Education

A bridge to your future

The Statement of Purpose, or SoP, is one of the most important documents in the college admissions process. How strong are you academically can be easily assessed from your mark-sheets or transcripts, but what kind of a person you are — a leader or a team player, or a person who performs the best when working on your own — will be showcased through a strong SoP.

A good fit

Most universities are looking at what the student brings to the table for the university. So, while grades are important, they are not the only criteria. Universities are looking at how collaborative you are as a person, and what kind of activities you have done which will demonstrate your interest in a particular subject.

Hence, your SoP should be aligned with the objectives of the university that you are applying for, and needs to highlight how you would be a good fit for the university.

Now, how does one write a good SoP? To begin with, the SoP should have a creative beginning, which will ensure that the admissions officer gets excited to read it. The SoP should be exciting to read.

Do remember that an admissions officer reads on average 10 to 12 SoPs per day and hence you need to have an exciting beginning to get him/her hooked.

In the words of an admissions officer, “My favourite essays are those in which I read about a student who has overcome some kind of academic or personal obstacles and what they have learned from that experience.” This does not mean that all SoPs need to be fabricated stories. You need to talk about your journey, and your unique experience.

SoPs need to highlight your learnings, how you developed interest in a particular subject, and your life goals.

However, getting a job after your degree cannot be considered a goal. Goals should ideally represent your vision and how you are going to implement your learnings from the degree to real life situations. Your SoP should work as a bridge from your today to your future.

Further, do not repeat points which you have already mentioned elsewhere in your application. The SoP is really the space to highlight your uniqueness and to elaborate on something that is important to you.

Points to remember:

The grammar should be perfect; no spelling mistakes.

No misrepresentation of facts.

No plagiarism; remember it’s your story.

College essays are the space where you can distinguish yourself from the pool of other applicants; use this tool wisely to achieve your dream admit.

The author is a professional in higher education, specifically, overseas study.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 7:49:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/a-bridge-to-your-future/article23279069.ece

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