What should your SOP include?

writing sop contains

The Statement of Purpose is all about ‘you’. The admission committee wants to know you as an applicant and why you are applying for a particular course. Your passion for the course you’re applying for, and the readiness to take on the challenges that you may encounter should be reflected in your SOP, in addition to the accomplishments you have made in the field. Here are the main points that should be included while writing SOP (remember, it should be between 500 and 700 words).

Why are you applying to this course

Talk about your love-affair with the course/field and how this particular course connects to your goals. You can start with how you got interested in this field, the incidents which encouraged you to apply for the course and your accomplishments in the field so far. Demonstrate your interest by providing examples of life experiences. you can narrate a brief story as they are remembered by the admission committee even after reading a thousand applications. Alternatively, you can demonstrate your interest by providing details about your research or work experience, internship or publication in the chosen field/subject.

Explain why you have chosen this particular university

Enumerate the reasons for choosing the specific university – you can highlight some specific feature, subject area or professor of the university that has drawn you towards it.

Write about your academic background in the field chosen

Mention about your academic history, from high school until the last institution attended. Also, it is important to showcase your preparedness for the course chosen, and to do so, you can mention about specific classes or project you have undertaken.

What is so special about you

Describe any experience that showcases your personal traits, such as independence, creativity and dedication. If you have had any experience outside the classroom environment that you think is worth mentioning, or directly relates to the course chosen, do mention it.

Include extra-curricular activities

Extracurricular indicates that a student is an all-rounder. The course load at the university-level is heavy, so the admission committee seeks out candidates who can balance studies and get involved in the community outside the formal learning environment, thus contributing to the spirit and unity of the educational institution. It could be sports, clubs, debates or any other activity of your choice.

State both your accomplishments and shortcomings

Highlight your accomplishments,  both academic and professional For instance, talk about your academic performance, accolades received for a research paper or the journey of successfully leading a team project. Also, highlight your shortcomings. Don’t narrate the whole episode of your weakness, just a line or two would suffice, with major emphasis on what you have initiated or done to get over them. Be honest about it!

How can you contribute to the chosen university

It should mainly include the unique skills you bring to the table, such as leadership, analytical thinking, etc. Give hard data on your skills. For instance, you could demonstrate your leadership skills by highlighting how you lead a team in school/college or workplace, or how you organized student volunteers, or led a group on a trek.

Where you want to be after completing the course

Do you envision yourself working in corporate after you graduate, or pursuing further studies in the same field? Highlight your further plan briefly, including both short and long-term goals.

Handle the unanswered questions (if any)

Leave no room for doubt and explain the gaps during your studies, if any. Whether you took the gap to support family or needed more time to complete a course, explain the gap years honestly. If possible, turn these to your advantage by mentioning how you progressed despite the break in your education.



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