How to Apply For Undergraduate, Graduate and MBA Courses

Image Credits: Dream Studies Abroad

It’s that time of the year again. With a flurry of college application forms, academic tests, personal essays and online interviews, a student can very easily find himself lost and clueless about how to approach the application processes.

Applying for international education can be a very tedious process, especially if it is your first time. Students from India apply to a large variety of courses all over the globe every year. But unlike our own educational system, where we are more or less put up together on a common academic platform and admittance is based purely on their academic merits, international universities and colleges have an intrinsic selection process. The selection criterions change not only by the University, but also by the course. This makes having a thorough research ready about the preferences of your selected course in your favoured universities very important before you apply.

Undergraduate Courses

Personal Essay:

With undergraduate courses, the most important factor to consider while applying is your personal essay. International colleges are interested in knowing you and what has got you here. So add your life experiences. Talk about an event that has had a significant impact on your life, or talk about your beliefs, and why you have them, just make sure to capture the reader’s attention. It is your one chance to show the application committee what makes you different from the other applicants. Make sure you use it to your best possible advantage.

Academic Scores:

Unlike national universities and colleges, where academic scores have the final say in your admittance, or rejection, international schools are a little more lenient in their approach. You don’t have to be a board topper in your 12th grade to get into a good university. As long as you have shown consistency and effort in your academic life, and have tried to inculcate extra-curricular activities, you have a good chance of being seriously considered. Sometimes, just the act of refusing to give up or showing passion and consistent improvement can speak volumes.

Graduate Courses

Standardised Tests:

These generally include tests like the GRE, along with tests for English as a foreign language like TOEFL and IELTS, depending on where you want to go for further studies. Your test scores in these exams and your overall undergraduate scores collectively impact your acceptance at an international graduate school. Most universities have a minimum score requirement for admittance they are pretty stringent about. Make sure you are prepared well in advance for these tests as they will majorly affect your future education.

Letters for Recommendation:

Eligible scores in standardised tests are not enough to impress an application committee on their own. This is taken care of by the addition of recommendation letters. The quality of your letters portrays the quality of your relationship with your professors and/or employers, which is considered to be a key factor in knowing more about you as a student.

Statement of Purpose:

This is your opportunity to show the application committee more about yourself as a person. This component of the graduate school application process is similar to the personal essays one writes for the undergraduate courses. Be confident in your statement, but don’t come across as arrogant, as this will detract from your application.


Standardised Tests:

Similar to the standardised test component of graduate school applications, you need a specific score on your GRE or GMAT to get into specific universities. Make sure to register and prepare for the tests well in time. Most students require at least 3-6 months of preparation to achieve their full potential on the exam. Determining a target score at least 20+ points above the averages at your first choice business school is recommended.

Resume and Letters of Recommendation:

As with the graduate school application, make sure to choose your recommendation letters carefully. It is also advisable to address and fix any gaps on your resume that could threaten to weaken your application before applying. If you have no outside work to show outside school and work experience, focus on extra-curricular activities for the months preceding your application.

Application Essay:

Writing a successful application essay for a B-school is very different from the one required for other graduate courses. Be sure to be specific with your goals. Don’t just tell them what you plan to do, tell them how you plan to go about it, and tell them why you have that goal. Quantify your success. Use numbers and statistics to back up your achievements. And thirdly, make sure to stand out with your personal qualities. Tell them your hobbies, but in a way that you showcase what qualities you have learnt from them.

Unlike national universities, where academic scores have the final say in your admittance, or rejection, international schools are lenient in their approach. You don’t have to be a topper to get into a good university


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