Career lane introduction to Writing A Statement of Purpose Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Many people aspire to study abroad for a better life and career. Most universities want you to write a statement of purpose (SOP), which is used as a resource to gauge your eagerness and ability to get admission into the college you desire. An SOP is an essay that can give you a fighting chance in your application to foreign universities. 

This article speaks about SOPs, and their respective formats for UK, USA, Australian, and Canadian universities. It also broaches the various elements of writing a killer SOP. 

What is an SOP?

Abbreviated as a Statement of Purpose, an SOP showcases a student’s interest in studying abroad. The college’s admission panel reviews the SOP. It includes information about their academic and career interests, professional experience, short and long-term goals, reasons to study at a particular institution, and why they are interested in their selected major. 

The typical requirements of an SOP in different countries

Students who wish to study for any undergraduate degree in the UK must apply through UCAS. UK universities don’t ask for SOPs anymore. 

The SOP word limit is 250-650 words. Most universities ask for double spacing, except for Harvard. The SOP should revolve around prompts specified by the university. Kindly note that the SOP requirements for US universities vary based on whether you are planning to do an undergraduate, postgraduate, or PhD degree. Students can use collaborative application portals like Common Application to apply to universities. 

SOP for Australian universities is more structured compared to the UK, USA, Canada, etc. Applicants are expected to submit an SOP only in written format. There is no centralized application system like what is available in the US. The usual word limit is 800-1000 words unless specified by the university. 

An SOP document is mandatory in Canada as well, except for specific universities. They expect a 2-pager of 1000-1500 words. It needs to be written in 5-7 paragraphs, font size of 12, and double spacing. Canada’s application portals differ based on the provinces you choose to study within. For example, ApplyAlberta is for Alberta, OUAC is for Ontario, and EducationPlannerBC is for British Columbia.  

Elements of a statement of purpose

Your SOP should serve as your go-to reference for universities when they look at your application. Even though your stellar academic remarks should grab the university’s attention, your SOP can be the game-changer you want. Remember that your SOP should be personalized for each university, although most information will be common. Even though trying to summarize your life within a certain word limit can be difficult, writing an SOP is the perfect time to unearth the writer in you. It is also a great time to showcase your abilities as a writer since it tells the reader about how you articulate and express yourself. 

Your statement of purpose should also focus on your journey and the significant events that brought you to this point in life. If a failure in your college helped you refocus your priorities and work hard, you might want to include that. Find more such events. Also, write down your academic achievements, work experience, future goals, and what you expect from the course, university, and country in which you plan to study. Structure all of them, eliminate the facets that are trivial and write the gist of what matters the most. 

If you could write your SOP in the form of a simple story that keeps them hooked, you are giving yourself a great chance. In short, your SOP should be a well-rounded treatise on what makes you unique. 

Next PostPrevious Post