Alumni Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK
10 most common mistakes in SOP
Statement of Purpose is an integral part of your application process. The admission committee keeps a good check on what information you have provided in the SOP. An SOP is a personalized statement written by the student describing their achievements, roles and reason behind pursuing the particular course. Many students, however, misunderstand this statement. As a result, they commit errors that can be quite costly. Here, we'll examine some of the common mistakes that students tend to commit!
1.Not an Impactful Introduction
A candidate should always remember that the introduction is the first and most important thing to be read when writing it. The reader should be drawn in and keep reading your introduction to get an opinion of you because "first impressions are always lasting impressions." Try to open your essay with a bold sentence emphasizing your educational background, goals, and self-assurance in your assertive personality. Your introduction should highlight your academic field of interest.
2.Writing the SOP at the last minute.
One of the biggest obstacles to crafting a statement of purpose is time. Because of this, many students take shortcuts and produce a statement of aim that is neither well-written nor supported by research. They occasionally miss crucial deadlines because of this as well. Setting aside time daily to compose your statement of purpose is vital if you're a student. To better understand what the school is looking for, you should also set aside some time to read up on the curriculum. Finally, you must conduct the necessary research to convince the admissions panel that you are the best applicant for the programme.
3.Not Following the Format and exceeding the Word Limit.
A certain format needs to be followed while writing SOP; the hierarchy should be followed as stated in the rules. With that, If the word limit is not stated on the internet, it is usually a good idea to try to write the admissions office and inquire about it. Typically, the University will indicate the word restriction you must adhere to. If not, try to keep it between 500 and 1000 words. The admissions committee will not be engaged by a lengthy SOP that only highlights your accomplishments because they read through nearly 10,000 applicants each season.
4.Copying from a friend and committing Plagiarism
This is the biggest red flag in the SOP; if you have decided to copy an SOP, you are bound to be rejected. We're all accountable for it. Most of the time, we're simply too lazy to create our own statement of purpose. Therefore, we copy specific paragraphs from the internet rather than undertaking labour-intensive work. Yes, we believe that doing so won't injure anyone because everyone knows it. However, we have no idea that the professor who is assessing our application will also be aware that it was copied.
5.Adding False Information
Incorrect information should never be included in your SOP format. Exaggerating or misrepresenting your accomplishments will land you in a lot of trouble, so refrain from doing so. The admissions committee wants you to present information that is entirely accurate; therefore, you must provide documentation of all of your accomplishments, from your academic record to your extracurricular involvement. The authorities may find you at fault and reject your application if you are unable to give them the required proof of your efforts, such as academic transcripts and participation certificates for all the activities you have participated in. In addition, they might permanently blacklist your profiles if you fail to do so.
6.Using Informal Style of Writing
It is essential that you write your SOP in a formal tone. Anything less than a professional essay, which the readers demand, could lead to the rejection of your application.
Keep in mind that your vocabulary and grammar should be impeccable. A group of academics and subject-matter experts will review your application. Therefore, avoid using slang, acronyms, and informal jargon. Your phrases ought to be simple and direct. Additionally, stick to language that you are familiar with. Don't try to beautify your text with fancy words.
7.Avoiding Research about the University and Course
Writing random information in your SOP regarding the chosen course, college, university, and nation would not make a good first impression. The admissions committee may view you as naive if you discuss your fantasies of studying abroad without any specific goals or a popular location you have always aspired to attend without providing any relevant reasons for doing so, such as college infrastructure, the weather in the country, or even some familiar people who currently reside there. A more concentrated application would result from thorough university research on the possible course offerings, college faculty, campus amenities, and industrial exposure you might receive while studying abroad.
8.Focusing too much on the negatives to sound honest
This could be a risky course of action. It's important to own up to your mistakes, but it's equally important to get past them. Therefore, you must come up with a clever way to point out your flaws so that the other person can see your resolve to overcome them.
9.Praising the University too much
It doesn't pay to be excessively enthusiastic or even unduly fascinated with the University. Don't waste too much time telling the academics and the University how wonderful they are; they probably already know! Instead of focusing on why the University is the best in the world, your SOP should demonstrate why you and it are a suitable fit.
The problem with compliments is that they're simple to detect when given with partial sincerity or ulterior motives.
Give a quick mention of any modules or accomplishments by the University that pique your interest, but make sure to always bring the conversation back to you.
10.Submitting it Without Proofreading
Proofreading your SOP is the most crucial step. To ensure that the spelling, punctuation, and consistency are accurate, you should read it numerous times. Additionally, Proofreading helps eliminate dull, repeated sentences that lessen the quality of your work. Check it carefully a few times to make sure there aren't any minor spelling or punctuation errors. You want to ensure the SOP is error-free because sending one in with flaws can make you look negligent.
Given that our eyes can frequently deceive us, it is an excellent idea to let your SOP sit for a day or two before proofreading it. But after a few days away, your eyes will be clearer, and you'll be able to spot most little errors. Have someone else read it as well because they could notice something you overlook.
And lastly, you should never hesitate to take external assistance, just like from us @MapMyStudy; we will help you ace your SOP game and make your study abroad dream come true. With help from our professionals, you can easily make your study abroad plans and get assisted the right way! Contact us today!