Some more points to remember!
- Planning: Take somebody’s help or plan yourself. But you need to create an outline of your SOP before writing it. Sometimes, sharing a narrative that developed your interest in your subject is a good way to build your introduction. Also create some bullet points and segments for mentioning about different areas of your life. Jot down your relevant achievements and expertise, and most importantly, your reason behind choosing the course and the university.
- Working on the Draft: Once a basic outline is done, now work on writing the first draft. The first thing you need to know here is that you must write your SOP in reverse chronological order i.e. starting with your current profile and then going back in time. Focus on sharing your learnings and knowledge during your education and professional experience. Limit the use of technical terms, and use active voice when writing your SOP. If there is a gap year or an academic issue, address them in a positive manner. Make sure your SOP has a clear introduction and conclusion.
- Final Review: It’s best if you can get in touch with a good student visa expert in reviewing your final SOP. But if you can’t, analyze and re-analyze your SOP again to help correct the flow, vocabulary, sentence construction errors, and other grammar issues. Proofread properly and double-check before submission.
- Stick to basic information about your family. Do not write family history!
- Mentioning about your work profile, it’s best to write what you learnt from different experiences there.
- Make sure that at no cost, you end up exceeding the word limit.
- Even if you are great at creative writing, your SOP should be crisp, avoiding any flowery language.
- Never lie in your SOP.
- Using creative fonts or colored papers is a Big No.
If you need any help or guidance in writing your SOP, Raffles Educity is there for you. Call on our toll-free number +91 9914219000″