What not to include in your Statement of Purpose (SOP)!

2 mins read1.4L Views 9 Comments
Srishti
Srishti Chatterjee
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Nov 10, 2021 16:38 IST

Statement of Purpose, or SOP as commonly referred, is easily the most important 1000 words that stand between your application and admission to that dream program. And as important as it may be to know what all you should include in your SOP, what is equally or perhaps more important is to understand what not to include in your SOP.

Often Universities come across a lengthy statement of purpose and yet they reject it. Even when you cannot find one grammatical error, the seemingly excellent SOP would be rejected. And the primary reason is – too much unnecessary information. For instance, just because you might want to talk about your family, does not mean you go on and on to talk about only your family. This is not because the candidate is not aware of what to include…what he/she fail to understand is what not to include.

Here are a few pointers to help you write a winning SOP by focussing on what you should not include:

All your accomplishments!

Yes, we understand that you were an ace in your academics and a star hockey, tennis and volleyball player. We also understand that you were the lead vocalist of your college band and have at least 50 medals and endless recommendations from your teachers, etc. The point is…while your SOP should be a brag sheet, it should be a brag sheet with a substance. You need to pick and choose what to include. Pick a theme and mention the accomplishments that make the most sense to your candidacy.

Remember, your resume is the place for listing down your accomplishments, SOP is all about what made you the person you are. 

Your Family History

We say, don’t waste too many precious words to describe your maternal and paternal family to the admission committee. They have no consideration if your forefathers descended from royalty – until that has something to do with the personality that you wish to highlight! They are interested in understanding you as a person – period. Don’t go on and on about how hard working your father is or how your mother was a devoted mom. A small sentence, if absolutely necessary, should be enough to wrap up about your family. And remember – no history!

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

Financial Details

Often, universities require separate documentation for your financial status. Also, most universities, while deciding about scholarships would ask the candidates to provide a separate essay for the same. Hence, including details about your financial status and requirements not necessary in the case of SOP. So, unless money has truly shaped your personality, avoid getting into lengthy details about it.

Details about your Academic Projects/ Jobs

It is important to include your Academic Projects. What, however, you should avoid is explaining in detail about your project and what you did. Same applies for you work experience. It is important to make a reference, illustrate perhaps the incident and then talk about what you learned from it. Remember, it is always important to make your SOP narrative. Focus on your key learnings and how they made you into what you are. Leave the lengthy detailing to your resume.

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About the Author
Srishti Chatterjee
Study Abroad Expert

Srishti has spent six years in the Education industry helping study abroad aspirants draft their application documents for their dream universities. Experienced in creating impressive SOP, LOR, and Essays, she knows... Read Full Bio

Comments

(9)

A

Aliptha N

22/11/20

I am desperately looking for help in this regard , please help me on how to proceed.
Thank you.
The query box isn't allowing me to post the entire query at once , apologize my split of questions .

Reply to Aliptha N

Dear AlipthaI understand your concern.The foremost step for you to studying abroad would be to give a standardised exam such as IELTS or TOEFL. Thereafter, you may avail our free-of-cost counselling services. Our experts will help you with each and every step of the university and visa applicatio...Dear Aliptha
I understand your concern.
The foremost step for you to studying abroad would be to give a standardised exam such as IELTS or TOEFL. Thereafter, you may avail our free-of-cost counselling services. Our experts will help you with each and every step of the university and visa application.
All the best!

A

Aliptha N

22/11/20

3) Or should i not bring up the topic and probably only talk abt certifications during that time ( I hardly have any certifications as i did not intend to continue my career back then)
4) WIll this create a negative impact on my profile.?

Reply to Aliptha N

It is recommended to be truthful in your SOP and interviews. Giving out actual and valid reasons should not have a negative impact on your profile. Also, it is suggested that you provide the information on all your certifications to show that you have the drive to learn.

A

Aliptha N

22/11/20

I will have more than 3 years gap during a visa interview.
Now , 1) Can i talk abt these personal reasons in my SOP ? will it justify my gap period?
2) Can i be truthful and mention that i was preparing for competitive exams in India?

Reply to Aliptha N

Yes, you must always tell the truth because everything you say or write needs to be supported with documents.

A

Aliptha N

22/11/20

I graduated in 2015 and worked for 2.5 yrs in an MNC. Post that i quit my work to Prepare for masters ( CAT ) in India. However i could not resume to work as my grand mother was diagnosed with cancer hence i voluntarily chose to stay back. Currently i have a gap of 2.5yr and i'm still unemployed

Reply to Aliptha N

A

Aliptha N

22/11/20

Hello Shilpa,
I'm having trouble uploading my query here though it is within the word limit, please let me know the alternative ways to reach you.
Thank you.

Reply to Aliptha N

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