The college application process is a long and difficult one. You must work hard to get good grades and strong SAT or ACT scores. In addition, you must write a great essay and have good letters of recommendation. The process is made even more challenging because you often need the help of family and school administrators.
Here are four tips to increase your chances of getting into your dream university:
1. Write a Compelling Personal Statement
The personal statement allows students to share their stories with colleges. It is an opportunity to show who they are beyond their grades and test scores. The essay is one of the best opportunities to sell yourself to the admissions team. A well-written essay can show who you are as a person, outside of just your GPA or test score.
It’s important to remember that the point of the personal essay is to reveal something about yourself. So, choose a prompt that will allow you to share a personal story in a way that will also help the reader get to know you better. Try to focus on an event or experience that has significantly impacted your life, and be sure to share your thoughts and feelings about it to engage the reader.
2. Get a High SAT/ACT Score
If you’re hoping to attend one of these schools, you’ll likely need to submit your SAT/ACT scores. However, a handful of schools are test-optional, meaning they don’t require applicants to submit standardized test scores. Some of these schools are even test-blind, meaning they don’t consider standardized test scores in their admissions decisions.
It’s usually best to submit SAT/ACT scores to colleges, even if they aren’t required. Many students take the tests their junior year, which gives them time to decide if they want to retake the test their senior year. The best way to prepare for either exam is to use official practice questions and tests, many of which are free. You can also buy an SAT or ACT prep book, enroll in SAT or ACT prep classes, and hire a tutor.
3. Get Good Grades in Hard Courses
A high GPA is very important to colleges when looking at applications because it measures how well a student has done academically in their schooling so far. A challenging curriculum is also important to colleges because it shows that students are taking classes that prepare them for college-level academics. Together, these two factors give colleges a good idea of how prepared a student is for college-level work and whether or not they would be a good fit for their institution.
The NACAC report found that most colleges consider grades in college-level courses important when making admission decisions. Three-quarters of colleges surveyed said that grades are considerably important, while just under half said that grades are very important. If you stand out in challenging courses, the admissions office will have a good idea of how you are as a student.
4. Secure Strong Letters of Recommendation
A letter of recommendation can go a long way in vouching for your character and abilities, so choosing your references is important. People who can attest to your skills, accomplishments, and positive attitude are ideal candidates to write a letter of recommendation.
To apply to college, most students must submit one to three letters of recommendation from teachers or a high school guidance counselor. These letters help colleges better understand the applicant and their potential as a student at their school.
When requesting a letter of recommendation, it is important to be respectful and considerate. Make sure to give your recommender at least a month’s notice, so they have plenty of time to write a strong letter.
The college admissions process is a highly competitive and stressful time for students and their families. Many factors go into the admissions decision, and students should do their best to present themselves as well-rounded and accomplished individuals. It is an opportunity for students to sell themselves to the colleges of their choice, and with hard work and dedication, they can achieve their goal of becoming college students.
Kenny Tan Test Prep helps students get into the best public and private schools, including Ivy League and other top-tier universities. We offer tutoring for lower, middle, and high school entrance exams, as well as tutoring for college entrance exams. If you need SAT coaching in Brooklyn, get in touch with us! We look forward to meeting you.