How to make your profile irresistible for top universities | Masters in USA

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Gaining admission to universities is becoming increasingly competitive. With thousands of applications pouring in to study MS abroad against only a few hundred seats, students need to create a profile that stands out and immediately makes the Admission Committee take notice. While it is imperative to work towards creating a strong and unique profile to secure admission into a prestigious university, students are often confused and unsure of how to create a glowing profile for applying for their MS in abroad. Here are a few pointers that will help to build an excellent profile for MS in USA and make a difference.

1) Identify your USP (Unique Selling Point)

Many applicants will have a similar or even better academic record and test scores than you. In order to stand out and make your profile unique, you must identify your USP and highlight it to bring it to the notice of the admission committee. Start by jotting down your strengths. Give specific examples and quote instances from your academic or professional life that can substantiate the strengths you want to highlight.  Focus on strengths that will help you to succeed in the program you’re applying to. A certificate of completion or achievement is a good way to validate your strengths. Another advice is to compartmentalize your strength into categories such as academic, professional, communication or technical prowess. Thus, identifying your USP and mentioning it in your application essay will help you to put together a powerful application.

2) Write a succinct and powerful Resume

The University admission committee has to go through several thousand applications, but to ensure that the admission committee does not overlook your application, you must create a succinct and powerful one-page long resume that highlights your strengths and achievements. It must provide more information to the admission committee than what is included in the application and helps them to evaluate your candidacy in a better manner. University resumes should be designed to enhance your application and provide yet another opportunity to showcase your worth as an ideal candidate. You must use crisp language and a clean layout, covering topics like academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, volunteer or community service, certifications, research, publications and leadership experience.

3) An interesting and engaging Statement of Purpose

Your Statement of Purpose (SOP) gives you the opportunity to display your passion and interest for the intended specialization and gives you an opportunity to explain the lacunae in your academic credentials. Your focus has to be on clearly explaining the purpose you are applying for a particular specialization. It should also contain a brief introduction of yourself and your academic background. You must also mention your short-term and long-term goals in one paragraph. These goals have to be as specific as possible. Describe your academic or any professional background that is relevant to your purpose. You should also give details about what motivated you to pursue further studies and have you chosen the university you are applying to. This paragraph requires you to research the program, curriculum, and faculty, so that you can highlight the specific aspects that make the university your preferred choice. It is always a good idea to take the opinions of others and seek professional help from experts like education advisers or counselors as the SOP greatly determines your chance of getting admission in your dream university.

4) Letter of Recommendation

Refer to your strengths in the USP list that you have made and think of people who can vouch for your strengths like a good academic record, motivation, creativity, communication skills, integrity, etc. You must take help of your professors to write impressive letters of recommendation as they qualify to truly assess your performance and vouch for your academic credentials. However, if you have any work experience ranging to a year or more, then get at least one reference from your workplace as well. A Master’s in USA degree requires the student to submit three recommendations; hence it is ideal to get one professional and two academic letters of recommendation. This will give the admission committee a balanced opinion of your academic and professional capabilities.

5) Work experience in a prestigious company

If the company you are currently working in has a very competitive and difficult recruiting process, it makes the Admission Committee view your profile in a positive light. Also working in a reputed company makes your profile stronger and makes the admission committee realize that you are an exceptional student with excellent skills and academic record to have bagged a prestigious job or internship at a reputed company.

6) Diversify your profile

Apart from the technical skills, if you have learnt any new and different skills through extra certification courses or have any experience that can add value to your profile you must mention it. For example, if you have volunteered for any special projects and participated in any conferences or competitions, you must highlight these points to bring it to the notice of the admission committee.

7) Work towards creating a well-rounded personality

You do not want to come across as a uni-dimensional person with only academic or professional interests. Universities believe in taking students who have a holistic and well-rounded personality. If you are a sports enthusiast or have joined any social cause or started a small entrepreneurial venture, you must highlight these in your profile.

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Collegepond October 22, 2020 0 Comments

Test Format of ACADEMIC IELTS

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Are you a student planning to study abroad in the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia or any other European country? If the answer is yes, you must be aware of the study abroad requirements of these countries. Among other things, English language proficiency is the most common requirement for these countries. Employers, educational institutions, immigration agencies, and government bodies consider IELTS scores for admission. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has emerged as the most popular English testing system for global migration because it tests the linguistic abilities of people. 

IELTS is offered in two modules – academic and general training. The academic module is preferred by students planning to study abroad.  Both these modules comprise four areas – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Listening and Speaking tests are similar for both modules, but Reading and Writing tests may vary. This post introduces you to the test format of the academic module.

Key Facts

  • Test Format – Computer Based
  • Number of Sections – 4
  • Band Score Range – 1-9
  • Length or Duration – 2 Hours 45 Minute

 

Test Format Decoded

Listening

This section has 4 parts with 10 questions in each part. The questions will be asked in the same order as the recording.

Part 1 and 2: These parts test your ability to interpret social situations. In the first part, two speakers speak about a context, say travel arrangement. In the second part, only a single speaker talks about, say, local facilities.

Part 3 and 4: These parts test your ability to interpret educational and training information. In part 3, you will hear the conversation between two main speakers say, two university students engaged in conversation guided by their tutor. In part 4, you will hear only one person speaking in length on an academic subject.

The recording will be played only once. You have to adapt to different accents, including British, North American, New Zealand, and Australian.

Summary

  • Time allowed: 30 Minutes ( 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet)
  • Number of questions: 40
  • Types of questions:
    • Question Type 1: Multiple Choice
    • Question Type 2: Matching
    • Question Type 3: Plan/map/diagram labeling
    • Question Type 4: Form/note/table/flow chart/summary completion
    • Question Type 5: Sentence completion
    • Question Type 6: Short answer questions
  • Marking: You will receive one mark for each correct answer and your final score will be provided in half or whole bands, such as 5.5 or 7.0.

 

Reading

There will be three reading passages and the students must read efficiently and quickly to finish within the given time. This test is designed to assess your reading skills as how you can read the main detail, read for the general sense of a passage, understand the implied meaning and inferences, follow the development of an argument, recognize a writer’s altitudes, purpose, and opinions.

Summary

Time Allotted: 60 Minutes

Format: The passages are taken from journals, magazines, newspapers, and are selected keeping a non-specialist audience in mind. However, these passages are more appropriate for people seeking admission to university courses.

Number of Questions: 40 Questions

Types of Questions:

  • Question Type 1: Multiple Choice
  • Question Type 2: Identifying Information (True/False/Not Given)
  • Question Type 3: Identifying Writer’s Views/Claims (Yes/No/Not Given)
  • Question Type 4: Matching Information
  • Question Type 5: Matching Headings
  • Question Type 6: Matching Features
  • Question Type 7: Matching Sentence Endings
  • Question Type 8: Sentence Completion
  • Question Type 9: Summary/note/table/flow chart completion
  • Question Type 10: Diagram label completion
  • Question Type 11: Short-answer questions

 

  • Marking: You will receive 1 mark for each correct answer and your final score will be provided in band score from 1-9 in whole or half bands such as 4 or 6.5

 

Writing

You will be assigned two writing tasks, which need to be completed in 60 minutes. In this task, you will be assessed based on task achievement or task response, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, and grammatical range and accuracy.

Summary

  • Time allotted: 60 Minutes
  • Number of tasks: 2
  • Task Types:
  • Task 1: The candidate has to describe visual information such as a chart, graph, or diagram in their own words. This information must be described in 150 words in about 20 minutes in complete sentences. Bullet points and notes are not accepted. The answers should be written in semi-formal, academic, and neutral styles.
  • Task 2: The candidate has to write the answer to discuss relevant issues. For instance, if the particular aspect of a computer, you must focus only on that aspect in the answer. The answer should be written in a semi-formal, academic, and neutral style in 250 words in about 40 minutes.
  • Marking: Task 2 adds more marks than Task1 to your total writing score.

 

Speaking

This is a face-to-face interview conducted between the examiner and the candidate. This test is usually recorded for review purposes. In this test, the examiner tests you for fluency and coherence, grammatical range and accuracy, lexical resource, and pronunciation.

Summary

  • Time Allotted: 11-15 Minutes
  • Number of Parts: 3
  • Parts Description:
    • Part 1: Introduction and interview (4-5 minutes)
    • Part 2: Long turn (3-4 minutes)
    • Part 3: Discussion (4-5 minutes)

If you have been looking forward to taking this test in the near future, the following links may be helpful.

https://www.ielts.org/for-test-takers/test-format

https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-tests/ielts/test-format/#academic

https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/take-ielts/prepare/test-format

Want to know the best way to crack IELTS test? Look for trusted IELTS coaching in Mumbai? If the answer is yes, you can get in touch with our experts at Collegepond. You can click here to book your complimentary counselling session and learn more about the ways Collegepond can assist you in your study abroad journey.

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Collegepond October 22, 2020 0 Comments
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