What is a Statement of Purpose?

Just like every job, a cover letter is required that highlights the strengths of any individual. In order to apply for a foreign university or college, international students have to write a cover letter which is also known as the Statement of Purpose.

The statement of purpose (SOP) is an essay that a student has to submit when applying for a graduate program at a foreign college or university. It includes an overview about yourself and previous performance at the academic front, goals, and achievements. It helps the student in expressing themselves as it describes why a particular student wishes to study that particular course. If written correctly, it plays a major role in impressing the associated faculty, which often leads to a successful admission.

How does it help students?

The SOP gives the colleges and universities an overview of you. It eases their decision-making about the student if he or she is suitable for that particular course or not. They can also determine if the applicants are really interested in the program that they have applied for and whether they will be able to pursue the program and complete it successfully. Students should make sure that the SOP should be written in the best possible manner as it is their first step in the journey of being an international student.

Stand out with a powerful SOP

Students can make their application stand out by writing a perfect SOP. It is indeed the most important part of the entire admission process and is subjective in nature. The admission officers get clarity about the student’s attitude, personality, and also receive an overview of the entrance test scores.

SOP Format

The perfect SOP follows a specific sequence. Giving the details in a set pattern makes the SOP look more professional. Always make sure it begins with a strong reason why you chose that particular stream and university. Your intent of the application should be on the top. This must be followed by talking about academic highlights and achievements in the previous school or college, and any special projects that you were previously a part of. 

Don’t forget to mention any previous internship experience or hands-on experience (if you have any) related to the stream chosen as it will give you those additional brownie points. Write about how the particular program will help you achieve your goal and talk about its relevance to your future career. You can also talk about your hobbies and interests.

You can conclude your article by writing why you chose to study this course in Canada, and how this will benefit you when you return to your home country.

Tips to Write the Perfect SOP

1.Plan in advance

Always plan writing the SOP in advance, and do not wait until the last minute. Start jotting down all the events related to your academic front such as your achievements and strengths at least six months in advance. If you plan to write it at the last minute, you will be hassled and may not mention your achievements and strengths correctly. You need to start penning down the ideas beforehand, such as why you want to pursue a particular course or college.

2. Be a storyteller 

Writing an SOP is like conveying a message to the reader which is  exactly how your SOP should be. It should be beautifully knit words that sound like a story so that you establish a strong connection with the college faculty or the person who is reading it.

3. Original and unique

It is best to write it by yourself, since you know your own story the most. Don’t try to copy it from anywhere to avoid plagiarism.

4. Talk numbers

Numbers certainly play a qualitative and quantitative role in making your story. They are also the best way to impress your college admission officer and they will make your story much more interesting. Supporting your statements with facts is always appreciated and it also proves that your achievements are genuine.

 5. Customize

Refrain from using the same old SOP templates that you find online, as these templates can be monotonous. Always make sure to keep your SOP original, fresh, and unique. Make the content in such a way that the reader is compelled to read the full story. Mention your short term and long term goals.

6. Be Professional, but conversational

Make sure to write the SOP in an active voice and in a conversational tone. It should not sound casual in nature as it is for the College faculty, so it should be formal and professional.

7. Share it with your friends for a feedback

Always show your final write-up to your friends and family as they can give you honest feedback. You can ask them to grade it, while  you make changes accordingly. It is always good to get others’ opinions.

8. Proofread

Proofread the SOP as many times as possible before submitting it. After all, it’s a lot of hard work that has been put into generating ideas for writing this, and you wouldn’t want to make any grammatical errors, or miss out on any of your strengths and achievements.

9. Avoid repetition

Don’t repeat the information you have already mentioned in your CV. Write something fresh and unique as far as SOP is concerned.

Always make a point that the statement of purpose should be between 500 and 1,000 words.  If you think it is too long, try to edit and make the information as crisp and clear as possible. In short, avoid clutter as that just confuses the reader.

You can get your SOP to stand out of the crowd if you follow these tips. This will be helpful as the SOP plays a major role in getting your application shortlisted. Good luck with writing a power packed SOP and taking the first step of your student journey. 

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