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Statement of Purpose (SOP)

Everything you need to know about SOP Letter 

Universities abroad require you to submit your application with a statement that articulates your career direction and goals. This allows them in ensuring the right candidate for the courses offered through them.

What is a SOP?

A Statement of Purpose (SOP), also called a research statement or a letter of intent, is written to the admission panel and talks about your career path, interest, expert contributions, goals and the driving force behind pursuing a particular program. This is typically submitted in the form of an essay, however, certain universities may also keep it question-based. It is the maximum integral a part of your application that comes to a decision your admission in your chosen institution. 

It is a long essay required through universities overseas and nowadays a number of the Bangladeshi universities at some point of the application process. As the full form of SOP reveals, a Statement of Purpose is an essay stating the motive of making use of to a selected direction in a particular college. This essay consists of a gist of who you're, who you want to become, and how equipped you are to pursue a certain direction in an institution. The essay seeks to recognize the candidate’s lifestyles, the motivations for the selected profession course and his/her goals. Hence, you ought to discuss the past incidents that have motivated your profession path in a specific domain in which you aspire to grow by joining a course/university.

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Why is SOP Important?

A well-written SOP is extremely critical in your admission. Needless to say, there are many factors of a candidate’s application which are inspected before finalising a decision. While the academic record and other examination scorecards/academic transcripts are basically objective in nature, an SOP is the best in reality subjective element of your application. It is the only record in your application that gives you the opportunity to prove that you have something specific that makes you stand out of the crowd. As such, it is the file of your application docket that could hugely decide your admission.

Purpose of a SOP 

The SOP is the decision maker of your application. It enables the admission committee assess your take on life, your career dreams, beliefs, subject knowledge, and your vision. In short, a well-written SOP paints your overall personality for the universities. It is an opportunity to pitch your cause to the committee and reasons why they must select you over other applicants. An appropriate SOP works exceptional for weak academic profiles wherein in you can compensate by using highlighting your future dreams and ambitions. A well-written SOP also displays how well you could express your thoughts using your writing skills.

What is the General SOP Format?

Most universities throughout the globe have a widespread format/template this is acceptable. However, the content in SOP varies with different kinds of courses.

Components of an amazing SOP

There are several elements that are vital for 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 

Do’s for your SOP application

 SOP for Undergraduate

 SOP for Postgraduate

Your purpose of taking the program and the opportunities you wish to explore

Your short-term and long-term career and personal goals

 Your academic journey and accomplishments

 Evidence of professional achievements

Extracurricular activities

Anecdotes of teamwork, leadership and other corporate qualities

Motivation and career aspirations 

 Career expectations from the institutions

Assignments undertaken during studies

Noteworthy projects undertaken at work

 Internships, if any

 Volunteer work, if any


How to write a notable SOP?

Here are the three most important steps you want to preserve in thoughts when writing your SOP

1. Plan it well 

Create and define in your SOP and work accordingly. Sharing an anecdote that advanced your interest in your concern is a very good way to construct your introduction. Create recommendations and categories, listing down your relevant achievements and expertise, and most importantly, your reason behind choosing the course and the university. 

2. 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 SOP. If there is a gap year or an academic issue, address them in an optimistic manner. Make sure your SOP has a clear introduction and conclusion. Remember, you should always write your SOP in reverse chronological order.  

3. Review earlier before you send

It’s critical to check what you’ve written. Re-analysing will help correct the flow, vocabulary, sentence creation errors, long sentences and different grammar issues. Get a second opinion, may be from your professor, senior or an IDP counsellor. Make positive you proofread nicely and double take a look at before submission.

What do colleges search for in an SOP?

While drafting your SOP, you want to keep in thoughts that the admission committee can be reviewing thousands of applications for the same course. Thus, no longer only needs your SOP to be crisp and precise, but it have to also highlight the individuality for your profile. Here are few things that the university overview committee usually look for in a scholar’s SOP: 

  • Your writing functionality is contemplated on your SOP. Your SOP need to be free from grammatical errors. The language need to be lucid sufficient for them to realize yet have to have an awesome vocabulary. Make sure not to use too many heavy phrases as sometimes an excessive amount of rich vocabulary makes the sentence redundant and it fails to communicate the meaning.
  • What makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd? Highlight your particular side/unique personality. The Adcom have to be able to recognize you an as individual via your SOP. Your interests and goals will assist them understand you on a personal basis.
  • With your talent, previous records and interest, how and what can you make a contribution to the branch and college/university, as a whole? Think of it as a two-way process. If you get an admission, your career will get a kick-begin and thru your efforts and participation, the department/university can acquire benefits. You want to mention how you'll be capable of make a contribution closer to their community, be it thru sports, community services, societies or clubs, and so on.
  • Being familiar with the university facilities and curriculum will help you a first-rate deal. You need to be aware about the scholar programmes, faculty, internship opportunities, scholar centres and societies, traditions and many others that sets the university aside from others. The Adcom ought to be convinced which you recognize approximately the department and university/college very well and thus, you're applying in it and not applying randomly.
  • Your motivation or idea to study a specific course need to clear, obvious and justified. Adcom does not approve of bragging sentences within the SOP. So maintain it original, real, and free from any overbearing or smug statements.

How to make your SOP stand out from the Crowd?

Now that we've assessed how important your SOP is, we come to the critical part – the way to write an SOP that stands out among thousands of applicants every year. There are obviously some basics about SOP writing, which clear what all you need to maintain in thoughts like fashionable phrase limit, format, etc.

How long should a statement of purpose be? 

Statement of Purpose need to be 1-2 pages long, ideally wrapped in 800-1000 words. However, the length of this document might also range as in keeping with university-unique requirements. Some universities have a fixed length and sample of SOPs required, that's fixed to 500 words most effective, even 200 words in some cases. Most of the colleges accept conventional length, which is 800-1000 words, which may work beyond a thousand, but now not exceeding 1200 words, in some cases.

It is generally clean to write a story of your lifestyles explaining the importance of each incident in shaping or moulding your character. However, in terms of defining your SOP in the communicated word restrict with the aid of some college, the mission is to portray your best within limited phrases. In such cases, it is better to say the foremost achievements from each vicinity you been too such as faculty, university, office, and many others.

What not to do in your SOP application!


Stick to basic information and overview. Don’t write complete family history.


Sensitive financial details. If you are applying for scholarships, a separate document will be required for the same. 


Minute professional details. Talk about learning experiences, not about water cooler talks


Do not exceed the given word limit.


Be crisp, do not flatter in your language.


Also, avoid too many technical terms.


Do not lie in your SOP, dishonesty may lead to rejection.


Using creative fonts or coloured papers is a strict no.


Don’t write that the institution was not your first choice.


Beware with humour, it can backfire!

Our skilled IDP counsellors can guide you in writing a great SOP to assist secure your admission in the institution of your choice. Visit us for a free counselling session or walk in on your nearest IDP Srilanka office to speak about it in detail.

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