The Statement of Purpose (SoP) is the single most important part of your application in convincing the admission committee about your ability apart from your mark sheets. A well written SoP will tell the admissions committee who you are, what has influenced your career path so far, your professional interests and where you plan to go from here.
The sentence has the word `Purpose’ which means what you want to do or what is your goal and that is exactly what you are conveying to the admission committee with your words. The Statement of Purpose is your chance to reach directly to the admissions committee, to make yourself stand out from among a multitude of similarly qualified candidates and also to convince the committee that you have the spark and the thirst for knowledge.
It is important to focus on qualifying exams and doing well in those exams but convincing the admissions committee who are likely to receive hundreds of other applications with similar or even better credentials will take some effort on your part. It is here statement of Purpose comes to your rescue in the sense that you can even compensate for weaker portions of your application such as less-than-perfect grades. Vice versa, a badly written SoP, on the other hand, has the potential to drag down an otherwise strong application.
The sole reason universities in most countries including USA, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Australia, Ireland, Denmark, Canada look at the Statement of Purpose is that they want to know as much as they possibly can about all the applicants. They know nothing about you unless you tell them. You are the subject of the statement so you need to be careful about how you portray yourself. At the same time, you need to be honest and truthful about your student career so far.
A well written Statement of Purpose requires care, attention and patience. And enough time for you to be able to write several drafts, show them to people and polish the essay till you get a version you are happy with.
Here are some things to keep in mind when writing your Statement of Purpose:
· The purpose of the exercise is to persuade the admissions committee that you are an applicant who should be chosen. You may wish to show that you have the ability and motivation to succeed in your field or you may wish to show the committee that on the basis of your experience, you are the kind of candidate who will do well in the field.
· You must explain the purpose for which you wish to study the course you have chosen.
· The reasoning behind your particular chosen field of study. This question needs to be answered well and therefore the answer - both in person as well as in your SOP must be convincing and balanced.
· You will have to explain what you intend to do once you finish your chosen course, how the course will help you attain your life's goals. This will include your career goals and plans for the future.
· Your intended future use of your graduate study. This will include your career goals and plans for the future.
· Pay attention to the purpose throughout the statement so that extraneous material is left out. Pay attention to the audience (committee) throughout the statement. Remember that your audience is made up of professionals in their field, and you are not going to tell them how they should act or what they should be. You are the amateur.
Then candidates must outline they are the 'right' student for the course and must state how they are prepared and fit for the course. This is the opportunity to correlate your academic background with your extracurricular experience to show how they unite to make you a special candidate.
Any problems or inconsistencies in your records or scores, such as a bad semester, should be explained in a positive manner and justify the explanation. Since this is a rebuttal argument, it should be followed by a positive statement of your abilities. Above all, this statement should contain information about you as a person. The best way to do is to think about it, draft it and proof read it and then polish it by considering opinions from people who have helped you along the way such as your parents, professors, employers, etc. A well crafted Statement of Purpose will surely pave way for successful application.