Difference between a Personal Statement and a Statement of Purpose.

Gauri Khatri

Gauri Khatri

Founder, Pegasus Global Consultants

The admission process for graduate schools requires applicants to submit a personal statement or a statement of purpose. One must understand the difference between the two to increase your chances of getting admission to the university of your choice. The approach in writing them is a clear distinction between the two documents. A personal statement looks back at the events and defines who you are? An SOP puts forward your intention in pursuing a course and how do you plan to use the degree in fulfilling your future aspirations.


A good personal statement should engage the interest of the Adcom. A crisp and well-presented story can add conviction to your candidacy and value to the program. Important points to keep in mind for a favorable personal statement:


· Clarity on why you should be accepted? Examples of experiences motivating you to pursue the course should be the highlight of the statement, for example, illness of a close family or friend can drive a person to study medicine.


· The presentation matters the most. The statement should feel like you are reading out your statement. A common mistake most people make is trying to overuse power words and a flowery language. A reader has thousands of applications at his disposition and a well-written story strikes the right chord.


A statement of purpose is a more formal document written to convey your academic and professional experience in a specific field and your reasons to pursue the course. Adherence to a few basics would ensure a striking document and improve your chances of admission:


· Clarity on why you want to pursue the course? For example, an MBA from a premier institute can add value to your resume and can land you a high paying job at a top global workforce. However, a candidate may want to learn the specifics of business management to go back to your country and help villages or economically weaker sections gain self-reliance.


· Demonstrate how you developed an interest in a subject. Let’s take an example of cricketer MS Dhoni; he was a goalkeeper during his school days and was sent in as a stand by a wicketkeeper in a cricket match and the rest is history. The sop should highlight if a candidate has a natural or a guided inclination for a subject.


It is imperative to understand the difference between the two for a favourable admission experience.


Blog written by:

Divya Ramkumar

Editor- Admission Cell

Pegasus Global Consultants

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