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What to write in SOP-Do’s and Don’ts!

Statement of Purpose (SOP) is an essay or other written statement written by an applicant, often a prospective student applying to a college, university or graduate school. Statement of Purpose is what makes your application stand out from others. For a good kick-start, note the basics and compose an exemplary SOP, so you’re not just another face in the crowd.

Do’s – Useful tips

1. Your SOP should have an exciting beginning and an inspiring end to it. Most importantly, it has to be unique.

2. Talk about your academic history, study and future aspirations if you apply for a Master’s degree or higher. In the case of an undergraduate degree, focus more on short-term objectives and career orientation.

3. Your SOP should be talking about your educational intent concerning your history, present and future. There must be a relation and a clear articulation of objectives and interests. Writing in such a manner will make your SOP stand out.

4. Upon reading your SOP, the Admissions Board should be able to understand how you can contribute and add value to the university in terms of study and further depth in your chosen field. It is strongly recommended that you first search the related university programme pages through the website to ensure that you are well-matched to the programme and meet the eligibility requirements.

5. Always compose your SOP in an active voice and make sure that you express knowledge in a way that represents your positive thinking and enthusiasm. If you have any comments or references, try to quote them with the appropriate examples instead of being direct.

Don’ts – Common mistakes

1. Keep your SOP within the defined word limit and do not write more or less than the prescribed word count. Ensure that you adopt the format, font size and template you have been asked for,

2. Do not use the same SOP for all applications. Customize it to meet unique university specifications.

3. Refrain from discussing personal details, family information and circumstances. These are irrelevant to the SOP.

4. Don’t mention scores of your IELTS, GMAT, SAT, GRE, etc. These are the components of your application. The repetition of the details referred to in the application calls for refusal.

5. Circumvent the use of unnecessarily familiar words, copied details and content from websites.

6. Don’t make your SOP sound empty, ambiguous or meaningless. Provide facts, explanations or examples where possible.

7. SOPs are majorly rejected due to low correlation from start to finish. Don’t compose in a way that comes across as pleading. Words like “thinking, believing and feeling” typically put off the admissions board. Ensure that you write in a constructive way that indicates that you are not a dreamer, but a strong believer who has clarity about future goals.

We understand that writing your SOP can be quite a challenge, but focused and precise work should do the magic. If you are not confident to create an SOP of your own, several online and offline SOP writing services are available that can make sure that you get enrolled in the university you desire.

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Shloka Dave

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