Tag Archives | application

Image by Aaron Burden, unsplash.com

Image by Aaron Burden, unsplash.com

Applying to college is many things—emotional, stressful, time-consuming—but it is definitely not easy. Your college application isn’t just an application, but a reflection of your work ethic, dreams, and ambitions. The pressure of summarizing your entire existence in a 1000 word paper is a lot to deal with, especially when the return (of accepted applicants) is so low. Each college requires something different in their application process, making the entire process quite lengthy. Instead of wasting that time and energy only to receive a refusal, invest it wisely and make an effort to stand out on your college application.

Know What Each College Is Looking For

College recruiters, be it for undergraduate or graduate programs, want students that will embody the spirit of the university. They want participants that will succeed in their particular academic environment. Show that you have done your research on the program you have applied to and cater to their individualized mission statements. Make it known that you are a good fit for the school and the program. If it is possible, mention faculty that you would be excited to work with.

Write (and Speak) from the Heart

Perhaps not-so-surprisingly, showing a genuine and honest interest is much more valuable than fabricating or embellishing information to sound interesting. Instead, write and speak in detail about the truth. Show that you notice small things. Liven-up your written work by elaborating on the exact feeling you had when you completed your first art exhibition or the squeak of your shoes as you walked up to the podium for an amazing speech you gave. The things you notice and mention in your writing have a lot of personality. If you are doing an interview, the same concept of authenticity applies.

Indicate Genuine Interest

While researching the college beforehand and writing honestly aid this endeavor, backing up your claims of interest with evidence is a sure way to stand out from the rest. Applying for one of the best health law schools? Include your award from the Pre-Law Society and mention the number of hours you’ve spent volunteering at the local hospital. Make sure your extracurricular activities are relevant and can help you demonstrate your passion for the field.

Showing that you are a real person with true interest in the university and field is a great way to stand out in your application. Show the office of admissions that you are hard-working, capable, and worthy of the program. Beyond that, you want to show them that you will learn from their program and use it to be a true asset to society.

This article was contributed by guest author Marlena Stoddard.

Image by Komsomolec, pixabay.com

Image by Komsomolec, pixabay.com

The college application process can be stressful and frustrating – especially when hard-working students fail to be admitted into their dream school. Future college students should be extra vigilant when submitting complete applications, and work to ensure their letter of admission will get them ahead of the competition. When it comes to writing and drafting your own, keep these tips in mind.

Be Personable, yet Professional
A letter of admission must find the right balance between being personable and engaging, but also intelligent and professional. In other words, a letter of recommendation is a one-sided interview that allows you to formally present yourself to a panel. Like a job interview, pleasant agreeableness must equally match your academic competency. Students should take advantage of this opportunity to include relevant and meaningful information about themselves. For example, they can share previous experiences that shaped their background, and transition into how they hope that the college program will positively benefit them. This can briefly include real-world problems, such as a family member with a health problem, and how the student hopes that their education will improve this problem, such as being able to help others receive medical care.

Be Organized
Like a resume or job application, a letter of admission is a snapshot of the candidate’s professional competency. That being said, a letter that is awkwardly designed and poorly written indicates a candidate that is neither organized nor clear-minded. A succinctly written letter creates a positive impression of a sensible and logical person. In order to maximize efficiency, students should consider creating an outline and carefully branching out to main points. The letter should also be visually appealing with a proper balance between content and white space. Be sure to ask a few friends with critical thinking skills to review and provide feedback.

Be Unique and Specific
Admissions coordinators must frequently sift through hundreds of generically written letters of admissions at a time. As a result, predictable content usually gets passed over. Students should consider presenting distinct content with a personal story that ends with future hopes and goals. Students can use factual information to support their claims and aspirations, and should cite their high GPA levels throughout high school to illustrate their academic consistency. Include relevant personal information, such as important volunteer work or extracurricular activities, which specifically points out their skills and demonstrates their candidacy for the target college program.

As a final note, students should clearly demonstrate how their degree will improve themselves and others as well. For example, students getting a degree in library science can share how their education will allow them to inspire young students. Make sure that overall, your letter shows who you are, and what you hope to become. Colleges will be more likely to choose you if your letter is written well.

This article was contributed by guest author Brooke Chaplan.

Image by lolheyitsrichie!, Flickr

Image by lolheyitsrichie!, Flickr

Most US schools require you to write the SAT, but a few (including the highly competitive ones) require you to write two or three SAT Subject Tests as well. Be sure to review your prospective school’s application process for details. In general, subject tests are a great way to show your interest and skill in a certain subject and will help increase your chances of getting into a US college. Here is a quick rundown of SAT Subject Tests:

  • 20 different subject tests are offered, but only some are offered on specific dates. Go over Subject Test Dates to find out when you can write your Subject Test.
  • Consists entirely of multiple-choice questions.
  • Each subject test is scored on a scale of 200-800.
  • A subject test takes 1 hour to write.
  • A base fee of $24.50 is required to write a subject test and any additional tests are $13, except for Language with Listening tests which are an additional $24.
  • You can write up to three subject tests on one test date, but you cannot take a subject test and the SAT on the same day.
  • Those applying for Early Decision or Early Action are recommended to take their Subject Test by October or November of Grade 12. Regular decision applicants have until January to take their Subject Tests.
  • Some colleges determine placement based on your subject test scores and can exempt you from a class in that subject.

Similar to the SAT, subject test dates and registration information can be found on the College Board website. After registering, if you change your mind about which subject tests to take or how many you plan on writing, you can make the appropriate changes on the actual test day (except for Language with Listening tests).

SAT Subject Test Tips

  • When choosing which subject test to write, identify any you may need for your college application. For your additional subject tests, play to your strengths and choose subjects that you are confident you will score well on. If possible, take tests from very different subjects to show that you are a well-rounded student. Never take a subject test on a subject you are not confident in.
  • It’s best to write your test right after you’ve taken a course on the subject so that the content is still fresh in your head. However, languages should only be taken after having plenty of practice and study.
  • Language with Listening tests are only administered once per year on the same day.
  • Study! Just like the SAT, you will need to put in a lot of time and effort to ensure you get the best score.

Want to learn about other tests?

Image by California Cthulhu (Will Hart), Flickr

Image by California Cthulhu (Will Hart), Flickr

Many Canadian students dream of going to the United States for their post-secondary education. However, the process is tough and spaces are limited. Of the 30,946 students who applied to Brown University’s Class of 2015, only 2,692 were accepted – and only 28 of them hailed from Canada (source: Brown University). Don’t fret, we’re here to help! One of the first things you should be focusing on is the SAT – one of the most important elements of the application process for most US schools. Here is a brief rundown of the test:

  • Every high school is different. A student with perfect grades in one school might only get fair grades in another. The SAT provides a way for every student to be assessed in an equal way.
  • The SAT tests your abilities in three areas: readingwriting and mathematical reasoning.
  • The test consists of several multiple-choice questions and an essay.
  • A score of 200-800 is given in each section, providing a maximum score of 2400.
  • The test takes about 4 hours to write.
  • The cost for writing the test is $51.
  • You can take the SAT as many times as you want, but most students take it twice. The College Board (in charge of running the SAT) recommends not taking it more than twice because of a lack of evidence supporting significant score gains by taking the test more than twice.
  • Most schools accept SAT scores up to December of Grade 12, however individual schools may accept scores at later dates. Review your prospective school’s application process for their requirements.
  • Recently, the College Board introduced Score Choice which gives students the option to choose which score they wish to send to their schools of interest. However, some schools still ask students to submit all of their SAT scores. Review school policies because some only take your best overall score while others will take your best score from each section.

Typically, the test is administered six times a year in Canada. You can find a list of dates to write the SAT in Canada as well as register for the test on the College Board website. Register as soon as you can, not only because registration closes one month prior to the test date, but also to ensure a seat in your nearest test centre. If you have missed the deadline, you can apply for Waitlist Status and depending on whether sufficient test materials, staff and seating are available on the test day, you can take the test. If you are admitted to the test centre on test day, a waitlist fee of $45 will be charged.

SAT Tips

  • A score over 2000 is recommended to be competitive in prestigious US schools such as NYU, USC, Stanford or any of the Ivy League schools. 
  • Most students take the SAT in the spring of Grade 11 and again in the fall of Grade 12.
  • Even though you can take the test as many times as you want, taking it too many times may not send a good message to admission officers.
  • When choosing when to take the SAT, be aware of college application deadlines. You may have until December of Grade 12 to take the test but those applying for Early Decision or Early Action should write their SAT earlier.
  • Study! Some students spend months, even years, studying for the SAT. A really good score can help you stand out.
  • Some college applications also ask students to write SAT Subject Tests. Check out our article on {SAT Subject Tests} for a break down on these tests.

Want to learn about other tests?

Image by uniinnsbruck, Flickr

Image by uniinnsbruck, Flickr

Studying at university can be an incredibly rewarding and interesting experience. First things first, though – you have to apply! Don’t worry. Applying for admission to an Ontario university can be a very straightforward and relatively painless process.

First of all, start by researching different universities. The world (well, in this case, Ontario) is your oyster! Consider the reputation, location, tuition cost, residence fees, and program selection of each institution. Even if you are unsure of what you want to study, comparing schools will help narrow your options and refine your search.

The application process might seem intimidating, but you don’t have to do it alone. Make an appointment with your guidance counsellor to discuss any questions and concerns you have about the future. He or she might be able to give you information about events such as the Ontario Universities’ Fair and University Information Program Sessions, both of which will have a wealth of resources available for prospective students. While you browse and research university programs, it’s a good idea to discuss your interests and options with your teachers and your family as well. Also, remember to keep track of any program-specific admission requirements and deadlines – this will be important when the time comes for you to submit your application.

Speaking of submitting your application, the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) is the processing centre for undergraduate applications for admission to the universities of Ontario. The OUAC is not in charge of admission decisions – they simply process and forward the details of your application to the universities of your choice.Depending on your academic history and place of residence, different types of undergraduate application procedures exist. If you go to secondary school in Ontario, you will receive an “Access Code” letter in the fall. This letter contains the three important codes you will need to apply to OUAC online: your school number, your student number, and your PIN.

Important resources to help you navigate OUAC can be found below:

Good luck!