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Statement of Purpose - Everything you need to know

Depending on which country you are applying to, most universities abroad require you to submit your application along with a personal statement or statement of purpose that articulates your career path and goals. This will help to ensure that they take into consideration non-academic factors and make an informed decision to offer the right courses to the right candidates.

What is a Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement?

A Statement of Purpose (SOP)/Personal Statement, is not a resume. It is an opportunity to showcase yourself to the admission panel and talks about your career path, interest, professional contributions, goals and the driving force behind pursuing a particular program. This is usually submitted in the form of an essay which usually has a word limit.

What is the purpose of a Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement?

The Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement helps the admission committee assess your take on life, your career goals, beliefs, subject knowledge, and your vision. In short, a well-written piece paints your overall personality for the universities.

It is an opportunity to pitch yourself to the committee and to indicate reasons why they should choose you over other applicants. A good ‘statement’ works great for weak academic profiles wherein you can compensate by highlighting your future goals and ambitions. A well-written ‘statement’ also reflects how well you can articulate your thoughts through words.

How do you write a great Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement?

Here are the three major steps that can guide your writing:

  • Plan it well

Create an outline for your ‘statement’ and work accordingly. Sharing an anecdote that developed your interest in your subject is a good way to build your introduction. Create pointers and categories, list down your relevant achievements and expertise, and most importantly, your reason behind choosing the course and the university.

  • Work on the draft

Focus on sharing your learnings and knowledge during your education and industry experience. Limit the use of technical terms and use active voice when writing your ‘statement’. If there is a gap year or an academic issue, address them in an optimistic manner. Make sure your ‘statement’ has a clear introduction and conclusion. Remember, you should always write your ‘statement’ in reverse chronological order.

  • Review before you send

It’s important to review what you’ve written. Re-analysing will help correct the flow, vocabulary, sentence construction errors, long sentences and other grammar issues. Get a second opinion, may be from your professor, senior or an IDP counsellor. Make sure you proofread properly and double check before submission.

Top 5 things your university expects in your Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose


Keep your language positive, precise and free from grammatical errors. Use active voice.


Highlight unique qualities that demonstrate your interest and goals.


Mention how your talent, interests or experience will contribute to the institution.


Talk about your motivation to pursue a particular course at the university.


Use examples to validate your pointers.


Our experienced IDP counsellors can guide you in writing a great personal statement/statement of purpose to help secure your admission to the institution of your choice. Make a free appointment with us to kick-start your study abroad journey.

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