Now that you have realized your true potential, you want to give it your best shot at achieving that dream admit from an A-list university. But US universities work largely differs from universities back home. Their priorities differ, and most aspiring students often miss the brief on that. Research is your best friend throughout the whole process. But there are the 5 unmissable key points you must remember before sending in your applications.
- Take GRE and TOEFL
Yes, many universities in the US now do not require GRE or TOEFL scores. While a singular test score can’t truly justify your worth as a candidate, there are many other reasons why you should still go ahead and take these tests. A good test score can make up for a bad semester or if your profile is lacking in some aspect. Sometimes a low grade can be countered with a very high GRE and TOEFL score.
- Good quality LORs
The admission officers don’t know you and need someone with a lot of credibility to back you. Be cautious that you are taking LORs only from people who have either taught you or supervised you on projects. Many students make the mistake of getting LORs from friends and family members, diluting the value of their entire application. Keep it professional and use resources that can be regarded highly.
- Research about each university
While you are trying to get the best education possible, universities are also looking to find candidates who would be a valuable addition to their community. Each university will have a different priority, student clubs, and activities you’d be expected to be part of. You will be spending a lot of time on campus, and the way to find the ideal match is to express how your values are in sync with that specific university’s.
- Have a holistic approach
In US, what you do outside of studying matters a lot. These universities are looking for well-rounded candidates who can become active, contributing members of the society. So, between two candidates of equal academic accomplishments, the admissions committee is more likey to go with the student who either has some volunteer work or has other interests like soccer, filmmaking, or judo.
- Apply early
It’s always advisable that you apply in the first or second round of applications. That way, not only do you have a slightly better chance of getting in, but you might also be awarded a higher amount of scholarships. And in case you face rejections, say in Fall, you have a larger time to prepare for the next Spring or Summer intake.