How to justify the academic gap [Updated 2024]?

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Have a gap? Are you left wondering about the best way to state the reason in your Statement of Purpose so that your application does not end up in the rejection pile?

You know that admission officers, after noticing those periods of the gap in further education, might think twice about admitting you. The good news is there are ways to explain a gap in your Statement of Purpose to the universities that will position you as a competitive candidate. Below, we address the reasons- why admission officers care about education gaps, offer measures to clarify these breaks and provide comprehensive guidance on particular types of gaps for you to follow.

By offering an insight into your strengths, write the Statement of Purpose, and yes, honestly state the reason for your gap and how it bothered you. Make an SOP on this issue that is personal, but still humbly highlights the challenges and successes you’ve been through.

Sounds complex? It is not. We have a team of the best writers to help you with your Statement of Purpose and Letter of Recommendation. You command it, and we write it.

The admission officers want to see if an applicant kept continuous study progression or not, as a student. Noticeable gap surely raises some eyebrows. A gap in your academic progression can mean several things— you have purposely left education history off of your SOP in an attempt to hide it, you unexpectedly lost your job, and had difficulty getting admission in institutions. Or you voluntarily left your higher studies to enjoy life, that you were in prison or otherwise unable to work (more of the high extent)— and all of these could signal to universities that you might be a risky student to admit.

Changing dates or otherwise trying to hide the fact that you were out of work and not doing higher studies in your Statement of Purpose will backfire. Identify the period in concern and explain in one or two sentences what caused the break in your studies’ advancement. Also, list something that you did during that time that could be constructed as career growth, such as promoting your education as self-study or starting a business.

Make up for gaps, let it be extracurriculars or a new hobby with the rest of your achievements gained. In the best way, you can mention it. In most situations, the university would not be too concerned about a tiny difference if the job and educational background are good enough. That’s why it’s so important that your Statement of Intent does a great job of conveying the value you’re going to bring to your dream institution.

Having nine years of professional experience and looking to continue studies? Getting into the desired program will be as easy as ABC with the perfect SOP. We being one of the best SOP writing services will assist you in conquering the ideal SOP as per your details.

Extra Tip– Your Statement of Purpose ought to reflect you as an enthusiastic juvenile who has a thirst for knowledge and is passionate about pursuing higher education. Portray your dreams, your career goals and how you are working to turn them into reality.


Some advice that will help you swim through the problem of justifying the gap.

  • Your SOP should concentrate on your skills, interest, zeal, and commitment to pursue higher studies at a specific university in a particular path. Keeping the reason crisp and concise and not making the Statement of Purpose centered on the gap only is the best way. Ensure that you are not highlighting the gap again and again, taking all the reader’s attention to it.
  • You have to mention it as experience in the SOP in case you were employed at this time, as it will improve your chances of entering the university. Listing your work experience can do wonders for you. The reason being, you have acquired the industry skills that are crucial and indirectly mastered the majority of the practical knowledge the higher education would provide. The professional experience signifies your determination and success rate in the field. Your experience will provide you with an edge over others involved in the same course as you.
  • Some common deductions in the academic gap if you do not have any professional experience can be- 
    1. Preparing for Standardized exams or competitive examinations: This is the most common reason and mentioning this reason to justify the gap will be more than enough. Universities are aware of the level of preparation it takes to appear for such exams, and thus your point will be validated.
    2. Exploring your diverse interests: If you were taking this break to decide about your future goals, then write it in a way that highlights your vision and interest in the field. 
    3. Used this time to build up a better profile: You might be using this time to work more social service hours or pursuing a sport you were passionate about. Describe all the struggle you went through to improve yourself and polish your skills.
    4. You were targeting a particular university: You were aiming for your dream university and took a break to apply next time. This will highlight your passion for pursuing higher education, and you’re longing for the specific institution.
    5. Personal Problems: Make sure you are completely honest, and never try to create an emotional drama. Personal problems can vary from medical problems to financial problems in the family.

Word of Caution: The above solutions without experience can only justify the academic gap for a few years, and mentioning them for a longer break will do no wonders.

Note: Justifying an academic gap can be daunting sometimes. We are here to ease it for you. We provide services ranging from proofreading to re-writing. Visit our website to know more about the facilities available. Writing an ideal Statement of Purpose with us will be a cakewalk. Want more tips, go to our website to find free tips for writing an SOP that speaks honest volumes of you.

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Bhavik Sarkhedi

Bhavik Sarkhedi

Storyteller by Heart and Head. Explorer of the intersection between Philosophy and Psychology.

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