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Statement of Purpose is one of the most important part of your application that tells the representative looking at your application who you are, your career progression path so far, your professional interests and your future plans.
Benefits of a good SOP
SOP helps applicants to stand out among others with similar grades, academic scores, work background and projects to the admissions committee the real “YOU” beyond numbers. It helps the committee assess that you are a serious student and a clear thinker, gives them a clear understanding of where you have been and where you choose to go. A statement of purpose helps the admissions committee make a decision in your favor. In a sense, it is the applicant’s assessment of who he/she is, as a student and as a well-rounded individual.
A well written SOP enhances your chance of admissions to your preferred universities and reflects your ability to portray clearly and intelligently through your writing skills.
It is one of the most important items of the application packet to U.S. universities. It can ‘Make or Break’ an application.
Contents of a good SOP
Statement of Purpose should consist of the following:-
- Applicant’s Background
- Education & professional experience
- Interest in the field chosen
- Immediate and long term goals
- Reasons for deciding to pursue education at a particular institution
- Extracurricular activities and honors
- What is special about the applicant?
What do universities look for in a student SOP
SOP’s paint a picture of the applicants overall personality. It helps admissions committee to:-
- Hear from the applicant as to how they compare with other applicants
- Would they succeed at the school?
- Are they serious about their academic pursuits?
- Other different viewpoints
- Interesting & distinct background and interests
- Would the applicant be able to contribute and enrich the program?
It also showcases the unusual hardships or obstacles that an applicant had to overcome, unusual accomplishments, whether professional, personal or academic, skills and personal characteristics contributing to success in that field, what appeals to the applicant about the program and how does his/her strength and interest match the needs of the program.
SOP’s should be honest, real, distinct and establish the personal connection and should not replicate the resume, prepare a work of fiction, recount experiences, write a canned essay and state obvious reasons for choosing the school.