Why NOT to copy Statement of Purpose (SOP) for Grad School Application?

In Application Info by KumarUpdated : 16 Comments

Why NOT to copy Statement of Purpose SOP for US graduate schoolsOne of the things I have seen many students ask seniors or others when applying to graduate school for study in US is, ask for copies of previous statement of purpose (SOP) related to that area… Some of them just read them and write their own SOP, but most of them just modify the existing ones or in some cases just copy the exact one and apply to US Schools. Let me share some thoughts on why you should NOT copy Statement of Purpose. If you are not sure what SOP is, read this : What is Statement of Purpose(SOP) ? Importance.

Why you should NOT copy the SOP  ?

As mentioned before, Statement of purpose (SOP) is simply your goal statement defining your reason for graduate school education. Imagine you copying it…in fact, if you copy, what you are essentially doing is taking others goals and saying that it is your goal… isn’t that kind of cheating yourself ?   Some may argue, I do not know English, I cannot write, and other reasons…remember, your SOP need not be glossed with fancy vocabulary. It just has to state your goals for studying graduate school in simple English.

Imagine you copy other’s SOP, in reality you are just cheating yourself…It essentially states a point that you have never thought of why you wanted to go to graduate school…If you do not even have a goal for studying Graduate school in US, why even study it ?  I am not trying to discourage anyone by any means, but just questioning your instincts and gut before you jump the bandwagon blindly.

Graduate School Assessment of SOP for Admission ?

Anyways, coming back to point, Graduate schools in US, when they look at your application as a whole, they try to match your SOP with your academics, GRE, TOEFL and other stuff you have done in the past.  You really do not want to copy others SOP because, it has stuff like what they did in their career. Your SOP should reflect what you have done…If the admission committee does not find your application supporting your SOP or vice-versa, there is a high chance for them to think you just copied SOP and deny the admission. Some just copy the technical stuff in SOP trying to do so and so…remember, if you have never done research and you just brag about all research in SOP, it does not support the facts at hand with your application. You better be clear on what you write in SOP and it ties back to your application. So, always be careful and do not copy SOP.

How to use previous SOPs or Sample SOPs ?

It is a good idea to read few of the existing Statement of purpose copies to get an idea of how it is written and how the thought process flows in SOP describing achievements, goals, etc.  You should just read multiple SOPs to get an idea and create that framework for developing your ideas. You should not just copy and paste anything.  Writing SOP is your place to be creative and put your own thoughts and create a unique plan distinguishing from others.

I plan to post some SOP samples and strategy to write SOP in future articles.  Stay tuned by subscribing.

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Comments ( 16 )

  1. Shyam

    Hello Sir/Madam,

    I am Shyam Bhanderi and I have recently completed my Bachelors in Business Administration (12+3) from North Eastern Hill University with a percentage of 60.13%. My result in 10th and 12th class was 66.4% & 63.6% respectively. And my IELTS score are 6.5 bands and in GMAT 410 .Can I get admission in good university?

    1. Shyam

      Hello Sir/Madam,

      I am Shyam Bhanderi and I have recently completed my Bachelors in Business Administration (12+3) from North Eastern Hill University with a percentage of 60.13%. My result in 10th and 12th class was 66.4% & 63.6% respectively. And my IELTS score are 6.5 bands and in GMAT 410 .It would be grateful of you to let me know if I will be eligible for the MBA course or not.

      I also request you to send me prospectus of various MBA program options available in the university.

      Thank you,

  2. Bishnu Aryal

    sir, please give me suggestion. is the gre score for scholarship? i have gre score but one of my sir suggested me to go low cost colleges without scholarship for MS and do the assistantship, if achieved rather than scholarship. how much will be the chances of getting visas in this way by embassy, please explain it

    1. administrator

      Bishnu Aryal,
      Well, most of the good schools require GRE for admission and scholarship. I disagree with the suggestion, you should apply to good schools where GRE is required for admission. There are many degree mills that give admission just on TOEFL, but I do not recommend such school.s Coming to Scholarships, it is based on many factors and not just GRE score. Read How to get scholarship in US schools for MS

  3. Shri

    Hello sir, I just gave a gre & ielts exams and score were 288 & 6. I also hv completed BE(Mech Engg) from Pune university . Now I want to do MS in usa,,,,,, so what are the chances for me in getting good universities ????

    1. administrator

      Good is very relative…I am not up to date on the schools average scores, you my check average scores at few schools to get some idea. One important thing to remember, your admission decision is NOT solely based on scores, it is based on many factors like Academics, SOP, etc. So, even students with lesser scores can get into top universities, if they have compelling profile.

  4. Kishan

    I’m just a fan of your work sir. Please continue your great work. I’m high on confidence after reading all your articles about MS in US.

  5. Adeola

    Please sir I know you said just comments on this page but I was unable to open your Q&A page… I need ur help… I have a gre score of 283,grade 55% and tofel 83 I want to do my masters in social work(human development and early childhood disorders) in university of texas at dallas…. Do u think I have a chance… Plsss

  6. Vijay

    Hello Sir,
    I was really moved by your page… Thanks for the info you have posted in this page… It provides good information and tactics regarding how to write an sop….

  7. rishabh

    Hello there sir…..im really in a need of sincere advice..im totally confused what to do at this point of my career. im doing engineering b.tech electonics and communication from chandigarh and just paased out second year and right now in delhi for my summr vacations …earlier wanted to do mba just after my b.tech from abroad but now im toatally confused…somtym i think about going for resrch n somtym direct mba but didnt did anything in past two years of my b.tech….. plss reply asap

  8. deepak

    My brother gave his GRE few weeks back he got 1490,but he has only 58% average in his BE is there any hope of him getting admission in any good univ like UMD, NJIT, UA, NYIT.

    1. administrator

      Deepak, It is an awesome GRE score ! I cannot talk in specific about the schools you listed, but based on the score, he should be able to get into good schools…Just have to plan and apply properly with well articulate SOP …

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