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An SOP, short for Statement of Purpose, is a mandatory essay to be attached while applying for universities/colleges abroad. As the name suggests, the document explains why you are applying for the particular university and the particular course.
An SOP is of prime importance for every university application. It is the first thing the university authorities will read. It is a segue to your dream university and should never be overlooked.
Remember there are lakhs of students applying! Your SOP should explain why you are in the top echelons of the talent pool. It is the only chance at gaining an edge over other applications.
As the name suggests, an SOP should explain your intent of being part of the university. It should explain the candidate’s past achievements (academic/curricular/co-curricular/sports) and learnings pertaining thereof. Include your goals – both academic and life.
It should include your hobbies and interests and how would you prove to be an absolute jewel – a feather in the university’s cap – the golden egg for the university. Tempt the university by proving your mettle.
An SOP should include your reasons for choosing the university and the course. Tell a story as to how you became interested in the area of study as it makes the SOP engaging.
To sum it all, an SOP should answer questions like:
We, at AEMS, are always eager to mentor to help you build an authentic and a resplendent SOP.
Considering how expectations increase from post-graduate students, here are 6 things that you should not miss!
1. Your Academic Objectives
What many candidates fail to realise is that their educational and professional aspirations might be radically diverse. It is also necessary to outline your academic ambitions in an SOP intended for Masters (MS) programmes. Maybe your main goal is to get your master’s degree so that you may seek a comprehensive job. But there must be something particular that fascinates you and you wish to learn it throughout your master’s programme. It is essential that you identify and talk about these goals consciously. Additionally, the most critical question to address while creating your SOP is: What do I want to do with my life and how do I want to do it?
2. A detailed description of your final project
In a strict sense, master’s programmes necessitates you to have a great deal of hands-on experience. As a result, universities want to know if you’re able to perform the task. Include the projects you’ve undertaken and make an attempt to describe what you did in each one. Remember that a SOP isn’t the best location to keep track of all the projects you’ve worked on. All you have to do now is pick the one that best describes the scope of your study.
Other elements you might want to add in your SOP for a master’s degree are:
• Volunteer activities you’ve been a part of
• Co-curricular activities
• Seminars/Workshops you’ve attended
• Research Papers/Book Chapters published (if any)
• Work experience/internship
3. Your Personal Motives
One school of thought opines that a person should not incorporate too much information about his or her family in their SOP. While true, your personal motives must, in fact, be stated in the statement of purpose. For example, if you want to be a molecular biologist in genetics and are motivated to create Nanobots that can cure cancer, they’ll want to know why. What motivates you to choose that path? Is this a case of a personal tragedy? Or it might be that you have a personal desire to establish equilibrium in the society, or it could just be that the subject intrigues you above all else! Whatever your own motives or justifications are, you should include them in your SOP.
4. Why did you decide to apply to that university?
Students who wish to study abroad sometimes apply to more than four schools in order to enhance their prospects. As a result, they attempt to summarise the last paragraph in a broad fashion, describing why they are interested in taking the course while omitting university-specific details. It may be a particular professor, the research facility, or the university’s location . Whatever the situation may be, it is critical to illustrate the reasons for selecting the university to which you have applied.
5. Why did you opt for that particular master’s programme?
You must thoroughly clarify your motives while writing about a certain course that you have selected. The following will be used to explain why you chose a specific course:
Furthermore, your schooling, projects, industrial exposure, full-time work experience, and ultimate career goal all contribute to the structure of your application, which the admission committee will assess further. Discuss briefly the following three aspects:
Past: Summarise your technical skill base and practicums in the past. During your bachelor’s degree, what did you learn? What are your advantages? What is your profile in terms of work? What kind of projects did you work on as a student or as a professional? If you’re a recent graduate, talk about your industry experience as well as your academic background. Internship programs and corporate training have a significant influence on a freshers resume. Don’t forget to talk on how the project is doing. They demonstrate your capacity to operate in a group and deal with stress.
Present: This is where you should write your most current motive for continuing your education. What are you hoping to learn more about with a master’s degree? What made you decide to pursue a master’s degree in the first place? Your learnings should demonstrate that you are adaptable and not set in your ways when it comes to modifying your viewpoint. You must show that you want to learn and improve. Your SOP should include information on your learning experiences as well as your capacity to adapt to new approaches.
Future: Professional Goals and Targets
6. Why did you pick this particular country as your study destination?
These need to be explained by discussing how pursuing a particular programme in this country would help your profile. Discuss the possibilities in this country – how studying that particular programme in the chosen environment would benefit your candidature. Write about the industry that you would explore during your study. Writing how and why you’re studying the same course in any Indian institution would not be helpful. Also, write how that country is better than other countries in terms of industry exposure and educational facilities. Lastly, discuss your previous experience and exposure that makes you a suitable candidate. This should elaborate on your abilities to blend in a multicultural environment.
Mostly, all universities look for students who have had experience in conducting research work in the past, knowing that they will be able to handle the rigours of their meticulous curriculum.
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