SOP And LOR are the two most important instruments to apply for a research project or university admission. However, students do not clearly understand their differences and how to distinguish them practically. In this blog, we will discuss the definition, role, format and some other aspects of SOP and LOR and compare the two at the end. Let's have a look.

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

What is SOP

A straightforward definition of an SOP or statement of purpose states that it is an extended essay required by the universities in their admission process. It is the purpose you are stating to enter that particular university. An SOP contains three main elements about yourself; what is your essential detail? What is your objective? And how prepared are you to take up the course you are applying for at the university? You must take references from these three and make a gist of them together.

What is the importance of SOP?

A well-formatted SOP is highly crucial for your college or university admission. Naturally, universities will conduct a filtration process before admitting a candidate. To do that, some primary lists of objective documents are your academic backlogs, scorecards, certificates or detailed academic records. On the other hand, an SOP is the only subjective piece of your application.

It is a document where you can showcase your unique qualities and what sets you apart from the rest. Thus, an SOP works like a docket of applications that can play a decisive role in your admission process.

What colleges and universities may search in your SOP?

First, you must remember that all students will submit academic certificates and documents. Thus, SOPs can influence the teacher to view you differently from the crowd. Also, it must be short, crisp and precise. Here are a few facts that your college review committee may view in your SOP.

  • They will first judge your writing skills and convincing power. It must be devoid of a single grammatical error. The language must have a good vocabulary but be lucid at the same time.
  • Highlight your unique capabilities, perceptive power, intensity to wake up in challenging situations etc.

Along with an SOP, many universities will demand a Duolingo English Test for admission. For that, you must practice a Duolingo Mock Test Free Online.

Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

What is a LOR?

A letter of Recommendation or LOR is mainly of two types: academic and professional. Academic LORs are those where a faculty member of your present or past alma mater recommends you for admission to your present university or elsewhere. Professional LORs are those required by international business colleges and professional institutions to prove a candidate's previous work experiences. Usually, a professional LOR is written by the immediate supervisor of your company. Here, the candidate's leadership abilities and capacity to take on challenges are explained.

Who are the people that need a LOR?

Every student planning to study in a foreign country will require a letter of recommendation from their present university or college. To prove his background or previous performance, a candidate must display at least three letters of recommendation, irrespective of the course or degree he is pursuing. For MBA applicants, LORs must be entirely professional, particularly if he has more than 2 years of experience. Students who recently graduated and are applying for an MBA abroad can show a professor or teacher's LOR. If you want to Study In The USA After 12th, writing a LOR is a must.

What are some basic steps to write a LOR?

Usually, a LOR is a 500 to 600-page essay document that details a candidate's strengths and weaknesses. In addition, in a LOR, you must mention the tenure and nature of the association you served or remained a part of. Here are some basic formats of a LOR.

  • You must write the LOR on your previous institute's official letterhead.
  • The student must choose the right recommender, as the letterhead of your previous organisation would usually be discarded.
  • This study must reflect your in-general personality, different aspects of your life, and your main objective.

Similarities and differences between SOP and LOR

This is clearly understood that both SOP and LOR are two very crucial documents to enter academic institutions. They are the same in that both describe your personality, performance, achievements, strengths and weaknesses. In addition, your goal from the course must be clear, and the overall length of the essay must be almost equal.

While the main difference is that an SOP is a first-hand subjective account of your past performance and achievements, LORs are viewed from your professor's eyes. SOP is not mandatory for every higher-education university, while LORs are. Also, SOPs can be biased and self-promoting while LORs are generally objective and a more authentic source of information.