The University application process can be stressful and when you’ve invested a lot of time and effort into it, the wait for a positive outcome can be nerve-wracking. We look at some of the parameters that Universities (normally) employ while assessing your application.
Academic strength, certainly as an indicator of how thoroughly you’ve been prepared to succeed in a dynamic interdisciplinary environment, is key. To that end, the amount of intellectual challenge you’ve taken on based on what is offered in your educational environment will be important. It’s also important for you to demonstrate your intellectual skills and ability to handle the rigour of a university education.
Key criteria that are taken into consideration, include:
- Your academic scores – over a period of time (normally 4 years for UG studies)
- The quality of your curriculum – what subjects you’ve chosen and whether you’ve taken the AP exams
- Your class rank, if available (this is normally provided by the school)
- Your specific academic interests
- Your standardized test scores if you’ve taken them ( SAT / ACT)
Your extracurricular preparation speaks to what you’ve done beyond the classroom.
How have you become a leader at your school and in your community? To what heights have you taken your training in music, art, or dance? What is your life like beyond your course of studies and how do you connect them?
Universities are keen to see how the combination of course work and related activities worked for you. This provides insights to the kind of person you are and how well you might do in a dynamic, multifaceted campus community.
An additional factor is whether you’ll lend educational and cultural diversity to the campus and if you’re curious about new ideas, people, and experiences. They’re looking for answers to questions which help them understand your Value-system and what drives you, as these help gain a 360° view of your personality.
In fact , the essays for applications to US universities are extremely diverse and force you to introspect.
How is your application evaluated ?
At most universities, the admissions process is designed to consider all aspects of your record and experience and is not intended to admit applicants solely based on academic scores, test scores, or any other single criterion.
They’re used to seeing variation – your personal circumstances, exposure to opportunities, access to activities and courses offered by your school (Board). Therefore, reviewers have the opportunity and responsibility to consider a comprehensive range of factors in evaluating applications and to admit applicants who are both academically qualified and have demonstrated their potential to contribute to, and be successful students at their university.
Some universities have multiple evaluators to assess each application, to ensure an accurate, comprehensive, and unbiased review process.
Applications are normally reviewed & rated with respect to the following criteria:
- Secondary School Academic Performance
- Educational Environment
- Counsellor and Teacher Recommendation
- Awards/honours / achievements
- Community involvement / service
- Projects / internships
After conducting a comprehensive, holistic, and individualised review of an application, including academic preparation and extracurricular preparation, reviewers make an admissions decision recommendation based on the composite evaluation rating and comments. In the end, each final decision is influenced by several factors, each carefully weighed and considered to make the best possible decision for the applicant and the university.