Your Statement of Purpose tells the board a lot about the person you are. It is probably the most challenging and difficult piece of document you would put in with your application. It needs to tell about you, about what you bring with you and how you would be an asset to the organization, all in that one essay. This doesn’t mean you would start writing about yourself and your family and upbringing and etc. It simply means that whatever you write, should give the reader an insight to your brain and your heart.

Picture a scenario. You’re in a room with over half a grand applications to review. Sounds fun? No. Imagine this being the life of 5-6 members on the review board. They have a very boring job. And nobody would willingly waste time at a boring job. They would read the introductory paragraph of your essay, and then decide whether you are worth their time. So first and foremost, you need to make a grand entry!

Be a hero. Make a memorable entry. So that when they sit reviewing the applications, they remember you for your introductory paragraph itself. They would read the whole document and then decide, rather than casting you off without a second thought. Make your introduction personal. Involve a small incidence that made you pick the program. Write about your inspiration, your dream and why you are the best choice for the program.

For example: Consider three SOPs for the same program with the following three introductory paragraphs.

  1. I wish to apply for xyz program at your prestigious abc university because I have always dreamt of becoming a pqr and it is at your university that I believe I can achieve my best potential and enhance my skills to great extents.
  2. Ever since I was a small girl I remember my mother telling me about her time at abc and I have always wanted to be a part of your institution to be able to become even a fraction of the woman my mom is.
  3. On my way to school I used to see a very intriguing man at the ___. I asked my father once who he was. He told me he’s a pqr and explained to me what that is. That was the day, I knew my calling.

SOP-A butters the university up with words like prestigious and you can help me enhance my skills.

SOP-B very nicely lets the university know that she is a legacy.

SOP-C puts in the very reason behind her choosing the course, and not the university.

All three are well written. But when it comes to selection, the review board would cast aside A. They would probably take B as a woman who is using her mom’s reference, yet would probably read what she has to say. But they would definitely remember C as the candidate with a strong childhood dream to be a pqr. If they select one out of these three, one would definitely put their money on C.

Keep your introductory paragraph interactive enough for the reader to be intrigued to read ahead. They are people with a lot of applications to process and they are not interested in stereotype-straight-out-of-the-book applications. It needs to be introspective, innovative and make a person want to read more.

Remember. Your introductory paragraph is not your SOP. The entire essay is. Being good at the introduction doesn’t guarantee your admission. The rest of the essay needs to be equally exceptionally good. Your introductory paragraph just makes the review board read the rest of your essay. For you to be selected, you need to make sure they are as impressed with the rest of the paragraph. Your statement of purpose should be:

  1. Innovative, Introspective, Intriguing. Mark the 3 Is in your essay and rest assured you will be selected.
  2. Don’t beat around the bush. They all know you are trying to get an admission. Tell them why you.
  3. They are getting utterly bored in that room. If you can bring even a brink of a smile to their day, you know they’ll save you a seat. Tell stories about yourself, but don’t forget your word space. Keep it brief and sharp and specific, yet interesting and fun.
  4. All about you. Present yourself on a platter. Show them that you are intelligent, immensely interested in the program, prepared to take on challenges in life, are a friendly and easy to be with person, build a healthy relationship with your peers and professors. Put all that in words. But don’t try to make it look like a circus of stories. They want to know you, but in a well presented manner. Not with a paper full of anecdotes. Don’t be that slick guy next door who won’t stop bragging.
  5. Self-explanatory. Nobody should need to question your grades or performance or any other issue that can reach you as you’ve explained it all in your SOP. Reasons for poor performance, explanation for any and all issues related to your application should all be in the SOP. This will present you as a person who realizes their mistake and works hard to overcome it.
  6. By the rules. Always remember to color inside the lines. Do whatever you want, but follow all rules they give. You can take small risks here and there but the final Statement should be by the rules and yet different enough to stand out in the room of applications.
  7. Read, proofread and proofread again by you and at least 3 more people. If even one of them gets bored before the end, change it. You need to make sure that your SOP is completely read for you to have a fair chance.

Your SOP is a great deal in your application packet. It needs to be perfect. We at Shiksha Overseas, make sure of that. We help you write the perfect SOP. We make sure your SOP is the perfect blend of your best achievements and highest aspirations. We make sure that you get a fair chance with your SOP. After all, we provide you with a Roadmap to Success.

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