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How To Get Accepted At Abroad Universities With Low Academic Scores?

To apply to top universities abroad, students are advised to exhibit outstanding academic scores. However, the university admission process overseas isn’t limited to your academic scores alone. There are multiple other criteria which university recruiters also consider when analysing a student’s admission application. Thus, this highlights that even if you display an average academic record, your enrollment chances are still pristine. So, how can you win over university admissions committee despite displaying a low academic score? To help you through the process, this blog covers all the essential tips an international student should remember when applying to universities abroad despite their average academic performance.

How to Get Into a Good University With Low Academics?

Apart from considering the academic scores, university recruiters also have a standard requirement process which they evaluate simultaneously. Furthermore, there are also a few actions you can conduct when applying to pursue higher education abroad. Ensure all of the below are attended.

1. Scoring well in entrance examinations

Every university enquires about an entrance exam score based on the course program chosen. The most common ones are GRE, GMAT, SAT or any English language proficiency exam such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Duolingo. The purpose of this exam is to help analyse a student’s skills and knowledge in multiple aspects. For instance, when a student enrolls for a course program in English, university recruiters ensure that the student is well versed in the same.

Thus, the best way to analyse this is via scoring good marks in any of the English language proficiency test exams. Each exam helps the university admissions committee understand how well a student is on the parameters of speaking, writing, listening and reading in English. As an international student, always ensure that you exhibit good standardized test scores, and prepare in advance for these tests to accomplish your target score.

2. Creating a powerful statement of purpose

A statement of purpose (SOP) is a personal essay where a student is able to exhibit their academic and professional interests to university admissions committee. You can use this medium to share meaningful insights related to you, such as reasons for your average academic record. Avoid sharing information such as academic scores or anything that is already mentioned in your resume.

It is important that you exhibit a well-written statement of purpose because it serves as a contributing factor that will impact your enrollment decision at your dream university.

To draft an SOP, ensure you include the following information:

  • What are your academic interests?
  • What career path do you wish to explore?
  • Why are you pursuing the selected course?
  • Why do you wish to pursue your higher education at the chosen university?
  • What are your strengths?
  • List your achievements, accomplishments and extra-curricular activities

3. Impactful letters of recommendation

The purpose of a letter of recommendation (LOR) is to help university admissions committee understand how a student applicant is with the help of credible recommenders. Most recommendation letters are written by teachers (if you are still a student) or managers (if you are working and wish to pursue higher education).

A strong LOR incorporates the following:

  • LORs should only be drafted by an individual who can speak better about your academic or professional interest
  • LORs should exhibit that you are equipped with the skills to pursue a particular course at the selected university
  • LORs should explain the reasons why you are the ideal fit to be selected at the applied university

4. Open to enrolling on alternative admission programs

Every university abroad has a set eligibility criterion that needs to be catered to. If you are adamant about studying at top universities but are falling short on academic scores, it is better to enroll yourself in alternative admission programs. For instance, in USA, there are academic institutes known as community colleges. Students can pursue any course here and then apply for an undergraduate or graduate degree program accordingly.

Upon graduation, you can use this academic score to enroll yourself in any degree program at leading universities abroad. The time spent here provides you with an opportunity to improve your GPA score and successfully enroll at your dream university.

5. Applying to universities that accept low academic scores

Did you know that there are also universities abroad that accept students with low academic scores? That’s right, these universities might not be highly ranked; however, their degree certificates are still impactful to help you work with the best brands globally. These academic institutes offer a wide range of courses to choose from, affordable tuition fee packages and exhibit unique teaching methods that contribute to making a good academic investment here.

To name a few are:

  • Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK (GPA score- 2.9)
  • Louisiana State University, USA (GPA score – 2.0)
  • University of Regina, Canada (GPA score – 2.9)

6. Get involved in extracurricular activities

Apart from exhibiting academic skills, university recruiters also have a keen eye on students that display great participation in extra-curricular activities. This includes partaking in any sports activities, working in a team for a research project, attending any workshops or seminars, etc. Most universities abroad will always prefer to choose a student applicant that balances the inside and outside classroom pursuits.

7. Balance your low academics with additional tasks

Another way to create a good impression amongst university recruiters is by undertaking additional academic tasks. This includes participating in internship opportunities or enrolling yourself on short courses that complement the study program you are keen to pursue. Exhibiting these actions is a great way to help the university admissions committee witness your will, motivation and determination to excel in your academic interests.

8. Showcase work experience

For students who are looking to pursue graduate studies abroad, exhibiting a good work experience background can create a better impression amongst university admissions committee. Ensure you demonstrate a minimum of two years or above of work experience.

9. Create a persuading CV/resume

Another way to persuade your chosen university to consider your admission application is by creating an impressive resume. With the help of your resume, university recruiters will analyse your career objectives, the work profile you worked in, your work conduct and other related information. This can prove to be a turning point when considering your admission application.

10. Be honest

Lastly, be honest in your answers. Whether you’re attending an academic interview or submitting the above-listed documents, ensure you list down real information that can help the university learn better about you. For instance, not every student will be great in academics, but that doesn’t mean they are not fit to pursue their chosen course. If you believe you’re the ideal fit, let the university understand the real reason behind your low scores.

Always remember, the university admissions committee will consider a student who, despite having low academic scores, displays the motivation and will to build a career for themselves.


The best factor about pursuing education abroad is that every student is given an equal opportunity to prove themselves to pursue education at reputed universities despite exhibiting low academic scores. Now that it is clear that having an average academic record is not an admission barrier, it’s time to shortlist abroad universities. While there are multiple of them on the list, it is always better to choose one that meets your academic interests. Thus, to help you fast-track this process, book a 1-1 free counselling session  today!

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Address: Office No. 204, 2nd Floor, ML Spaces, Dashrathlal Joshi Rd. Opp. Old Jain Mandir, Vile Parle West, Mumbai – 400056.


Email: info@collegepond.com


Call Us:  022-46003655


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Copyright © 2002 – 2024 | All Rights Reserved | Collegepond Counsellors Pvt. Ltd.