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How to justify the study gap in SOP for Canada

How to Justify your study Gap in SOP for Canada

The craze of the Canadian dream has been popular among aspiring students for many decades. It is equally attractive to the current generation of students who want to move abroad for higher studies and Canada too never disappoints them with its standardized education programs. However, these students often face a hurdle when it comes to writing their Statement of Purpose which is one of the most significant documents that needs to be given to the visa granting officers as they verify your documents. As is obvious, students with excellent academic records have higher chances as it displays your dedication to the officials toward studies. An academically bright student will also earn excellent skills in Canadian Universities, thus maintaining their reputation. Now, when an application comes to them where there is a study gap of few or many years there is a chance that it is looked down upon. But if a student plays their cards right, they can turn this part of the SOP into an undeniable strength instead of a weakness in their document. With the correct negotiations at hand, it is very much possible to take this situation in your favor and justify the study gap in your SOP for Canada. However, as this document is quite crucial, you must hire the services of Professional SOP Writers in India and get a perfect draft to submit. The companies providing SOP Writing Services in India know what elements to include in an SOP to make it convincing. Let’s continue the blog and understand the key points using which we can justify the study gap.

Key Points to justify your study gap in SOP for Canada

Work Commitments: For certain courses at the postgraduate or undergraduate level, work experience is a demand instead of a flaw. Fields such as management, data analysis, healthcare industry, human resources, banking, and entrepreneurship mostly consider only those students who are aware of the practical understanding of the course for which they have applied.  You must mention the company and post at which you were employed so that there are no loose ends to your information.

Crunch of Funds: It is quite understood that everybody comes from a different financial class of society. It would be ethically incorrect to say that only those students who are financially well-off have the right to study abroad. You can very comfortably write in your SOP for a student visa to Canada that at a previous point in time, you did not have enough money that would have allow an education in Canada. Therefore, you were busy collecting funds from relatives, friends, and other near and dear ones to be able enough to pay your tuition fees. If you have a guardian who is sponsoring your education or you have applied for a loan from the bank or other agencies then you must mention it with accurate details in your SOP to justify the study gap.

Personal Issues: A student should be very cautious to not mention their issues as just ‘personal issues’. It is incomplete information which will impact your study gap justification in the most negative way possible and you will surely miss the chance to study from Canada. Try to explain the exact issue that resulted in a study gap. Some examples of personal issues can be identity crises, family death, legal matters, relationship commitments, etc. In a few sentences, you can also mention how you dealt with these problems and came out stronger and better than before.

Health Concerns: It is not possible that everybody’s life moves on track without any hiccups. Medical problems are one of the most common reasons for students to leave their studies in between. In your SOP to justify the study gap, clearly mention the health issue that you were facing, the clinic/ doctors that treated you, and if the concern is now resolved or not. Keeping in mind the current worldwide awareness of health, make sure that in your present situation, you do not have any disease that is communicable and can pose a risk of transfer to those around you.

A desired break from Studies: The pressure to complete a course, earn a degree, score well in examinations, or attempt various projects and research papers can be quite overwhelming for some people. As long as you can keep it simple and give an honest reason for taking a break from your studies, you will be good to go.

Pursue Hobby: An ability to differentiate between your personal and professional lives is a skill that only a few muster up the courage to master. Everybody has interests and hobbies for which they often do not get the time to enjoy. Passions like singing, dancing, drawing, painting, skating, gymnasts, etc. can be some hobbies that motivate you to take a study gap and enjoy them as much as possible for some time. 

Learn New Skills: In a professional environment today, companies demand all-rounders who can manage different parts of their work while multitasking. Similarly, in our personal lives too, it is expected that you know basic life skills because gender-based work roles are finally diminishing. If you can explain in your SOP to justify the study gap about a skill you wanted to learn as it will help you in your life; you must try to explain it as specifically as possible. Some of the skills that may be appreciated are communication, coding, computer skills, artificial intelligence, cooking, learning emotional intelligence, knowledge of foreign languages, etc. It is not mandatory that the skill is related to your previous education or is productive money-wise, but if you can somehow link it with the course that you wish to pursue in Canada, it can prove to be the icing on the cake.

Preparation for Exams: For Canada, there are language tests that have to be passed with a decent score. It is possible that a certain university that specializes in a particular course, will have its own examinations to accept a student into their university. If you have spent your time studying or taking coaching classes for such exams you must explain it in your SOP while justifying the study gap.

Target Dream University: In a situation where you are certain of the university/college from which you want to study in Canada, then there might be a chance that its admissions happen at a certain time of the year only. This can result in you waiting for some time before applying for its application form.

Long-term career goal: Some students have it absolutely clear in their head about the education and career line they wish to follow. They follow these steps like climbing stairs and take advantage of all of the steps. Taking a break before moving on to the next step can be a part of your career and if you can give valid explanations for this step, it will not be a hindrance in your SOP for the Canadian study visa.

Certain errors to be careful of in your justification for the study gap in SOP for Canada

  • Repeating information and explanations again and again is not required and will look bad on your SOP. 
  • If there are even slight chances of dishonesty reflected through your words, then your application will surely be rejected.
  • Mentioning employers or companies that do not exist with their contact numbers not reachable can look bad for your SOP.
  • You might have not done any formal work during your study gap which is why you cannot prove it through documents. In such a case, do not think about developing false work experience as it will be an unethical approach.
  • An over-explanation of information not linked to your reason for taking a study gap should be avoided.

Samples to understand how to write scenarios of justifying study gap in SOP

Example 1

“Since my high school days, I was clear about getting into Management. However, I had observed corporate employees in my family getting limited time to accomplish their hobbies and interests. Since primary school, I aspired to take part in all dance functions and inter/intra-school competitions organized by my school. My parents had early on enrolled me into classical dance training and I have almost perfected it over the years. Now, after completing my high school with more than 90 percentile as my overall score I had a chance to get into many good universities in my home country. However, I decided that I would take a break of two years from my education and pursue my passion to the fullest. My parents, like always, supported my decision. During these two years, I traveled all around the country and participated in more than 50 competitions and state/national functions. Twice, I even got the chance to come on television and give my performance. Now that I feel that I have utilized my educational break in the best manner possible, I wish to come back to my early interest in management and drive my career in the right direction. I have applied for an undergraduate course in Human Resource Management from St. Lawrence College and am certain that I will give my best in this field of life too.”

Example 2

“I have always been a person with an extrovert personality and have hosted many events and functions in my life. After completing my graduation in Bachelor of Mass Communication from Delhi University, it was time I reached for my dream to study in Canada. My two other siblings have also completed higher studies in Canada and are now excellent jobs in our home country. However, while I was preparing for my language proficiency exam, I felt a constant pain in my abdomen for two consecutive weeks. When my parents took me to a doctor, we found out that I needed to go for an emergency surgery for appendix removal. In such a delicate situation we agreed to it. Unfortunately, I developed a serious infection two months after the surgery and had to be admitted to the hospital again. Because of this, I developed chronic weakness in my body and was advised to rest for a long period. I was admitted again on two different occasions for reasons stemming from the same problem. Now, three years after my graduation I have started to get my energy levels back and life is coming back to normal. Instead of thinking about the time gone by, I tried to focus on life ahead and continue with my education. I have now applied for a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of British Columbia and now hope to give my best to this course.”


The value of the SOP is often established with the importance of points like justification of study gap only. It is not humanly possible that every student has a clear understanding of the career they want to choose or courses they wish to study right after high school or graduation. For others, it might not even be an option to leave their family and move abroad due to dependence on emotional and financial reasons. The idea here is that since the SOP is a document that proves your worth as a student, you do not have to justify your study gap in SOP as a negative. There are hundreds of other things that a person might want to do that are different from academics and you can talk about them as a plus point. Your study gap can be your time to think about the best course and college that finds your interest. A student can use this time as their strength and encouragement to continue their education in an advanced country like Canada. To strengthen your confidence further about justifying the study gap in SOP for Canada, you should counsel with professional SOP writing services that will never go wrong with such an important document of your career!

Contentholic and SOP Pro are the two agencies who have been doing fine work and helping the students for more than a decade. You can look them up on the internet and take their services if you feel they are good.

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