]The question ‘How will a gap year affect my application?’ never arises for most students. But there are some students or applicants who would have to answer this important question. They have a major concern over will they be able to secure a seat in a particular institute because of their gap year? Continue reading this article to know how to write a UPSC statement of purpose and how to justify a gap year in your SOP?

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What is a Statement of Purpose?

When applying to a university for higher studies, the most important piece in your application is a Statement of Purpose or an SOP. It is a short essay that showcases your educational background, goals and your various achievements over the years. This is where you also mention the program of your desire and the university to which you want to apply. The statement of purpose is an excellent way for you to stand out from the thousands of applications received by the institutes daily.

In a Statement of Purpose, you place special emphasis on your extracurricular achievements and why you want to study at that particular university. It shows the admissions committee a glimpse of your personality other than your academic performance. SOP is an important piece of your application process since it can ensure whether you receive a letter of acceptance or not.

What is the Purpose of a SOP?

The SOP is the break or makes the section of your application. The admission committee can view your take on life, your belief system, knowledge of the subject, your vision, your career goals. A well – written SOP shows your overall personality to the universities. This is an opportunity to show the admission committee why they should go forward with you rather than other applicants. The SOP is submitted in the form of an essay, but some universities often accept them in a questionnaire. A good SOP is a boon for those profiles who are academically weak, you can highlight your future goals and ambition. A good SOP can show how you will express your thoughts via your writing skills.

How to Structure a Good SOP?

Some steps should be kept in mind while writing an SOP

Plan it Well

Create an outline first for your SOP and then work accordingly. Share an anecdote with the committee that developed your interest in the subject and build your introduction according to it. Try to create pointers and list your achievements and expertise. Also, list the reason behind choosing this course at the university.

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Create a Draft

Try to share your knowledge and learning that you gained during your industry and education experience, Don’t use many technical terms and try to use active instead of passive voice while writing your Statement Of Purpose. Try to address the gap year optimistically. Make sure your SOP has a clear introduction, substance, and conclusion. Write your SOP in reverse chronological order.

Review the SOP before You Send It

You must review and analyse what you have written. Analysing will help you rectify the flow, vocabulary, long sentences and sentence construction errors and other grammatical errors. Try to get a second opinion from either a professor or your senior. Double-check before the submission.

How to Justify Gap Year For UPSC in Statement of Purpose?

Preparing for UPSC is not an easy task. 98 percentile of the candidates can not even clear the prelims exams in the first attempts. Some of the candidates take a gap year to prepare for the exam but still are not able to clear the exam. Students try to pursue other fields or apply for higher education abroad. Writing an SOP is an integral part of your admission process to universities abroad. Do candidates wonder how they should justify gap year in the SOP? Below are some points for aspirants of Civil Service UPSC Statement Of Purpose:

Talk about the Experience

UPSC preparation is a special experience for each candidate. The number of hard work students put in while preparing for the exam is unparalleled. Talk about the experience you had while preparing for the exam. Mention the lessons you learned and how you will use them in your future endeavours.

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Be Forthright

Admit the gap year and the reasons behind it. Don’t deny the gap year. Don’t gloss over any unnecessary details or don’t pretend like it never happened. Find a proper balance in your answer and tell the reviewer what happened by showcasing the importance of the gap year on career and personality. Try to justify the gap year as a period of self-discovery and self-learning. Try to show how you tried to hone your academic skills instead of procrastinating, which generally happens in a gap year.


You’d be surprised to hear that saying essentially. For a short time, I was not sure what I wanted out of my life. I took a break and thought real hard about it, and in the end, I realized that is the correct place for me to be, so I prepared for the Indian Administrative Services. After my first attempt, I realized that I am not cut out for the life this service had to offer. Hence I decided to pursue my master’s degree.


Taking a gap year can often be the best or worst decision of your life. One should often think before taking the decision. Keep the above-mentioned points in your mind while writing an SOP. A good SOP can often be the sole reason you get admitted to a good university, especially if your academic performance isn’t that good. If you wish to read more about tips on how to clear UPSC exams, which optional subject to choose or how to prepare, visit the UPSC pathshala website.

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How to Justify the Gap Year for UPSC in the Statement of Purpose? Know How to Justify a Gap Year
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How to Justify the Gap Year for UPSC in the Statement of Purpose? Know How to Justify a Gap Year
Are you writing a statement of purpose, but don’t know how to justify your gap year? Read this article to know how to write a statement of purpose justifying your GAP year.
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About the Author

Aaditya Anand

Aaditya might have completed his engineering in computer science, but he has always had a passion for writing. He believes that writing a code and a story are much more similar than they might seem. You need to imagine the end product in both of them and you can only reach there once you start writing. Aaditya’s love for food is the only thing he can’t describe with words and more than eating he enjoys cooking for his family and friends. In his free time, Aaditya enjoys watching cricket and football. He knows how to lighten the mood with one-liners in a serious situation. If he is not writing or reading about any of his interests, you can find Aaditya in a sports bar cheering for his favourite sports club.

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