Students sometimes take a break for multiple reasons, such as to explore academic choices, pursue interests other than academics, travel, participate in extracurricular activities, and gain work experience before resuming their academic journey. If you have a gap in your academic years, it will reflect in your Statement of Purpose (SOP) too. SOP is a crucial part of the admission process followed by international and some Indian universities. So, how can we justify the gap in the SOP? Let’s discover together.

  1. Be transparent

We totally understand you want to do everything to hide that gap in your Statement of Purpose because it might jeopardise your academic plans. But what if we tell you that adding a few lines explaining the gap can be far more convincing than hiding the gap. If you don’t provide any valid reason for the gap, the examiner may have several questions and can reject the SOP. So, the most appropriate choice in this situation is to mention the gap in your SOP and explain the reasons briefly.

  • Did you know that many universities don’t view an academic gap as a drawback to mark you down, as long as you can justify it?
  1. Be the winner

Do you want to gain a competitive advantage even with the gap in your Statement of Purpose? You can take this opportunity to leverage the situation to your advantage by adding the list of activities or courses that you completed during the gap year. For instance, you can mention that since the study program requires you develop good leadership qualities, you took a break from academics to hone your soft skills. Also, provide valid certificates supporting your reasons.

  1. Entrance exams

Whether you choose to study in India or study abroad, you have to appear for certain entrance exams in order to get through the admission process. Most entrance exams are highly competitive and require you to practise for a year or more. Many students feel ashamed to mention that in the Statement of Purpose. However, you must remember that your preparation for entrance exams demonstrates your dedication to your academic path. You will earn some brownie points for this!

  1. Perfect synchronisation

You can further strengthen your reasons for taking a break by adding them to your Letter of recommendation (LOR). For instance, if you mention in your Statement of Purpose that you pursued courses in programming languages since you intend to strengthen your fundamental knowledge before enrolling for higher education, your LOR should reflect the same. Otherwise, it may raise some red flags.

  • Pro tip: The best way to ensure your SOP and LOR are in perfect sync is to pass on all the information related to your courses and extracurricular activities to your faculty members before asking them for the LOR.

A quick glance at dos and don’t’s to justify a gap in your Statement of Purpose

Dos Don’ts
  • Things you can add: 
    • Additional courses: Online or offline
    • Skill development programs
    • Internships
    • Work experience
    • Preparation for entrance exams
    • Volunteering activities
    • Competitions
  • Things to avoid: 
    • Blame the gap on people or circumstances
    • Add excuses that don’t value-add to your Statement of Purpose
    • Pour your heart out with unnecessary details
    • Add embarrassing personal details
  • Showcase your learnings
  • Mention the drawbacks
  • Be transparent
  • Skip the gap or be dishonest about it

So, follow these tips to create a lasting impression through your Statement of Purpose. After clearing the admission process, the next step is to arrange finances. Many students opt for an education loan to pursue their academic aspirations independently. By opting for a student loan, you can earn a self-made badge. If you want more information, please remember we are just a call away.

Related Post