There is no doubt that your stellar
academic records and ace scores in the standardized tests are key evaluation parameters at
all programs. However, there are less quantifiable indicators that are of equal or greater
importance to the admissions committee. These include your personality, motivation, goals,
interests, team spirit, dedication and communication skills. The
admissions committee makes a judgement of these qualities from your statement of
purpose and application essays
Particularly, since most MS
engineering programs do not require an in-person/phone interview, an applicant's personal statement is
a crucial factor. This is your opportunity to sell yourself to the admissions committee.
Prepare your statement carefully highlighting unique information about yourself, your
ambitions and your interests. Your essay is evaluated for substance, writing ability and
skill in organizing and presenting thoughts.
The idea here is to be unique.
Rather than writing cliched words like problem-solver and hard
worker, try to focus on one or two experiences that are unique, interesting and
something you are proud of.
Provide situations that justify your statement. If you have
been research oriented, elaborate not only on what you achieved but how you achieved your
results. Focus on what you learnt and how that experience will help your fellow
Have a clear focus of your goals.
Think about your goals and ambitions
and link it closely to your achievements thus far as well as to your application. It is
important to convincingly prove the reasons for choosing a particular course and
Try and personalize your
statement of purpose as
much as possible. It should reflect the person that you are, your passions, your
achievements and your values. Think about how your experience can add value to the
class or how your past projects demonstrate your research potential. A balanced
statement of purpose reflecting you as well-developed personality could be very powerful.
Last but not the least; do not
underplay your abilities. A lot of us find it difficult to say, I am the best
(although we know it in our hearts, dont we!). But trust us, you have to be
aggressive in your essays. For your benefit, we have enclosed some sample
Statement of Purpose of students
who have been accepted in the top engineering programs. (Sample
Tips for good writing
Please make sure there is no
spelling or typographical error in your SOP. There is nothing more repulsive than a typo
for a reader.
Give yourself time to think about
the essays. Write down the key points that you wish to cover. Work through several drafts.
Make sure every sentence is adding value. Do not expect to produce your
statement of purpose overnight
and get into the top program. Plan at least two months in advance.
Answer the question. If you are
substituting parts from statement of purpose of one school to another, make sure you appropriately
revise them to ensure that they match the requirements of the other
school. In many instances, applicants try and
incorporate more than one situation to justify a point and go completely off track.
Find someone to edit your essays
- parents, friends, colleagues. Make sure you are meeting your objectives. The test of
your writing is what the reader understands, not what your intent may have been.
feel, your statement of purpose is not projecting your background
and achievements in the right manner, don't hesitate to use a
professional editing service. This is important, especially for
students who do not have a good way with words or students whose
first language is not English.
A word of Caution
The sample SOPs have been
distributed to all the engineering programs. Please do not plagiarize. These essays are
only meant for you to use as reference material to help you write your own.
Last Issue - Recommendation Letters