Top 10 Blunders In Statement Of Purpose (SOP)

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Hello Everyone,

As you know that I have been sharing information regarding how to build your Statement Of Purpose (SOP). SOP is considered to be the most important factor in your University Admissions. Students have to spend time in creating an SOP which will cover all their qualities, ambitions, goals etc. This post will focus on the Blunder/Mistakes that students commit while creating their SOP. These Blunders can even hamper the admission chances in a University.

Students have to double check their SOP before submitting to the University. Here are the Top Blunders/Mistakes that Students commit in their SOP.

Check out this link which contains all the information regarding how to create and build your Statement Of Purpose (SOP): – Posts On Statement Of Purpose (SOP).

Top 10 Blunders In SOP: –

1) Referring to the Wrong University: –

This is the most common mistakes Students commit while creating their SOP. Since students are busy applying for multiple Universities, there are chances that Students may submit the wrong SOP to the Universities. Let’s take an Example. Consider a Student applying for Northeastern and Syracuse University. The Student by mistakenly submits the SOP of Syracuse to Northeastern University. This could hamper your Admission. Universities may straight away reject the Application. Therefore, double check before submitting your SOP to the Universities.

2) Referring to the Incorrect Program: –

This is the second common mistake committed by the Students while applying for Multiple Universities. The SOP mentions the incorrect program name. For Example: – Suppose a Student is applying for MIS in multiple Universities like UT Dallas and UMCP. UT Dallas Program Name is not MIS but Information Technology and Management (ITM) and UMCP program Name is not MIS but Masters in Information Management (MIM). So there is a possibility that students can refer to an incorrect program name in their SOP. This could also result in outright rejection of your Application.  Therefore, double check all the information before submitting your SOP to the Universities.

3) Plagiarism in SOP: –

I have previously written in detail regarding this topic about How Copying of a Statement Of Purpose (SOP) can hamper your chances of an admission in a Universities. I suggest all the students to please go through this link to get more information regarding this topic. Copying SOP is not Good Idea.

4) Providing False Information: –

Students always think that Universities in the USA do not cross verify the Information that is provided by the applicants. Some Students may show false experiences, raised Under-Graduation Score, False Certifications etc. in their SOP. But please know that Universities randomly cross checks the Applicants information. They may contact the university or the Company to verify that the details furnished by the Student are real or not. Even though Universities do not perform this check for all the applicants, Students must not provide incorrect information in their SOP as it can hamper the admission.

5) Grammatical Errors In SOP: –

Many Students or Advisors may say that Grammatical Errors are least checked by the University, but it is not true. Universities have a special set of people in the Admission Review Committee which focus on finding the Grammatical Errors in the SOP of the applicants. So I suggest students to share your Sop with the Professors or people who are good at writing, so that they can help you find the Grammatical Errors in your SOP, which you can correct it before submitting your Sop to the University. So try not to make a Grammatical Error in the SOP.

6) Comparing Universities In SOP: –

Statement Of Purpose (SOP) should only focus on why you intend to pursue your MS/PhD in the University, Your goals, Ambitions, Qualities etc. Never Compare the Universities in your SOP. Let’s take an Example: – A Student may write something like “The Course Offered by XYZ University is the best because ABC, EFG Universities focus only on certain parts of the Program while XYZ Universities covers the entire Program.” Such comparisons are not allowed in the SOP. This can hamper or even it can result in rejecting your Application for graduate Admission by the University.

7) Do not Follow the SOP Rules Stated By The University: –

Many Students do not go through the rules that are stated for writing the SOP by the University. Some Universities may want Students to write their SOP’s in Calibri Font with a Font Size of 12 and a Spacing of 2 pt etc.  Some Universities want more specific SOP. They may want the Students to provide answers to the questions that they have asked in their SOP. If the University has such rules then you need to follow these rules and build your SOP accordingly. Failing to abide to these rules may hamper your Admission Chances in the University.

8) Too Lengthy Or Too Short SOP: –

Many Students fall into the trap thereby committing the mistakes in SOP. Your SOP should not be too lengthy or too short. The Ideal length of an SOP should be around 1 to 1 ½ page of your Word Document. The ideal amount of words should be anywhere in between 550 to 600 words. Universities have rules that state the ideal length of an SOP. For Example, University of Cincinnati requires students to prepare an SOP of 550 or less words. So Students should follow these norms while constructing the SOP. Too Long or Too Short SOP will not make an good impression for your admission in that University.

9) Not Mentioning the Courses They Liked In The Program: –

Many Students create a general SOP and use it for all the Universities. Students must include a separate paragraph which states the Courses/Subjects that they really liked in the Curriculum of the Program, because of which they are planning to attend the University. This information if stated clearly expresses that the Student has gone through the entire Curriculum of the Program and then decided to join the University. Adding this Information will certainly enhance your chances of getting an admit into the University. Hence always mention the courses you liked and other things you like because of which you have decided to join this University.

10) Ego-Centric In The SOP: –

Let’s take an Example to explain this point. Students generally write about their projects in their SOP. Students try to convey the message that the Project was a success because of their efforts only and they lead the entire way until the project’s success. This is kind of ego centric. Always try to give credits to other members in your Project group because of which the project was a success. Try stating that the Project’s success was an combined efforts of your group and everyone had played his/her part very well. Try to include the ‘We’ Word instead of an ‘I’ Word. Showing that you appreciate the efforts of other people is a good way to portray your image to the Admission Review Committee.

To Conclude: –

I suppose I have covered all the major Blunders/Mistakes that Students commit while creating their SOP. If you are interested in adding any other point then please use the comment box which is present below.

I hope this post was useful.

16 thoughts on “Top 10 Blunders In Statement Of Purpose (SOP)

  1. Really useful post.
    With regard to point-2 “Referring to the Incorrect Program”, suppose I’m applying to a specialized Master’s program under a more general field, eg: MS in Distributed Software in the Computer Science department. In my SOP, instead of repeatedly mentioning this whole course name, if I just write “a Master’s degree in Computer Science” – is this wrong?

  2. hi ,
    This is Prasad and i am interested in doing MS in Automotive Engineering OR Production Design. Please suggest me the best universities that offer the said courses in the countries like Germany and USA. And also Suggest what should be the scores for gre and ielts to get into those universities.

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  4. Hi,

    I am applying for PhD in Business Administration with concentration in Finance. But I just mentioned ‘PhD in Finance’ at the top of my SOP. Should I try to resend my SOP to the university or it is fine?

    Nitin Kapai

  5. Hey Shrinivas ,

    Thank you for your inputs.This is very helpful.Can you tell me how long would it take to write an SOP for a n MSBA program.I don’t have much experience at this and I don’t have much time left to apply for universities so I’m just getting tensed whether I can finish it in time.Any help would be greatly appreciated.Thanks

  6. Hi!

    I have recently made applications to a few universities as a prospective Ph.D. student. My area of interest pertains broadly to the field of Atmospheric Sciences.

    At one of the universities, the name of offered program is Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (notice the plurality in “Sciences”). On my statement though, I ended up mentioning it as Atmospheric and Oceanic Science (missing out on the aforementioned plurality).

    Can I please have your say on as to what extent this can act as a hurdle to my application?

    Thank you

  7. hiii

    I am varun, I have applied for 2 Canadian universities, the problem is that i have mistakenly wrote wrong course name in the heading of the SOP. the description opf the SOP is all right only problem is in the heading

    what to do ?

  8. Hi!
    I am writing a SOP for students visa for Australia and my husband is accompanying me. Please suggest what details needs to be mentioned about the spouse. Do i mention what work he intends to do there? please suggest some convincing explanation.

  9. I wrote the wrong date in my SOP. I changed my internship year from 2016 to 2015. Although I have also submitted my resume with the correct dates, would you recommend me to ask the graduate school to allow me to change my application ?

    I am applying for Computer Science Masters.

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