A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is one such element that beholds great value in the admission process of those aspiring to study abroad. Creating an alluring SOP is essential to help the assessment committee understand your willingness for the program you have applied for. UnivMentor team aims to provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide on drafting a statement of purpose that can help you sail smoothly through the assessment process and get entry into your dream academic institution.


A Statement of Purpose can be referred to as an informative document, containing personal statements, and is essentially required as part of the admission procedure of study abroad programs. 

Also referred to as an application essay, it comprises the basic details of a candidate along with their professional and personal interests, academic highlights as well as future aspirations.


 An SOP plays an integral role in the application process of a study abroad program as it provides the admission board with the key information about the candidate and why they want to study a particular course at their institution. It not only describes who you are as an individual but also gives an idea about your writing skills and proficiency in the English language.


Why is SOP important?

A well-written SOP is an extremely significant element during your admission process. While the academic record and other exam scorecards, academic transcripts and backlog certificates are essentially objective in nature, an SOP is the only truly subjective aspect of your application. It is the only document in your application that gives you the opportunity to prove that you have something unique which makes you stand out from the crowd. As such, it is the document of your application docket that can hugely determine your admission.

SOP Format

As such, there is no particular or proper format for writing a statement of purpose or an SOP. Students have to write an SOP just like an elaborative and descriptive English essay dividing the whole context into different paragraphs. Each paragraph must be having distinctive features describing different scenarios, features or characteristics about yourself. You can take the help of the below-provided structure and get started with writing an SOP for the university you want to study in. 

Self-introduction Your background, in brief, Your long term goals/vision Purpose to opt for this university and course (briefly)Remember: the first impression is the last impression

Past academic background Professional experience (if any)

Academic achievements Strengths Opportunities Academic recognition Projects undertook Professional achievements Industrial exposure 

Discuss in detail, Why do you want to study this course or program. Discuss your goals and your future expectations from this course or program.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years after you will be graduate from this university/college? Discuss your future objectives and your career plans and goals.

Why this university/college? Mention about different departments, different university activities, recognition, awards, faculty members, environment, infrastructure, the methodology adopted etc. 

Ending/ closure of the SOP on a thankful note.

  1. Weave your career path into a story, not statements.
  2. Do not write what you think should be written. Personalise the SOP and make it your own.
  3. Do not stress over it. Although it is an important part of your application, the SOP should be a direct reflection of you.
  4. Find the deeper meaning behind the events of your life and pen them down.
  5. Give a strong reason as to why you chose the particular school and course.
  6. Be specific in the timeline of events.
  7. Use a formal but conversational tone.
  8. Accept your mistakes and explain how you are willing to act on improving. Use action items.
  9. Give yourself enough time to write the SOP and edit it constantly. 
  10. Proofread, edit, re-edit and then edit it again! There is always room for improvement, remember that.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are eligible for any college-specific scholarships, then during the application process you will be required to write a separate essay/SOP. Either you will be given an essay prompt/question along with a word limit or they would simply ask for an SOP stating the reasons why you think you deserve this scholarship and/or what makes you unique from the rest of the candidates? Thus, a generic SOP is different from a scholarship SOP.

 If you have any relevant job experience, you should submit at least one academic and one professional letter of recommendation

One of the most significant distinctions between a Statement of Purpose and a recommendation letter is that the former is written by the candidate, whilst the latter is prepared by someone else.

Once you have finalised your SOP draft, give it a double-check for grammatical and formatting mistakes. Your next step should be to analyse and critique your essay. Look at your SOP through the eyes of the Adcom and see what you find lacking. For more effective inputs, you can show your drafts to your friends and family and see how they react to them. Accordingly, you can make some changes but do not overdo it or deviate from the format. Lastly, check for spacing errors and save the final SOP which you will be using for the application process.

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