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Statement of Purpose - A complete guide

The SOP should be vibrant and present the original picture of student aspirations and character.

Kavitha Vijeyavelan
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If you have been the winner of any state, or international competitions, mention them in your SOP. This could include any form of achievement including special fellowships or nominations.

The single most crucial part of any application is the Statement of Purpose. The SOP should be vibrant and present the original picture of student aspirations and character. It must strive to make a positive impression in the minds of international admission officers.

Here are a few points... 

The Purpose

The purpose of your SOP should be primarily to convince the admissions team that you are the best applicant they could choose for the seat. You must show that you have the motivation and ability to succeed and perform excellently. You can do so by highlighting any related experience you may have had in the field. Keep in mind that your audience are experts in the field and make your SOP as close to facts as possible. Include your research plans, academic goals, and describe your aptitude.

The Outline

Make a list of all the main important topics that you want to cover and list out supporting material under each topic. You must remember that information about your past is crucial but it’s more vital to include how it led you to focus on your present area of interest. The admissions team’s primary concern is your current and future areas of research interests.

You can divide your SOP into three parts - the introduction, body and conclusion. 


You should pen down personal reasons for why you have chosen this area of interest or list out how you have overcome difficulties. You can even go on to include how certain unusual situations in your life played a part in influencing your aspirations.

The Body

Professional Goals

Here you should look to answer some of these questions: 

  • Why is it that you want to become a mathematician or a physicist (for example)?
  • Which were the life experiences that made you realise you wanted to become one?
  • What are your plans after you obtain the degree from the university? Talk about your future goals- both educational and professional.
  • Why have you chosen this university? 
  • Why do you make a good candidate? Talk about your triumphs and how committed you are to academics.

Education - Background

Include a summary of what you did as a high school or an undergraduate student. Here, ensure you list out the specific classes or projects you had taken that enhanced your interest in the field that you desire to pursue study in. Mention the skills that you have acquired through the projects that you have worked on and stress the ones that are relevant to your future graduate work.

Related Experience 

Provide all details of relevant research that you might have performed with all required details such as, the project title; the project responsibilities; the project outcome.

If you have obtained any relevant work experience related to your professional area of interest — ensure you include them.

Outstanding Triumphs

If you have been the winner of any regional, state, or even international events or competitions, mention them, needless to say. This could include any form of achievement including special fellowships to special nominations or awards.

Last but not least, all these should wind up with an appropriate conclusion. The conclusion is also an important part of the essay — it must bring in the essence of what you are trying to say overall.
These are the basics of how to go about writing your SOP. However, truth be said, for a good SOP, solely relying on online examples alone will not get you where you need to go. Bring out the burning fire in you and make the admissions team see your ardent desire to learn. Remember your SOP should be original and paint a true unique picture of yourself — after all it is but a representation of who you are.
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Writing a Statement of Purpose?

Indrani Sengupta Indrani Sengupta,
Study abroad expert.
Our advisors can help you fine tune your Statement of Purpose and refine it considerably. Request a call back to get started with your SOP. Or call 1800 103 2581 / 1800 103 9634 (toll-free) today!

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