I'm writing a statement of purpose nowadays for my intended linguistics MA program. The first draft is about to end, which I will edit harshly later.

What I'm curious about is this. When I was a sophomore student, there was a must course that I was much more successful than the the rest of the class. When the results of the first midterm were announced, a good number of people in the class withdrew from this course, while I got the highest grade. Mine was 27 out of 30 and the class average was around 15. Moreover, many people who didn't withdraw failed afterwards. In this way, I was the only student the course instructor calls by name during lectures. This professor now happens to be one of my recommendation letter writers and I reminded him about that when requesting the letter.

Should I mention this "achievement" in my statement of purpose or would it be irrelevant as the admissions expects us more than grades and being successful?

1 Answer 1


Actually, I suggest that you find somewhere else to mention this, and make the SoP entirely forward looking. The CV and such give your history. The introductory letter can give something of motivation.

But the SoP should be used for just that, what is your purpose going forward. It isn't about what you have accomplished in the past. What do you want to study? Why do you want to do that? What are your long term plans after you earn the next degree? That is what people need to hear in the SoP. Don't assume people will correctly extrapolate your future from your past. Spell it out. Don't waste the limited space on other things best said elsewhere.

  • Thank you for the quick response! Regarding the past, I mentioned an article of mine that was accepted to an undergrad journal, for example. I thought about whether to mention that course as well but I guess it is not appropriate as you said. Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 22:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .