10 tips on how to ace your applications for Study Abroad!

Guest post by Incred:

GRE done.
Transcripts all ready.
Time to start your application process.
Two very important components of your application are your Statement of Purpose(SOP) and your Letters of Recommendation(LOR). Your SOP is a personal essay detailing and aligning your past and present, with your future. There are universities for which the SOP is not compulsory, but most masters programs need one.

[1]Start with your SOP and LOR well before your GRE. Write from your heart and focus on what is important.

[2]Go through some examples.
Our favourites include this one by StatementOfPurpose, this one by CollegePond and make sure to read the guidelines for statement of purpose for each separate school that you are applying for. Some have word limits, while some expect answers to very specific questions.

[3]Ask someone(parents, aunts, uncles, seniors from college or work) to read your SOP and give you their feedback on it. If you feel their points are justified, make the suitable changes to your SOP.

[4]Request your Grammar Nazi friend to go through it and find grammatical errors or ask if any of the words could be put better.

[5]Ask your teachers for LORs at least a month before the deadline so that you don’t have to pester them do it in the last minute. Send them a nice mail detailing all the work that you have done in school or at work, and ask them if you can help them out in any way. In fact, there are even sample letters on the internet to help you draft your letter to your professor or supervisor at work.

[6]So there are two ways to go about your LOR: One is where you get the hard copy of the LOR signed, sealed and stamped from your recommender and send it to your University. However there are many colleges that do not accept a hard copy, and LORs have to be sent by mail.

So the process flow for the online LOR is as follows:
[a]Student adds recommender in his application form and provides recommender’s email id and contact details.
[b]The University then sends an automated mail to the recommender with a link which will contain questions to assess the student and an upload option for the letter of recommendation.
[c]Once your recommender completes this step, your application will be updated and your Recommendations section in the application will state that they have received the LOR.

[7]A lot of the information that you fill during your application is repetitive, like your GRE/TOEFL score, percentile and registration number. When you fill your first application form, copy all this information on a Google Doc so that you can just use that and copy the information while filling your other forms. Some universities also ask you to write a letter to the recommender while giving their contact details. Save that letter as you don’t want to have to type it again and again.

[8]Make sure to send your GRE and TOEFL scores to the University on time and at least 7-10 days before the deadline.

[9]Figure out if any of your Universities need WES Evaluation. CMU,Columbia,SJSU,Mercer University require it. It is a lengthy process and make sure you read their website well before sending the documents. You need to send attested copies of your marksheet, provisional certificate and transcripts. [University of Mumbai students can send copies of marksheets and provisional degree certificate attested by both your college and University of Mumbai. Also send your transcripts received from college along with attested copies of the same transcript from University of Mumbai to be on the safe side.]

[10]Send your applications on time!!!
Many colleges have rounds for admissions for various courses so try and send in your application by the earliest ones for a better chance. Go through the University website well so that you can decide intelligently and get your affairs in order and not struggle in the last minute juggling between end semester exams, work and applications.

You click on the submit button and heave a sigh of relief, but then the realization dawns upon you that you just entered the most difficult phase of the application process. The waiting period. The wait for that one letter that will either tell you Congratulations or Sorry!

You have worked really hard and applications for Masters abroad is one of the most intense things you will ever do in your life. So if you’ve come this far, then give yourself a pat on the back.This is one of the best times to apply for your Education Loan, so contact us at InCred if there is any help we can provide you. Just enter your details below, and we will dedicate a Sales Executive to guide you through the entire process. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this blog.

Writer: Sanjana Panicker, InCred



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