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Statement Of Purpose Vs. Personal Statement

May 11, 2024

Some of the most well-recognized and reputed universities require a personal statement or a statement of purpose( Statement Of Purpose Vs. Personal Statement) from the students. Even though the personal statement and statement of purpose contain different information, they also have some similarities. A student must be well equipped with the differences between a statement of intent if they are planning to study abroad. These statements will help students effectively address the University’s requirements, increasing their chances of admission to their desired University.

This article will elaborate on the comparison of personal statement vs statement of purpose so that you have a clear knowledge of both statements during your application process. It is important to recognize that these two application documents express themselves.


What is a Statement of Purpose?

A statement of purpose is an explanation of your reasons for applying to a specific graduate program and the reason why an early career researcher would be a good fit for the program. The admission panel is keen on acknowledging the reasons why the candidate is interested in a particular program. This statement connects candidates’ past and future in academics.

An early career researcher applying to a university should have some experience in the specific research field they are pursuing. However, the program that a certain candidate is applying for defines well whether the person must mention his past experiences in the particular field of study or not. For instance, if an individual applies for an MBA program, saying their research experience in any field in detail makes no sense.


To write a well-crafted statement of purpose, you must understand the academic journey. It is crucial to observe each experience, past events, and life-changing fluctuations in the career. It helps an individual to create strong reasoning for being willing to apply for the specific program. Furthermore, when the candidate clearly understands their future possibilities and academic past, they must focus on clearly elaborating their original story.

When you craft a satisfying and well-written statement of purpose, you can convince the admission panel to approve your application. The statement of purpose holds responses to the questions listed below:

  • The purpose behind choosing a particular school or University
  • The field of resource you’re passionate about
  • Why is it not possible to pursue a certain program in your own country
  • What are you willing to gain from this academy experience?
  • What is the role of your background in preparing you to be passionate about this field?
  • Mention your future career goals
  • The reason behind not scoring well on specific 
  • exams and the lesson you learned from your failure
  • Specialty about you that makes you stand apart from the crowd

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a note in which the applicant mentions their academic as well as individual background. This statement allows the candidate to share their professional and personal experiences, followed by academic experiences. However, a personal statement gives us a focus on future research as compared to a statement of purpose.

You use a personal statement to describe and promote yourself on the basis of your skills and the reasons why you are a suitable applicant for the specific course. Furthermore, writing about your readiness for the course and passion for the field you are willing to apply for is crucial.


In a personal statement, candidates should include the following details:

  • The goals and values of the candidate
  • Their personal story based on the required skills
  • Mention the key points that motivate them
  • Describe the importance of the course they have selected in today’s world.

Statement Of Purpose Vs Personal Statement: Key Differences

Some major differences between a statement of purpose and a personal statement are discussed below.

  • The statement of purpose invests the entire focus on your future achievements in your career and your professional and academic qualities. However, the personal statement discusses your motivation and achievements, making you the right candidate for a certain program.
  • The statement of purpose includes career, goals, education, excellence, and how you settle well in the program. On the other hand, a personal statement is meant to express your motivation for applying for a certain program and the major challenges or accomplishments that you have faced to date.
  • The statement of purpose is an essay in which the admission officers keenly acknowledge each detail you mention regarding your research goals and future career plans. However, the personal statement reflects your happenings, which are highly concerned with your prior studies.
  • A statement of purpose is a detailed version and can be two or more pages, whereas a personal statement is typically concise, covering all the information on a single page.


Both personal statements and statements of purpose are crafted to influence the admission committee by presenting the most crucial information in the applicant’s own words. The comparison of an academic statement of purpose to a personal statement is also evident. 

The statement of purpose is highly formal. It includes highlights about the candidates, their professional and academic backgrounds, realizations, future goals, and recognition, and it describes whether they are worthy enough for the program. 


On the other hand, a personal statement focuses on a person’s major qualities and skills and achievements and failures in academic and personal life to date. You must be clear on both before applying to any particular university and create a well-crafted SOP or personal statement that meets the University’s demands.

If you need further help applying for a university abroad, immediately connect with Turito to get admission to the best universities abroad in a smooth and hassle-free process. 


FAQs about SOP Vs. Personal Statement

Is SOP written in the first person?

Yes, the SOP must always be written in the first person as it highlights your extracurricular and academic achievements; hence, make sure to mention all the details correctly.

Do we need to follow a word limit while writing SOP and personal statements?

Yes, there’s a specific page limit and a word limit provided for you for crafting your SOP. The University typically sets a word limit for SOPs between 800 and 1,500 words, while personal statements can range from 500 to 1000 words, but it’s crucial to include relevant information. Hence, please do not exceed the provided word limit as it does not give a positive impression about you following instructions precisely. 

Is there a specific format to follow while writing an SOP or a personal statement?

A classic format to be followed while writing an SOP or a personal statement is using the Times New Roman font, applying 1.5 line spacing with justified margins, and the entire document in size 12.

Statement Of Purpose Vs. Personal Statement


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