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How to Write a Winning Statement of Purpose? Do’s and Don’ts!

Updated on June 11, 2019

What is a Statement of Purpose?

Universities abroad often ask for an SoP to understand the student in all aspects. The SoP is essentially as essay detailing why you’re a good fit for the particular graduate school.

Why do they need this essay though?

Everything else is numeric in nature. Take your CGPA, your GRE score and other test scores — they’re all numbers.

I’m sure you’ll agree that those numbers are not enough to encompass your entire experience. That’s where the SoP comes in. With the statement of purpose, you’re given the opportunity to provide your narrative, talk about why you’re here today, what choices you made along the way hopefully, set yourself apart from the other applicants.

Got any weird-looking stuff on your resume? Low grades in a particular subject? Your SoP also gives you the chance to explain away any weird looking stuff in your profile.

For example, if you have a GPA lower than you’d like, you could explain that in your SoP. One of the ways in which you could do this is by explaining that you do well in subjects you’re passionate about but find it hard to excel in subjects you’re not fundamentally committed to.

You can explain that your while your GPA may be low, in the subjects related to your target area of specialization, you’ve excelled. That’s just the kind of person you are.

What are the contents of a successful Statement of Purpose for Graduate School?

If you’re in your undergrad, applying to graduate school, this is a template I think could help. It’s a tried-and-tested template with which it’s hard to go wrong.

I’m definitely not saying everyone should stick to this template. If you have a specific narrative or story that you want to weave in differently, you absolutely could and should. This is, as I already mentioned, a template that has been proven to work.

Naturally, you start with an introductory paragraph. You talk about you high school & undergrad experience and how they prepared you for what you want to do next.

Then you move on to a ‘middle’ paragraph where you talk about the work experience you’ve had so far, your field of specialization and the relevant technical skills you possess.

Ultimately, you talk about why you chose this particular university. How they’re a good fit for you and how you can contribute to the univstatement of purpose.ersity.

This is a good, safe way to organize your statement of purpose.

Keep in mind, writing your SoP will require a good deal of introspection. So start early. Do not wait until the last minute to start writing it or you’ll find you’re struggling to write a good essay.

To read samples of good AND bad SoP essays, check out Galvanize Test Prep’s blog page on their website.

Their blog ‘How to Write a Winning SOP 2018’ is chock full of good advice.

Let’s now quickly summarize a few Do’s and Don’ts of writing an SoP.


  • Start early. As I mentioned already, writing your SoP will require a great deal of introspection on your side. For this, you will require a great deal of time.
  • Be very clear about the field and specialization you intend on pursuing.
  • Be honest. Do not offer anything other than relevant information.
  • Use formal English when writing. Proofread your essay before handing it in. If a word limit is imposed, make sure to keep that in mind when writing.


  • Be wary about making up anecdotes
  • Avoid being sentimental
  • Stay clear of controversial religious or political statements
  • Quotes do not need to be included in SoPs, don’t force it
  • Regardless of how you may feel about your country, do not sound overly critical about it
  • Start early and don't delay the process as SoP is one most important part of your admission process. The faster you start, the better will be your SoP.

It’s super informative & easy to ready!


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