One of the most important things to remember about life is that it is not always a numbers game. It would be short-sighted to admit students into schools based solely on grades or exam results, which is why applications allow for the bigger picture. Grad schools will be interested in academic ability, but they will also be interested in a potential student’s personality, level of commitment to studying, and goals, which is where a winning grad school application comes in.
Read on for four must-know top tips on how to write an excellent grad school application.
Know your audience
Adapting the tone of your responses to the person who will be reading them will not go unnoticed. Different grad schools are going to have a different brand, programs, and approaches, and these should all be reflected as accurately as possible within an application. Make sure your application is personalized for each individual grad school and make sure to manage grad school applications effectively so there are no mix-ups.
Do not always write what you think they want to hear
When it comes to often-used questions, it is easy to write what you assume a grad school will want to hear. Questions such as “What are your goals?” or “What is your favorite piece of literature?” can leave students wanting to list texts from a grad school’s website along with Of Mice and Men. Grad schools want to know about you, and offering an interesting and insightful answer will really make your application stand out. This is also a good chance to show a little of your personality too.
Tell your story, in your own words
The temptation to reach for the dictionary or thesaurus can be great when it comes to applications. You want it to sound as intelligent and as professional as possible, but really, grad schools want to hear what you have to say in your own words, not someone else’s.
Personal statements or biographical parts of your application should reflect yourself and your story naturally, ideally in a friendly and conversational tone.
Make sure to follow the directions
When it comes to answering questions, it is extremely easy to get carried away. Before deciding what will be written in the application, make sure you understand and adhere to the instructions that have been given. For example, if there is a set word count, be sure not to go over it. Read the question a few times before getting started and then re-read the question at various points when answering it, to make sure your answer is directly relevant and is not going off in a different direction. Make sure to adhere to any specific layout instructions too, such as double-line spacing or a specific font. This demonstrates that you have read everything carefully and can follow precise instructions.
Remember to be true to yourself in your application and confident in your abilities and let your personality shine through.