There are times in life when what you get out is determined by what you put in – and this is one of them. If you want to impress the admissions committee at your dream grad school, you need to put some effort in. Make sure you’ve covered all bases with this six-step checklist:
- What’s your story?
First, get your story straight. Show how you’ve progressed so far, where grad school features in the narrative, and your ambitions for the future. Create a compelling storyline with yourself as the central character, and practice telling this until it comes naturally.
- Make your statement of purpose a cliché-free zone
Your statement of purpose needs to be impeccable, focused, and NOT bogged down in clichés. Get rid of hackneyed phrases and unsubstantiated claims. Focus on three tasks: outline your research interests, define your career goals, and list your credentials.
- Choose your referees wisely
Nurture good relationships with your professors and ask experienced faculty members with whom you have a good rapport for letters of recommendation. Be careful about who you choose! A less-than-glowing, or even neutral reference could do you more harm than good.
- Don’t be let down by late transcripts
Your undergraduate school’s registrar office should mail your transcripts to the graduate school(s) you are applying to. It’s possible for applications to be rejected on account of transcripts failing to be received on time – don’t let this happen to you.
- Plan ahead for grad school admission tests
As with transcripts, get admission tests sorted early. Check whether your grad school provides any guidelines on required scores, and make sure you have time to prepare and perform at your best, as well as allowing time to re-sit if necessary.
- Do your research before interview day
Spend time researching the school, its faculty and resources, and define your expectations about the program, as well as your own relevant skills and experience. Showing you’ve done your research will send out lots of positive signs – proving your interest, commitment and initiative.
Meet world-leading grad schools at the QS World Grad School Tour
Still deciding which grad school is for you? Meet leading grad schools from across the US, Canada and around the world at the QS World Grad School Tour – coming soon to a city near you. This is a chance to meet representatives of top universities and grad schools in person, get all your questions answered, and gather all the information you need to submit a perfect application. You’ll also be eligible for exclusive scholarships worth a total of US$1.7 million, as well as free seminars, a complimentary copy of the Top Grad School Guide (for the first 100 attendees), and the chance to network with other grad school applicants and alumni.
To reserve your free place at the event, register online today.
This article is adapted from an original published on TopUniversities.com.