Getting Into the Best Universities in Canada – Things to Keep in Mind
Planning on heading to university in Canada? If you’re like many students around the world, this is a dream worth making reality. Canada is regularly rated as one of the top destinations in the world for post-graduate studies. Globally, our university education system is among the best. Just think of places like Waterloo, Ryerson, and Dalhousie. Many Canadian schools like these not only have world-renowned programs but also offer an incredible quality of life. Canada is also one of the safest places to study abroad for university. University towns and cities across the country have low crime rates, trust-worthy police, and a caring, welcoming population. Another big reason people come here to study is because it's just so beautiful. Crystal-clear waters and skies, endless forests, and cool fresh air are just a few things people appreciate about the Canadian environment.
Ok, so Canada is an amazing place to study, but getting into one of the top universities here will take some work. With hundreds of thousands of potential students applying every year, getting into a good Canadian school will take some work. The most important thing you’ll want to focus on is preparing the best application possible. Making yourself stand out is key to success. Here are some tips to make sure you put your best foot forward:
1. Narrowing your choice
When you aim, you need a target. This is certainly true when aiming for university. Of course, you’ll want to decide on the program first. But aside from that, have you considered other important factors? Canada is known as a land of diversity. It’s a huge country with a wide range of campuses. Do you want to live in a bigger exciting city near an international airport like Ryerson, U of Ottawa or U of Alberta? Or maybe you prefer a small friendly town like where Trent and Acadia are located. Do you want a campus that has lots of school spirit like St. FX, or do you prefer a quieter campus? There’s also school rankings, on-campus and off-campus job opportunities, and tuition fees. The list goes on and on. The point is this before you apply, make sure you know the best schools for you.
2. Timing is key
If you thought that due dates were only for essays and assignments, guess again. Deadlines for university applications are a strict part of the university acceptance system. Most programs will want your application months in advance. Typically, in Canada, undergrad programs suggest you apply in early January if you plan on starting in September. Another important point to remember is that some schools work on a “first come first serve” basis. This means that even if you apply before the deadline, the programs might be full. And if you are applying to the best schools, this will be especially important - more competition means more students applying early.
3. Grades grades grades!
You’ve probably heard lots of advice about what to include in your application. The truth is, however, that the top schools in Canada consider one thing to be more important than everything else. Your grades. With competitive programs, this is especially important. Be sure to check the pre-requisites and the minimum averages before you apply. And if you are planning long term, try and get the highest marks possible in the courses that best connect with the program you want. So, if you are looking for an engineering program, you’ll want to show high scores in the math and physics courses, whereas if you’re going into sociology, you’ll want higher scores in history and social studies.
When you’re filling in your application, show the school that your language skills are sharp. Your grammar and spelling should be perfect, your ideas sophisticated, and your responses direct and concise. If English is not your first language, you’ll also want to provide clear evidence that you’ll be able to manage well in the program. The most widely accepted language document is the IELTS Academic test score. The higher your score, the better. Preparing and practicing for this test can improve your score, so make sure you do this.
The other stuff is important too!
Top applicants for the best programs are often chosen by both grades and extra-curriculars. Most Canadian universities look for students who are well-rounded. Applicants should have high grades, and they should participate in sports. They should be involved with community activities, and they should show support for school spirit. Get the picture? Make sure you highlight your life inside the classroom and your life outside the classroom, as well. This will help you stand out and give you the extra push you need to get into the better school.
So there you have it. If you want positive replies from the best Canadian schools, it starts with the best application. Remember that nothing is impossible, and with clear targets and determination, you’ll get what you want. Best of luck with your submissions!