What is a Statement of Purpose?

A ‘Statement of Purpose’- usually known as ‘SOP’-is a popular admissions tool used by institutes in different formats. The purpose of writing an SOP is to explain questions like:

– Why you are taking up a particular course?

– Why you are a good candidate for the course?

– What you plan to achieve after its completion?

Several MBA colleges use this tool in different manners to assess prospective students. Some of the colleges directly ask you to write an SOP, while others conceal it in the form of questions (mentioned above) derived from an SOP. You should be prepared for such scenarios and composing an SOP will provide you some vital answers for your second round of admissions.

What should a Statement of Purpose comprise?

In general, you should try to include the following in your SOP:

· What is your background?

· What have you accomplished in your professional life or college life till date?

· What are your career goals?

· Why have you opted to pursue MBA?

· Why do think the particular course is the best one to achieve your goals?

These five questions effectively make up the structure of your SOP.

How to write a Statement of Purpose?

Following is the five-step process of writing an SOP:

1. Collect Ideas: List down everything you wish to write in the SOP, including your achievements, your major character traits and your long-term and short-term aims in life.

2. Identify relevant ideas: The next step involves pruning your list in terms of relevance. You should include only those points in the SOP that are relevant to the course you have applied for. Then what is irrelevant? Excessive mention about your family surely is unrelated. Remember, the purpose of the SOP is to highlight your personality and not others’.

3. Write the first draft: Use the structure above to compose the first draft of your SOP. While preparing this draft, give yourself the freedom of expressing yourself in any style and add as much as you wish to.

4. Edit and keep it to the point: If the purpose of the first draft is to express all that you wish to, the purpose of the second draft is to edit unnecessary details. Remember to ask yourself one vital question while writing an SOP: Is this information relevant to my candidature?

5. Peer review: Make sure you collect sufficient feedback on your SOP and incorporate pertinent changes suggested by others. Also, have your SOP reviewed by someone with a good command over the language.

Your finalised SOP is a material that can be used in a variety of situations, for instance: to answer questions posed in interviews or questions in personality assessment forms of various institutes.

Things to remember:

· Make sure the SOP includes all your relevant strengths and highlights your key achievements.

· Do not use flowery language.

· Do not be verbose. Be precise and convey important details only.

· Do not start with unrelated quotes just to show your knowledge.

· The purpose of writing the SOP is to sell your candidature to the admissions team.

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