I'm so confused. I can't distinguish between them. It seems to me that sometimes the statement of purpose (SOP) is the personal statement (PS), sometimes it is not the PS, and by the definition I'll give below, academic statement (AS) is the SOP.
Is the SOP a PS (or not)?
I think most people will agree that the SOP is another name for the PS, and you only need one statement beside your CV and research proposal (if necessary) to be written. That explains why in Academia.SE, we only have a sop tag but no PS tag or AS tag. And most of the time I see people ask about a PS question under the SOP tag, and accept the answer only says about the SOP. Except these two questions, where the posters notice that SOP is not the PS (I find them when searching for "personal statement" "statement of purpose"):
- Academic Statement of Purpose vs NSF Personal Statement
To be clear, the first question asks about academic statement of purpose and only localize to the NSF Fellowship application. But the (sole) answer only discusses the SOP, so I understand that ASOP is the other name of the SOP (don't know if it also be the AS as well).
Is the SOP the Academic Statement?
Now, in the announcement for a fellowship I intend to apply for, it requires me to have both an academic statement and a personal statement. It defines them like this:
ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL STATEMENTS. Each applicant must prepare a one-page Academic Statement and a one-page Personal Statement. The first essay addresses the applicant’s academic and scientific background and preparation, previous research, and a description of the study and research proposed at a U.S. graduate school department. The Personal Statement includes information about the applicant’s background, practical experience, special interests, and career goals, with some attention to plans after degree completion. Applicants should also address how they might represent Vietnam as students in the United States and how they might represent the United States and contribute to Vietnam upon return.
More explicit details are provided in the link. Based on the definition of the AS, I think that it is the SOP as we widely know (or at least is this SOP). If then, what is the PS in this case? Is it the place for the "my first trembling steps" stuff?
Or, does the aggregation of AS and PS in this situation equate the SOP as we widely know, and the recruiters just want to make it explicit?