Study Abroad Application Essays: 5 things to remember when writing SOPs for Universities abroad

Study Abroad Application essays or Statement of Purpose are standard part of most of the applications to universities abroad. Not only are they mandatory, for most of the universities, they are the most important criteria for admissions. Counsellors have often advised students to pay most attention on their essays or SOPs as they are called. And yet, how to write SOPs or statement of purpose?

We have listed 5 most important things everyone should remember while writing an SOP. While everyone would add his/her own unique style, there are a few key elements that should not be missed while writing one.

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Writing Study Abroad application essays, Statement of Purpose (SOPs)

  1. Adding your purpose or goal/ aspirations in a statement of purpose is almost elementary. While many counsellors suggest that a candidate should list his/her accomplishments, the fact remains that the essay is called a Statement of Purpose or a Goals Essay. Hence, do not forget to write your goals.
  2. Clearly defining short- and long-term goals. Your immediate goals essentially cater to your ambition of getting into a particular course. This goal should be in line with your long-term goals. It is extremely important to list out how your short-term goals would help you achieve your long-term goals or career aspirations.
  3. Your accomplishments, characteristics and personality. A statement of purpose should be something like an introductory letter of the person to the university, where he or she offers a crisp yet accurate picture of the student’s many strengths.
  4. Weaknesses, though not mandatory, may be a good way to make the SOPs more personal. Students have to figure out a creative manner of sharing their shortcomings. A smart way to share the same is by linking it to the reason why that particular university was chosen by the student.
  5. Grammatical accuracy is highly desirable. Students often forget that the essays are not merely a means of understanding your personality but also your understanding of the language. Since most of the courses a student applied for abroad use English as a medium of instruction, the essays are a method of understanding candidate’s language proficiency. Hence, getting your grammar, punctuation and spellings are absolutely essential.

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There is no set formula for making a winning essay. What everyone needs to remember is that essays do not have formats. They are required to be unique and a student’s personal statement. Follow the basic guidelines and write from the heart. You cannot go wrong!

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