The college education is getting more and more competitive every year. Students across the world have recently been targeting the US, the UK, and Australia for college education. So the competition in these countries is higher than others. In such a competitive scenario, you obviously want to have a seat to study in the college. But wanting is not enough. You need to know what you should to do get into the college, including making an appealing application. Understanding what you should not do is also equally important for you to secure a seat in the college.
Here we have prepared a list of four common mistakes that students make while applying to a college. Read them and think whether you have made such mistakes or not. If you haven’t yet, be conscious about avoiding them.
- Describing yourself as “well-rounded”
There is a commonly uttered belief that being well rounded is good in education. Most of the students consider this cliché before making their college application and present themselves accordingly throughout the application. But it is better for the applicants to avoid being the ‘jack of all trades, master of one.’ It will always be beneficial for applicants to exhibit themselves as a person dedicated to certain field with coherence in activities related to that field.
There are going to be thousands and hundred thousands of applications like yours in a single university and everybody wants to show themselves well rounded. So, showing that you’re focused in a single or a couple of fields can make your application stand out.
- Going after the brand names and high ranks
The big brands and high ranked colleges can be attractions for anyone. But none of the colleges just owing to your attraction towards them. It is always sensible to choose college on the basis of your fitness. Keep in mind that you do not fit each and every college. There can be specific colleges that fit you depending on your abilities, interests, and mode of learning.
Moreover, the rankings and the ‘brand names’ are not the sole and exact reflectors of a college’s education quality. A college with a very impressive ranking may not be very good for the subject of your choice.
Since the students have tendency of being attracted by the brand names and high ranks, there are high chances that they include only such colleges in their list. In such cases, students can sometimes fail to get accepted in any college since they have chosen the college out of their whims and the ‘big names’ rather than their fitness towards the college.
So it is better to create your own ranking of colleges based on your interests, abilities, and financial status.
- Applying without a “narrative”
Most of the students tend to include too many things in their application and often their application turns out to be a list of achievements and awards they attained in the high school. This can make the application unattractive.
It is wiser to catch a few achievements or awards or any other activities that reflect you as a strong candidate than to create a list. You can tell about your experience of a single achievement in an essay rather than listing many. The narrative of a single or a few things can make you a better candidate since your narration has the least or no probability to match with the activities or even narratives of other candidates.
The art of storytelling is important in this case. You can show simple things are important for you if you can present them with strong logic. It is always better to ‘show’ than to ‘say’ in the college application essays. Narration gives clearer picture than mere listing increasing the admission officer’s trust over you. Narrative is also related to familiarization. The more familiar you are to something, the more vividly you can narrate them. It is better to be strongly familiar with one activity rather than partially familiar to ten activities.
- Starting test preparation lately
A lot of students seem to start test preparation lately. Most students wait for the end of their junior year in the high school to start test preparation, whereas many other students do not start test preparation unless the senior year ends. Such late start in preparation for various tests of college admission can hamper the student’s journey to the college.
Starting your preparation for the standardized tests with the beginning of your junior is the best alternative. This can help you apply for the colleges in the senior year such that you can attend the college as soon as your senior year gets over. Making early arrangements of tests can help you focus strongly on the recommendation letters, application essays and other application materials.
Late test preparation means late appearance in the test. Such late appearance can turn worse if the student does not get satisfactory points and has to attend another. The earlier you start, the more time you have to upgrade and optimize your application.
So, now you might have had a clearer idea about what you should avoid during your application to a college. May you put your maximum effort in the college application!