The Importance of Researching Your Targeted School before Writing the Statement of Purpose
The better your statement of purpose reflects what the school is looking for the more chance you will have of being accepted. If you really want to understand what the admissions committee will want to see within your statement of purpose it is often best to ask them! Why guess at what they want to read if often they will be totally up front and will tell you themselves. Never ignore the information that they provide for you regarding writing a statement of purpose and what they look for in a student.
All of the following should be looked at prior to starting your writing:
School admissions requirements
Not only will the web pages of the school lay out their application requirements they will also often spell out in detail what they are looking for when writing an academic statement of purpose. More often than not they will provide you with detailed guidance as to how to write your personal statement and what sorts of information they are looking for. They will also provide you with guidance as to precisely what they look for from each student.
Another mine of useful information is the school website. Again they will spell out what they expect from their students. Looking at their news and other stories you will also see the sorts of things they celebrate and value from their students and alumni.
If you are lucky enough to know other students that already attend then they can be a useful source of information. Not only can you ask what helped them to gain their place you can also get the inside track on how it is to be a student there.
There are many things about a school’s history that can help you to write your statement. Consider areas such as the following:
- Have the original aims of the school changed since it was founded?
- Are there any famous events related to the school?
- Who are the most famous Alumni?
Take a school tour
Whether you do so virtually or an actual visit there is a huge amount that you could potentially see that will provide you with information for your personal statement. Look at things like plaques, artwork and even the architecture of the buildings.
Talk to the school
If anything about writing your statement of purpose is not clear do not be afraid to contact the school directly with your questions.
Always remember when writing a statement of purpose that the better it reflects the specific expectations of the school and how well it demonstrates that you have spent time to research them; the more chance you have of being selected.