How to Write a Letter Of Motivation (SOP) for German Universities?

    Updated on: 11 Sep 2023

    How to Write a Letter Of Motivation (SOP) for German Universities 

    If you are planning to study abroad, then one of the most challenging things is to draft your Statement of Purpose (SOP). This document is essentially an essay outlining your life, career goals, reasons for applying to a particular university and program. In other words, it is an essay from your side to the university’s admissions committee, which talks about why you are applying to their course and why they should select you from thousands of other applications.

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    How to Write the SOP for German Universities?

    • Do thorough research about the university you are applying to, find courses and research projects that are relevant to your background, and mention how they have encouraged you to apply.
    • Go through the university application requirements and note the suggested word limit for the SOP. Sometimes you will find a specific question or essay like a personal essay being asked by the university in lieu of the SOP. You need to pay attention to such details.
    • It is important to keep your language simple and focus on your academic achievements, research skills, and practical exposure.
    • They often ask for a ‘letter of motivation’ instead of the SOP. There is a very minute difference between these two documents. The Letter of Motivation is essentially about why you are interested in the program and how you want to utilize the opportunity if provided, to further your career goals. The SOP has a wider scope where you can focus more on who you are.

    How Can I Write a Good Letter of Motivation?

    In order to write a fantastic Letter of Motivation, you need to plan ahead and work step by step towards the perfect essay! Yes, it is a process that yields the best results if completed systematically.
    Firstly, you need to do some soul searching and find the answers to these questions:

    • What are the key relevant events in my life? (enlist them)
    • What are my most important achievements so far?
    • Why do I want to pursue my course at this university?
    • What are my key areas of research interest?
    • Where do I see myself immediately after my graduate program?
    • Where do I see myself 10-15 years down the line?
    • What are the issues in my profile (if any) that I need to bring to the university’s attention?
    • Few adjectives that best describe my qualities as a student


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    Secondly, you need to pen down the structure of your essay. The flow of your essay not only contributes to its readability but also directly reflects the clarity of your thoughts. So, using the information and vocabulary you have gathered in step 1, build your Letter of Motivation’s structure beginning with a powerful introduction, covering your academic achievements, and concluding with your goals as well as your reasons for applying to the program and what you seek to bring to the program as an international student.
    The next step is to write your first draft. This draft is about mentioning all the facts and ensuring good flow.
    Lastly, you need to edit and fine-tune your document to meet the university guidelines. At this stage, you can focus on grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, etc.

    How should your final draft of the ‘Letter of motivation’ look like?

    An effective SOP can go a long way in presenting your application to the university in an impressive manner. A good SOP takes into account who it is addressed to and is crisp and precise. To know if your SOP is a winner, follow our pointers below:

    • Your motivation to join a course and university should be within 2 pages maximum. Be cautious of the length of the letter. Nobody wants to read a letter that drawls on for several pages. 
    • Engage the admission committee. Your introductory paragraph should hook the reader till the end while conveying the intent of your application. 
    • The letter should contain specific details of how the intended course and college will help you. A quick tip to make sure that your letter does not seem general is to include any new developments the department has made or projects they have undertaken. Follow the university or the department’s social media accounts, like LinkedIn, to stay up-to-date on the new developments. 
    • Read your resume and SOP before submitting your application. They should not contain the same information. 
    • The narrative of the letter should be linear with a clear flow of thought. 
    • The final draft should not only contain your merits but also your short-term and long-term goals. The short-term goals should revolve around your time at the university and your long-term goals should revolve around how you envision your future career graph. 
    • Apart from merits and goals, your letter should include other interests, acquired skills, learnings, and experiences. The letter should be reflective of how your experiences molded you into a person with a set of skills ready to take on a new journey. 

    Once your final document is ready, do proofread it a few times to be sure you are sending the best possible version of the document. Use GyanDhan’s automated SOP Review Tool to check your SOP and see how you can improve it further.

    Need Help in Free SOP Review Click Here

    Why is the Letter of Motivation important in a German university admission?

    • The university and the admission committee base their decision on your profile after considering each element such as - GPA, test scores, language ability, work experience, LOR, and SOP. Each element is given due importance in the process, which is why you should too. 
    • For the university, SOP is a great tool to judge the motivation of the student. It helps them weed out uninterested students and select the ones who made an effort to research about the course and the university. As you will be answering questions - like ‘why you want to study this course?’ and ‘what you will bring to the course and gain from it?’ - it will make your application more credible.  
    • It is an open space for you to address any issue in your CV such as a gap year or low CGPA. You can expand on the lessons you learned through these low times of your life, and how these lessons help you move forward with your current endeavor.  
    • SOP is a valuable opportunity to tell the university your story. Use it well. 

    What are the Common Mistakes to Avoid While Drafting an SOP/Letter of Motivation?

    • The Use of Flowery Language - The SOP is not exactly a test of your language, it is a display of your personality. Brevity and clarity in conveying your academic intent are far more valuable than the use of ornate language.
    • Storytelling - While you must talk about your experiences through any major achievement in your profile, academic, or otherwise; you need to limit your storytelling as it brings very little to the table from the perspective of the admissions committee considering your application.
    • The Volume of Applications - The admissions committee of a university gets thousands of applications for a program. Your piece of writing has to stand out among a big pool of applicants. It is important to remember that yours won’t be the first or last SOP they ever read. This realization is essential in keeping your document sharp, brief, and effective.
    • Generic Writing - Writing one SOP for all universities, courses, or countries (if you are applying to may) is the most common error. The SOP needs to specifically talk about how the university, program, and location align with your goals and research objectives.

    Read Also:

    Germany has about 500 universities and as an economy that invests generously in its educational system, it provides a wonderful environment for international students. Indian students have additional benefits such as reduced fees and tuition waivers among others. This means the competition is generally on the higher side, especially due to the research prowess of their technical universities.
    In such a scenario, your documents and essay play an important role in your admission prospects. This is why you must try Gyandhan’s online SOP Review tool to assess your draft document for flow, matter, and readability.

    First published date: 15 Feb 2019


About author

Yogender Panchal
Yogender is a tech enthusiast with specialization in digital marketing. He is currently working at Gyandhan a leading company which provides Education Loan who are studying Abroad. Playing Volleyball, driving a car, traveling, researching new online marketing trends are some of his interest areas that keeps his rejuvenated.

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