How to submit a stellar university application to top UK universities?
Have you considered UK as your study-abroad destination? Are you in the process of applying to the best universities in UK? UK is a great destination for international students to pursue your higher education. However, securing a seat at the top universities in UK is tough due to increased competition. Most international students tend to commit one mistake, which directly impacts their enrollment chances: failing to adhere to the UK university application process seriously.
Your university application can break or make your study abroad dreams. Just filling in the admission form and submitting relevant documents isn’t enough. You need to create a powerful university application that will tap the attention of the admission team at your dream university. So how can you exhibit your best self via your university application? It’s simple; make use of the tips listed below that will guide you through the process of drafting UK university applications correctly.
How to Submit an Impressive University Application to Top Universities in the UK?
In order to submit a strong university application that captures the attention of the graduate admissions committee, you must put in efforts from the beginning (before applying) till the end (when you submit). Thus, to help you understand this better, we have shared three categories which you should adhere to when engaging in the process of university application development. Here are the details:
Category 1: Before Applying
The best way to enhance your university application is to prepare for it in advance. Remember that your application should explain why you’re the ideal fit to secure a seat at your dream university. Here is how you can get started:
- Get your research game on
The first thing you should do is list down what your academic and career goals are. For instance, ask yourself questions such as what field interests you the most. Or which course is best suited to cater to my academic interests?
One of the common reasons why most university applications get rejected is that admission committees are not convinced about why you wish to pursue a course or study at the chosen university. You cannot afford to be confused, especially when there is cut throat competition for exclusive seats at your dream university.
Take your time to conduct thorough research so that you find the right course and university that matches your academic and career ambitions.
- Work on your academic scores
This is one of the most important factors to be considered when applying to the best universities in UK. Never settle for average scores. Work harder to score better as multiple top universities in the UK have a set grade that varies as per the chosen course. Apart from this, also emphasize scoring well on the subjects related to the course you wish to undertake.
For instance, if you wish to study medicine in the UK, most universities enquire for a good score in subjects such as Chemistry and Biology. Thus, ensure you score better in these two categories to enhance your application.
- Go beyond your academic studies
While you focus on scoring well in your overall academics, ensure that you do well outside the classroom too. UK universities will also consider all your extracurricular activities, as they will always prefer a student who can balance both (classroom and non-classroom activities) simultaneously. These activities can include anything, such as participation in sports or debates, etc.
Apart from this, students can also work on completing small certifications based on their course program. For instance, if you wish to pursue psychology, you can undertake multiple small courses, such as mental aid training, counselling, etc. By exhibiting such additional actions, you are making it easier for your application to be considered.
Category 2: During the University Application Process
Next, your prime focus should be to ensure that everything you do at this stage is done efficiently, adhering to the university guidelines. Here is what you should do next:
- Create a powerful statement of purpose
A statement of purpose or SOP or personal statement is an essential document required when submitting your university application. The SOP aims to help you list all your academic and career goals, vision and dreams. The personal statement for university admission should be created to give the admission committee better information about you.
The SOP aims to help the admission committee learn better about you. Thus, what information you include should be pondered upon. For instance, refrain from listing your academic scores since this information is already attached to the document list (official academic transcripts).
Instead, focus on explaining how you see your future with regard to the academic you wish to pursue. State why you want to pursue the selected course, what you wish to do upon graduation, why you are choosing the selected academic institution for your studies, what are your extra-curricular activities, etc.
Always remember that the best personal statements are written honestly and explain everything, from your strengths to your weakness (an example includes explaining the reasons for having gap years honestly.)
- Draft a relevant letter of recommendation
After an SOP, a letter of recommendation (LOR) is another vital document required to be submitted along with your university application form. A LOR will have crucial information listed about a student from the set recommender. This information will help the admission team at a UK university understand a student’s academic performance, strengths, weaknesses and achievements better.
For instance, if you’re graduating from high school, you should ask a tutor to draft your letter of recommendation. In case you’re working and are looking to pursue higher studies to enhance your current skills, you should ask your manager to draft your letter of recommendation.
Choosing the right recommender is important as their feedback on you will help the admission team picture your goals and values better. Always select a recommender who understands you better, helps and supports you to achieve your dreams and, above all, can speak volumes about your performance, growth and aspirations.
- Score well in the listed entrance examinations
Most UK universities will ask for an entrance exam to assess your skills and knowledge in a subject. For instance, one of the most commonly asked entrance exams is the English language proficiency test. There are multiple ELP tests which you can undertake, such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc. The purpose of attempting this exam is to help the admission team analyse your writing, speaking, listening and reading skills in the English language.
Multiple entrance tests are asked based on the chosen course program; for instance, a GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test) score is required if you attempt to study medicine in the UK. A GMAT score is required if you wish to study business-related course programs such as an MBA.
Scoring well in the entrance exams listed is important as it contributes to determining your university application decision. Remember to prepare well in advance for such exams and aim to exhibit a good score for better leverage over other student applicants.
- Attach all relevant documents
To complete your university application process, you will be required to submit a set of essential documents. Ensure you cater to all of them, as failure to submit even one can result in your application being delayed or rejected. You can visit the university’s official admission page to access the necessary documents required per the degree and course program chosen. Here are a few examples of the common documents enquired:
- Previous academic transcripts
- Proof of finance
- Passport copy
- Passport-sized photographs
- English language proficiency scores
- GMAT/GRE/SAT/GAMSAT UK test scores
- Statement of purpose
- Letters of recommendations
- Work experience
- Portfolios/research projects
- Proof of finance
- Keep a close eye on the application deadline
Ensure your university application form and the required documents are submitted before the deadline mentioned. If you’re applying to more than one UK university, note the deadlines mentioned and send your application accordingly.
- Attend any scheduled interview
After you submit your application, chances are you will be invited to attend an academic interview. This interview aims to help the admission committee learn better about you. You could be asked questions related to your research projects, academic and career goals or equivalent. The academic interview is an integral part of your admission process.
Ensure you attend the scheduled interview on time and are well prepared to answer any question asked. Remember to be honest and genuine when answering questions and focus on explaining your goals instead of just stating them. It is also advised to prepare in advance for such interviews. Make use of online sources or speak to an alumni of the university to understand what questions are asked in the interview and how you can ace the same accordingly.
- Stay connected with an alumni of your chosen university
One of the best ways to enhance your university application is to engage with an alumni from your chosen university. Speaking to them will help you understand what the admission team at the university expects, how the alumni conducted their admission process and how the academic interview will be. It is beneficial to have this information to ensure you send an effective university application to your dream university.
Note: As an international student, you should start preparing for all of the above at least months before your application deadline date. This ensures you have all the time needed to conduct the above actions.
Category 3: After completing the University Application Process
Once you have completed filling in the university application form and have arranged for all the documents to be submitted, it’s time to do the last-minute checks.
- Ensure you review your university application to check that all the information you’ve mentioned is spelt correctly and accurately within the prescribed format. Make sure there are no gaps in the form; everything enquired should be filled in accordingly.
- All answers submitted by you, whether it is your personal statement for university or the portfolio, ensure that it is drafted honestly. Your application will serve as the medium for the admission committee to learn better about you. It is important that you share meaningful answers that are genuine.
- Recheck your selected universities’ entry requirements. Match with what you’re submitting to ensure all the listed criterias are met.
- When you submit your documents, ensure you have a copy for each and organize them accordingly. Incase if the admission committees enquire about anything, you should address the issue immediately.
- Avoid any plagiarism in your application documents. Plagiarism is completely frowned upon and can lead to an instant rejection from the university.
- Eliminate the use of exaggerations for your SOPs or LORs when explaining yourself or listing your achievements.
- Lastly, get a second opinion. Ask your friends or family to read through your application to remove any unnecessary errors or share feedback that can enhance your application.
One of the best ways to enhance your enrollment chances at your dream university is to submit a powerful and impressive university application. The competition will be challenging, but you can stand ahead if you submit a stellar application. As you work towards submitting your university application, there could be instances where you wish to clarify doubts or seek the help of an expert who can guide you through the process. Here is when study abroad counsellors can help you. Having catered to multiple student aspirants globally, our expert counsellors prove to be the right fit for assisting your UK university applications. Get in touch by booking a free 1-1 counselling session today!