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7 Tips for successful university application

If the idea of applying to a university abroad is keeping you up at night, be assured that you are not the only one in this hot seat. Let’s us help you find out all the important things you need to make in order to make a successful university application

After detailed discussions with university admissions officers, we present to you seven effective tips for a successful university application:

1. Fill in the gaps in your university application

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that your application is your biggest chance to present yourself. Hence, there must be no gaps in the application. Try to fill out the application fully and accurately. Provide as much detail as necessary for everything you state. If there are certain study breaks or work breaks, make sure you justify them through your application as the admission officers will primarily look into it. Don’t make the mistake of lying or hiding information as this could seriously hamper your chances of admission.

2. Better grades, better chances!

When applying to international universities, be ready for a lot of competition. Better grades, a gleaming GPA, and high-test scores improve your chances automatically. However, the admissions officers often follow different criteria and use a variety of tools to create grade equivalents and calculate your level of proficiency. For instance, they consult the National Office for Overseas Skills Recognition in the UK.

3. Write the best personal statement you can

While we can’t overemphasise the importance of a well-written personal statement (sometimes also called a statement of purpose), there are a few tips that you use to make your personal statement stand out. Admission officers advise that a candidate should focus on demonstrating motivation and showcasing achievements and skills when composing a statement of purpose or a personal statement. Also, applicants should be as specific as possible about the course they are interested in and what makes them fit for it. If you have already written your personal statement, make sure that you have included most or all of these points in it:

  • The reason for choosing the selected course
  • The source of motivation for the chosen domain
  • Relevancy of academic credentials with the selected course
  • Qualities that make you worthy of admission
  • Evidence of skills through examples of work experience, voluntary work, hobbies, or social activities.
  • Any additional or non-accredited courses taken
  • Any noteworthy personal or professional achievements or roles you have played
  • Your future goals and aspirations and how this course will help you achieve them

4. Write good recommendation letters

Well-drafted and thoughtful recommendation letters can convince the admission committee to choose you. When requesting for academic references, be sure that it defines your ability to cope with, perform well, and contribute in the field of interest. A professor who has taught you previously or a field specialist who worked with during your last degree would be best-suited to shed some light on your academic performance and overall study experience. However, composing the ‘right’ recommendation letter requires presenting the facts in the right manner. The letters should be focused on your abilities and provide evidence for each skill mentioned. Make sure you have provided the recommender with all the details about the program you’re applying for since this will help them write accurately with focus. A personal reference can also be submitted if you wish to showcase your work experience, personality traits, or transferrable skills.

5. Seek guidance when needed

There’s no harm in getting some help in your university application. If you know someone who has previously applied overseas and have been accepted, request them for some assistance. Also, you can consult recruitment teams for the institution directly or browse the admission details for prospective international students on their website. You can request for information packs or prospectus from the university.

6. Keep an eye for the application response time

Once you’ve filled the university application on the online portal and uploaded all the required documents, the admissions department will take anywhere from two to five working days to respond to you. The response time depends upon the program you are applying for. While standard applications do not take much time, the universities that involve their faculty in the evaluation process may take more time. Firstly, highly experienced admissions officers will go through your application to check your eligibility and suitability for a course. The shortlisted applications will then be forwarded to the concerned departments. Some universities ask you to choose your preferred programs, but you might be offered a different course based on the appraisal.

7. Get ready for the interview!

According to admission officers, sometimes great applications are not paired with great interviews, which leads to rejection of students. As a smart applicant, you must nail that interview with proper planning. Usually, interviews are conducted to judge whether the applicant has the required knowledge for the research or practical coursework. This means that an interview is where you should prove that you are well-versed and fully prepared for the course.

Some common questions you can expect during the interview are:

  • Questions related to any research projects you have completed in the past
  • Questions related to your aims and objectives
  • Questions about your future plans after the completion of the degree.

Need more tips? Ask your IDP counsellor for guidance and support!


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