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Statement of Purpose – What?, Why?, and How?

The statement of purpose is one of the most crucial documents that you provide to the  college or university that you are looking to apply to. It provides a glimpse into your personality and attitude towards the particular course and degree programme that you will be pursuing, and whether you have enough gusto and will to study at the particular university, pursuing that particular subject. So here we discuss the basics of SOPs, and what they aim to convey to admissions committees.

What is a SOP?

Starting with the basics, a statement of purpose, simply put, is an essay which aims to reveal your inclinations and motivations for applying to a particular course of study in a subject at a specific university. It aims to convey certain personality traits and achievements that may not be outlined in your academic documents. It typically will give the reader a gist of who you are, what your goals are, and why should you be given admission into the university to pursue a particular course.

Therefore, the SOP takes the structure of a brief document that highlights major events in your life, and the achievements and learnings gained from those events, and describes your current self as the culmination of such achievements. 

Why is the SOP important?

The SOP is a required document for seeking admission into many universities. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) which is the main portal through which students apply for admission into UK universities, requires you to upload a SOP as part of its application process. While you academic track record and other certificates provide evidence of your achievements, the SOP forms the coherent story behind each of these achievements, and how they have shaped you into the person you are. This is especially important, as it defines your character, and also portrays what sets you apart from the crowd.

How is the SOP structured?

SOPs have a standard format, which will be outlined by the university or course that you are applying to. However, there are some tips that can be taken into consideration while writing an SOP for any course or university.

  • You should thoroughly check your SOP for grammar and spelling errors. Moreover, a good SOP is not defined by sophisticated language, but rather by language that drives through the point you are making.
  • Do not make outrageously false claims, because these will be easily identified. Rather, it is recommended that you describe what really sets you apart from the crowd, whether it be your soft skills, or your inclination for the particular subject.
  • Include relevant hobbies, talents and experiences, that contribute to bringing forth your desire and interest in studying a particular subject. Moreover, also mention how obtaining admission at the university will help you secure your future, and how you will make the most of the opportunity.
  • Make yourself familiar with the university’s facilities, departments, and accolades. Implicitly use this research while making certain points, to emphasize that you have conducted thorough research into where you want to study and what you want to study.

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