You have made the most important decision of your life: You have decided to go to grad school! The many factors that complete your grad school application package are your Application Form, Statement Of Purpose, official transcripts, Letters Of Recommendations, Standardized Test results, and other supplemental application materials. As an ambitious student, you have superior grades shining in your official transcripts. Does the benefit of having a first-class transcript guarantee you an admission in the grad school of your choice? Hmm… Time to think!
As an institution’s gate-keeper, any admissions officer will tell you that numbers always don’t tell the full story. Students are admitted or rejected not on the basis of their grades and test scores alone. The Statement of Purposes (SOP)/personal statement students write are inspected by these officers to get a clear picture of the student’s persona, ethics, and commitment to their studies. Also, the admissions officer gets to lightheartedly fleet into the student’s personality and their achievements through their writing styles. Follow the below pointers to write that dynamite of an essay!
# Your Story – Your Words:
An admissions officer has already read thousands of life-changing or traumatic childhood experiences that gave a new perspective to the way one sees the world! Also, assuming that writing about one's academic triumphs or lofty and grand principles might get the admissions officers attention won’t help. So don’t be that admissions SOP cliché. Instead, write about something that reveals your clear intent of choosing this university and program of study, personality, shows you as honest and makes you stand out among the myriad student-SOPs.
# Keep it crisp & short
There is many a Shakespeare or an Oscar Wilde who has tried to impress the admissions officer with flamboyant language or Thesaurus influenced brilliant vocabulary. So it’s better to use a language that is technical, yet conversational in style, friendly in tone and consistent in nature. Also, plagiarism is one thing to avoid. Getting inspiration is different from lifting lines or copying and reproducing SOPs. In the few minutes you get, you have to seize the attention of the admissions officer by making a staggering mark and standing out among the many applicants. So stay focused.
# Know your audience and make that connect
Creating a personal statement that is tailored for every college you apply does pay-off. There is never an instance where you up-cycle the one personal statement for all the schools you apply! Even if the topics are similar, make sure the approach is different. Also be that informed applicant by writing about the professors in the program and what interests you about their work and why? Also, substantiate why the school is your top choice.
# Follow the instructions
Finally, it is important to follow the instructions given by the school while writing the SOP. Many schools give clear directions on word counts and formatting directions, while some schools just might ask you to write a personal statement without further information. In the former scenario stick to the structuring format instructions and whip out a clear and concise SOP. In the latter condition, the lack of specifics doesn’t mean you are free to make assumptions and write your heart out! Spin your SOP around the essential elements of your focused area of study, experience and write about them with passion and originality. Ultimately, present an SOP that is not too long and that frames you as a valuable, significant addition to their school.