Statement of Purpose vs Personal Statement

5 minute read
Statement of Purpose vs Personal Statement

Statement of Purpose and Personal Statement seem like two peas in the same pod. But they both have their own set of similarities and differences. What are they? We shall dive into both sides of the contenders, in this guide to better understand the statement of purpose and personal statement. Before we go on to talk about the statement of purpose and personal statement together, let’s pick up their distinctive qualities and descriptions separately. In this blog, know the major differences and similarities between a Statement of Purpose vs Personal Statement.

What is a Statement of Purpose? 

A statement of purpose is a major component of a student’s admission application to international universities. It describes the intention of the student to pursue the particular program of study, including the reasoning behind why their academic profile and the university’s profile are a good fit. As a student, you shall write about your motivations behind choosing this particular field of study, your career goals, inspirations, passions, past relevant experiences, academic background, extracurricular activities, and chief interests. Also include all kinds of relevant accomplishments that you think might give the admissions committee a better idea of your person. 

It is usually written in a structured form, with several paragraphs included in a continuous flow. The following gives you a better idea:

  1. Introduction
  2. Academic Background and Career Goals 
  3. Work Experience 
  4. Personal Interests 
  5. Extracurricular Activities 
  6. Contributions to Society 
  7. Future Degree Navigation
  8. The reason behind choosing the particular course
  9. The reason behind choosing the university 
  10. Future Contributions to Chosen University

What is a Personal Statement? 

A personal statement focuses more on the personal motivation for studying at a university or college. It is about who you are as a person and how that contributes to the course you’re planning to enrol in. It talks about your own interests, relevant to the chosen field of study, and any strong accomplishments or strong hold over community services like volunteering. You can also mention significant points that might have no space to be included in the statement of purpose. 

Include the following information, majorly, in the personal statement:

  1. Social, economic, personal, and cultural experiences 
  2. Understanding of communities on the margins, as well as their underrepresentation in your chosen career field 
  3. A larger understanding of the world, in view of social strata and power dynamics 
  4. Scholarly discourse 
  5. Research and community engagement

Difference Between a Statement of Purpose vs Personal Statement

Read on to know about 4 major differences between a Statement of Purpose vs a personal statement. 

Statement of Purpose  Personal Statement 
Focused on Academic and Professional Qualities  Focused on personal achievements and motivations 
The student’s academic excellence is mentioned in the beginning paragraphs  Challenges faced by the student are to be mentioned 
Forward-looking essay  Reflective essay on the personal experiences 
Written in formal language  Can be comparatively informal 

Similarities between Statement of Purpose and Personal Statement

Read on to know about 4 major similarities between a statement of purpose vs a personal statement. 

Statement of Purpose and Personal Statement
Both share a common goal of getting the student admitted to the university.
Both documents are to be written with a sense of smartness.
Both should engage the reader and the academic council. 
Both should reflect on the virtues and values of the student. 

Statement of Purpose vs Personal Statement: Comparison 

Now, moving forward, let’s put Statement of Purpose vs Personal Statement and look at some divisions of comparisons. 

Divisions Statement of Purpose  Personal Statement 
Purpose  The purpose to write an SOP is to convince the admission committee as to why you fit well with the department of their choice.  The purpose to write a personal statement is to convince the admission committee by allowing them to better understand your personality. 
Relevance  It is relevant in terms of the student’s application being rejected or accepted. It is relevant in terms of applying for fellowships or scholarships. 
Subjects to be covered  College education Academic Excellence Additional Training Work and Internship Experience
Explanation of gap year or backlogs
Future Goals, etc
Financial or cultural background International Exposure Personal Values
Personal Experiences and Challenges 

Statement of Purpose vs Personal Statement: To Choose or Not to Choose?

Choosing to write a statement of purpose or a personal statement completely depends on the university you’re applying to and the course you’re planning to get enrolled in. 

Make sure to go through the following points before writing the essay. 

  1. Whether the university has combined the traits of a personal statement and a statement of purpose and demanded to submit a singular statement 
  2. Whether the university has mentioned the need to write both statements with different word limits 
  3. Whether either statement needs to be written with special emphasis on particular subjects 
  4. Whether there is a set form or layout, as mentioned on the university website, to write a particular statement
  5. To check the requirements of the application process on the website of the chosen university

Tips to Write Statement of Purpose and Personal Statement 

The following are the most relevant tips to write either a statement of purpose or a personal statement:

  1. Structure the Essay 

The foremost step is to plan the essence and structure of your statement. Make sure you distinguish the paragraphs to be written in the essay, their order, and their constituent parts. 

  1. Reflect on Personal Motivation

This is especially important for writing a personal statement but also holds true for writing a statement of purpose. Jot down the reasons for choosing to apply to the particular program and university, specifically.

  1. Talk about Distinctive Qualities

What makes you stand out in the sea of many? Sort your most distinctive qualities or potential skills and elucidate on the same in the essay you’re going to write for the admission process. 

  1. Strengths and Weaknesses 

Don’t shy away from sharing circumstances or instances from your life that highlight your weaknesses or strengths, for they only add to your personality, which is further beneficial for your statement of purpose, or a personal statement.  

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FAQs 

Is a personal statement the same as a statement of purpose?

Although a personal statement does share similarities with a statement of purpose, they are not one and the same. They have their own set of purposes and relevance. 

Is a statement of purpose more important than a personal statement?

Whether a statement of purpose is preferred or a personal statement, completely depends on the university you’re applying to, for they set the rules you must adhere to. 

This was all about a Statement of Purpose vs a Personal Statement! You may enlist the assistance of Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process so that you can realize your goals. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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