Wanting to write an exceptional SOP for your master’s program but not sure how to write it? Keep reading to discover how you can make your Statement of Purpose (SOP) stand out. Let’s first understand what an SOP is. A statement of purpose is a crucial document that is needed while you apply for any University Abroad. It is an extensive document that contains all important information related to you. From your motivation behind applying for the course to your academic and professional background, an SOP needs to have everything in a very unique and crisp format. It should mention all the relevant information about your previous background along with your extracurricular, internships, projects and future goals. A unique, crisp and well-curated statement of purpose with the relevant points increases your chances of being selected for the University.
There are multiple types of SOPs viz. SOP for masters degree, Undergraduate SOP, PhD program SOP, and Professional SOP; the objective and format for all the SOPs remains the same. Some Universities also ask for SOP for scholarship which is a bit different from the course SOP. However, the primary purpose of the SOP is to reflect on your previous background and convey your goals very clearly. A well-written Statement of Purpose should not be lengthy but it should contain all the information within the required word limit as given by your University or the respective country. To help you curate an ideal SOP, read further before you start drafting your SOP.
Building Blocks Of An SOP
It is important to follow a well-organized format to represent yourself in your SOP. The standard format of an SOP is as follows:
- Projects and Paper Publications
- Internships and Work Experience
- Extracurricular Activities
- University Specific Paragraph
Focus Points to Keep in Mind While Writing Academic Background in SOP
Out of all the paragraphs an SOP contains, representing your Academic background in SOP is integral. This information in the SOP should be quite exhaustive, it should be well defined and crisp. All important information that you think is connected with the course you are applying for should be highlighted in the academic background in the SOP. However, mentioning your scores is not important until and unless you want to highlight something that will make your application stand out. This section of SOP helps you in conveying your previous background and how it is beneficial for your future prospects. It also gives the reader a clear insight into your course of interest and your achievements.
Your academic background in SOP should emphasize on the following key points:
Academic information of either school or college- This point cannot be missed in your Statement of Purpose as it narrows down the subjects of your interest and how you have excelled in your previous academic journey. Mention only the relevant and important information that you think is interlinked with the applied course. Starting from your achievements in school to mentioning the course of interest you pursued during your undergraduate is a great addition to this paragraph. Remember, not to mention anything negative that might put your application in a negative light. In case there’s a gap or change, of course, you should ensure that you mention the proper reason explaining the same (do not write a random/ unimportant reason, give a reason that can convince the admission committee).
Few important points that you can emphasize on when writing about your school or college:
- Give insight about the specific course and subjects that further rooted your interest in the course you are applying for.
- Mention the important research projects or papers that you undertook during this tenure or any of your achievements.
- Explain why and how that course helped you in your career growth and will also help you with the course you are applying for and your career in general.
- Mention your Extracurricular in UG and how they helped you develop holistically.
While writing your academic background in SOP you need to ensure that you clearly justify your interest, goals and most importantly the reason behind choosing the course you are applying to. Your academic achievement plays an important role in making your Statement of Purpose convincing. Below is a sample of an academic specific program that might help you:
“My devotion for the subject grew with time and I steered to get a bachelor’s degree in (Subject Name). But even after scoring a good rank, I failed to get a seat in my desired course. So I went for a second competitive major from the (University Name). I always had a gluttonous appetite for knowledge and the proclivity to obtain the best grades in my scholastic field and successfully secured the second rank in the state at an intermediate level. Choosing (Course Name) as my undergraduate major was like sailing the first ship to success. I studied and apprehended substantial subjects like (Subjects). These subjects bolstered my problem-solving skills in a virtual world efficiently. It enhanced my logical reasoning and abetted me in applying a creative approach to various automated issues.
Besides this, I also studied (Any extra course you pursued) which helped me in dissecting protocol mechanisms, network security and performance analysis of machines. Talking of electives, I opted for Object-Oriented Programming Java, where I with full attention learned (Subject Names). All these subjects set up a robust conceptual foundation for my career. My agility got displayed in the projects that I took over and developed a prototype of (Project details) in my first year. While in my third year I developed (Another project Detail). These projects were done using different languages and really propelled me to get a detailed insight into this domain. This helped in bloom as a profound computer enthusiast early in my bachelor years.
Besides academics, my propensity toward holistic growth has been at an all-time high. Extracurricular activities always helped me to prosper ahead in my journey. To enjoy the social atmosphere, I participated in several activity clubs in my college. I was also a member of the (Society Name) where we impart basic knowledge of (Subject Names) systems to the students. Furthermore, I worked in the (club name) cell of my college, where I developed a website for hostel/mess booking for college students. I was also a part of the sponsorship team in the cultural fest called (Name of the Fes), where I toiled to amass funds for the event. All these activities navigated me in a progressive direction where I learned teamwork and enhanced my communication and time management skills. “
Do’s and Don’ts That Need to Be Kept in Mind While Writing Academic Background in SOP
- Write clearly about the course you undertook in your previous academic journey
- Mention your interests and hobbies
- Write about the certifications or achievements
- Mention how you have contributed to your University before and how will you focus on the same in the University you are applying for?
- Important class or classes, you partook in which stimulated your desire for graduate study; specific project or class?
- Work experience, especially if you had any kind of responsibility for testing, designing, or researching a product or apparatus.
- Research or any thesis you might have done during your undergrad years. You can also mention the prof whom you performed under, the title of the project and what were your responsibilities. Write technically; it’s professors, not secretaries, reading this.
- Do not Include each and every detail that is mentioned in your CV/Resume
- Do not use any negative terms that might put your application in a negative light.
- Do not include any complex and difficult terms that might confuse the reader.
- Do not talk about your weaknesses, portray them as your challenges that you plan to overcome.
Tick off the following points before you send your final draft of the SOP
- Make sure it’s well written with all the relevant information about you.
- You have proofread it and checked all the grammatical and punctuation errors
- You have followed the format that mentions your life clearly
- The SOP is not too big. It should convey all information in a maximum of 2 pages (This may vary as per the guidelines given by the University)
- There are no unnecessary filler sentences
- All the information you have mentioned is true
Curating an ideal SOP is not a piece of cake. It requires an immense amount of research and time to present all the information about your life in a presentable and clear manner. In case you are finding it difficult to write an SOP that can make your application stand out then you can also reach out to various SOP Services near you. You can search for some of the best SOP writers in India and reach out to them to get your SOP created. However, if you have decided to write your SOP on your own, make sure you follow all the important guidelines required to write an exceptional SOP.