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6 Common Mistakes To Avoid While Writing An SoP (Statement of Purpose); With a Bonus Tip

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Many steps are involved in the admission process of applying to a university abroad. One of the most important would be writing your Statement of Purpose (SoP).

A Statement of Purpose is perhaps the most crucial document you submit. It is a short essay including the student’s written statement about applying to the university for the course. It is equivalent to a cover letter describing why the candidate would fit the university. The essential components of the SoP include academic or professional achievements, ambitions and why you should be accepted.

As the document is necessary for your acceptance, you must draft yours in a fool-proof manner. Many commit a few common mistakes while writing their SoP, which you can easily avoid. We have listed them for you below.

  1. Not adhering to the word limit: After consideration and deliberation, the selecting committees decides the word limit. They believe it to be sufficient enough for you to describe your points. They are very particular about the specified number of lines/characters/words. If you exceed the prescribed limit, you will be at a loss. The system will not accept your entire statement. Instead, it will read only till the last character limit and delete the rest. Consequently, you will fail to submit your complete application. To avoid the same, it is highly advised that you stick to the character or word limit provided.

  2. Last-minute run: Do not keep the drafting of the SoP till the very last day of the deadline. Drafting the SoP takes time. You have to ensure you don’t leave anything important out and whether everything suits the purpose. You might even have to rewrite and edit it numerous times. Do not rush it by copying and pasting words from another sample. You have to be original and submit the best version of the essay. For that, you have to start a few weeks before the deadline patiently. It will give you enough time to complete your application.

  3. Incorrect Grammar: It may sound foolish, but many purpose statements are rejected due to unintentional grammar or punctuation and spelling mistakes. Typing errors can not be an excuse. If you are serious about your admission, you have to showcase it. Silly mistakes in the SoP will come forward as your carelessness and laxity, which will spoil your chances of acceptance. You can always use the writing tools provided by sites like Grammarly or Linguix to avoid errors. Don’t forget to re-read your statement to make it fool-proof. Always review your work before submission.

  4. Fanciful Words: Apart from the grammar errors, too many fancy words also tip towards the wrong side of the scale. Jargons, unnecessary expressions, archaic words and incorrect vocabulary are a big NO! Make use of good vocabulary and express yourself in a constructed way. Trying too hard to make an impression will do you no good. Keep it clear, comprehensive and impressive using minimum artistry words. At the same time, make sure you don’t use informal words, abbreviations and slangs either. Keep it smart and professional.

  5. Exaggeration, over-explanation, and flattery: The excess of anything is troublesome. You don’t have to exaggerate your achievements. Don’t spend the words over-explaining your low GPA, or don’t waste your words on flattering the esteemed university or professors. They want to know about you, not how great their institution is. Keep the bare minimum. Be honest and humble about your success and experiences. Do not come out too braggy or overconfident. Be original and authentic. Don’t include irrelevant things which will take space from your SOP without benefits.

  6. Not balancing the Past, Present and the Future: This is not about the tenses, instead your past experiences, present and future goals. The very purpose of an SOP is to get to know you better. Give them a gist of your entire life. Include your past fascinations which pulled you to the subject, what you did over the years or are doing at present to become competent in the discipline, and what are your future ambitions. Try to include all three aspects to build a strong SOP.

  7. Additional Tip: Try to construct your SoP in such a way that you keep it centred around the course/subject you wish to apply. Include Online courses, internships or training you did to improve your candidature for the spot in the university. Also, incorporate the social activities, interests and skills you might have or a cause you might be passionate about (Environment, education, youth empowerment etc.). A hint of personal attributes will give the statement an exciting take and not leave it bland. It has to be the perfect blend of your professional and emotional sides.

Remember that the Statement of Purpose must be most refined when submitted. Proofread it, edit it or even ask for a friend or an expert to give it a read. With a calm mind and enough time at hand, you will be able to draft a perfect one for yourself.

If you still are not confident about how you should build your SoP, we at Hello Study Global are here to assist you in writing a stellar one. Contact us if you need help.

Written by Shahrish Khan

We know and understand the application process can be overwhelming, but you don’t need to worry. The study experts at Hello Study Global are with you for your every step of the way. From the beginning to the end, we will guide you to success.

Feel free to reach us at Hello Study Global.

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