A Cheat Sheet to Make Up for A Low GPA Score With A Well-Tailored SOP: Note Down The Super Useful 10 Tips And Tricks For Improving Your Admission Chances At A Top Grad School Abroad.
One of the most misunderstood modules of graduate applications is the Statement of Purpose. Most students treat it as if it were yet another essay on oneself, and as a result, they create dull, unappealing content.
Consequently, the university admissions committee places a high value on the statement of purpose and its structure. How can you develop a compelling statement of purpose that sounds unique while providing the admissions committee with what they are seeking?
Generally, every university requires the students to submit to specific essential questions the admissions committee poses. They may not ask you directly, but these are the questions they usually anticipate you to answer: What do you want to study in graduate school.
- Why do you wish to focus solely on this degree?
- Why do you wish to study at this university in particular?
- What subjects do you want to study in this country?
- How much experience do you have in your field? Is your experience relevant to your degree choice?
- What extra abilities do you want to learn from the degree if you are currently experienced?
- What are your goals degree once you graduate?
- Would you instead get a job or do research?
- Would you want to study or do research with a specific professor?
- What can you do to help our university and program?
These are the questions you must answer before writing your statement of purpose.
Write replies to each of the questions as mentioned above separately, and try to weave them together into a tale that the admissions committee would like to read.
Unlike an MBA school, there will be no personal interviews for a graduate program, so the only way to impress admissions examiners is to communicate your narrative through a statement of purpose.
You must tell your narrative in the most pleasing way possible so that the committee thinks you are fascinating enough.
It is very common to be worried about a low GPA score while seeking admission at a good university. While we understand that not everyone has an outstanding GPA credential and academic scores do not define your capabilities or personal skills, it is essential to know that the admission committee would judge you based on your official documents. These authorities neither know you personally nor your capabilities. To show them what mettle you are made of, a well-tailored SOP (Statement of Purpose) should be submitted. A personalized SOP not only tells the story of your life and highlights your credentials but also shows that you are a valuable candidate which bolsters your chance at being selected.
Note down these 10 super-useful SOP tips and tricks to get the best possible SOP out there.
1. Don’t provide any false information in the SOP
The first and foremost thing that must be taken care of while writing the SOP essay is absolute honesty. The authorities don’t entertain fake information. Imagine a scenario where you are about to get selected at a top grad school, just then the admission authorities notice something fishy about you. This can lead to a disaster if you do not have substantial proof to support what is being claimed in the fabricated SOP essay. So, it is important to avoid such worst-case scenarios and submit only and only authentic written matter.
2. Focus on your strengths in the written SOP.
A good piece of advice in most cases is to highlight your strengths in the SOP instead of alluding to your low GPA. Leveraging your skills and abilities help the admission committee understand your true potential. Bringing their attention to a low GPA score can backfire sometimes. Hence, it is vital to think of what needs to be written. Be diplomatic and write with utmost precision.
3. Attention! It is okay to explain a low GPA in 2-3 sentences in some special cases.
If your total GPA score suffered only because of bad performance in one or two semesters, there is often a reason for it. The low GPA can be because of personal or financial problems, or health concerns. You can mention the reason for such a case in 2-3 sentences if required.
Don’t sound overly sentimental or dramatic though. Keep it brief and write up to the point. Owning your weak times in life might portray you as a mature individual. The following next 2-3 sentences should focus on how you overcame the rough patch in your life with hard work, determination, and perseverance.
Here’s a hypothetical scenario for better understanding.
Suppose, unfortunately, a student’s parents were going through a divorce and the student’s GPA suffered in two semesters because of the same. In such a case, the student can mention the reason explaining how the divorce negatively impacted his life, diverted his focus from his studies, and affected his GPA. However, immediately after mentioning the reason, the student must write about how he made up for the low GPA with his hard work and determination such as he put in extra hours to perform better in future semesters, got an A grade in a major’s subject, and so on. Showing your ability to fix problems and bringing solutions to problems is reviewed favorably at times.
4. Take up a certificate course in the relevant field of interest.
To highlight your skills and talent during the admission process, it is good to enroll in a certificate course in the relevant field. Take up a good course on online learning platforms such as Coursera or Skillshare. You can opt for free and paid courses in the relevant field there.
Here’s one example about taking a course in the relevant field. Suppose you want to apply for a master’s course in Computer Science abroad. In this case, you can opt for a certificate course in Artificial Intelligence. Undergoing such a course will not only help you during the selection process but also update you with several good things. Additional knowledge is always beneficial.
5. Research about the university on the internet to write a more personalized SOP.
Find out details of the course curriculum, about faculty members, and other important facts. Use these details while writing your SOP. The admission committee reviews thousands of applications each day so a brilliant SOP which talks about thorough interest in the course at university will attract the attention of the readers.
For example, tell your readers that you are interested in working on a research program with Prof X and Prof Y. Mention how you are excited about partaking in research at the university along with them. Or you can speak about the topics in the curriculum that interest you thoroughly. How studying these topics can be good for you and how you can contribute to society with the knowledge and expertise gained. In short, write about how your interest aligns with the specialized program at university.
6. Convince the authorities that you will turn out to be a good alumnus of the university.
A good SOP talks about your strengths. While a brilliant SOP will convince the authorities that you are not only a good candidate but can also contribute to the university as an alumnus.
You can talk about the advantages in your profile that will raise the university’s reputation in the future. Mention any proven work-experience, successful leadership roles, and things that prove your point.
7. Take care that the tone of the SOP writing is polite and respectful.
As a gentle reminder, this point is to reiterate the importance of a well-written SOP. The grammar must be perfect and the tone of the writing must be mature, very polite, and respectful.
8. Never claim something in the SOP that you should not be claiming.
Saying something like the GPA methodology adopted at the university was not good or saying that the GPA is not a good indicator of your real abilities is a complete NO-NO.
The well-known fact is that GPA is not calculated based on a single exam but is an amalgamation of all the scores in the course of study. So please refrain from making any negative statements in the SOP or it can spoil the game. Instead, focus on projecting yourself as a qualified and positive candidate.
9. Give Examples. Examples. And Lots of Examples.
Merely writing about your capabilities will do no good. Anyone can write such things to show that they are worthy of being selected. The admission committee reads hundreds of applications that say “I am good at doing this or I am good at doing that” but these statements are of no use. That is why we have vouched for a personalized SOP at the start itself. Provide detailed examples about every claim you make in the SOP. Engage your readers with good examples and increase your selection chances.
10. Ask professionals to help you if it is required.
Take the help of a professional writer in SOP writing if you are feeling lost or worried. Several writing agencies have hired professional writers so that you can sit back and relax while they are writing your personalized SOP. To name a few firms, you can contact brilliant writing agencies such as Write Right, Taletel, or E-Storytellers for this purpose and get this task sorted.
All the Best with your application!