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Applying to graduate school is similar to applying to an undergrad program, except the standards will be much higher. Grad schools are typically more selective about who to accept because the level of performance expected is elevated. In short, all graduate schools have their own set of requirements. Some require applicants to present their portfolios, others necessitate taking the GRE exam, and other schools will only accept applicants from specific fields of study. Read below to find out how you can present a strong application to the graduate school of your choosing.
Carefully Construct Your Personal Statement
All applications submitted to a graduate school study program look identical from the outside; stacks of paper that include transcripts, resumes, portfolios, letters of recommendation and personal statements. What is contained within is going to set you apart from other graduate school hopefuls. Your personal statement is essentially your cover letter. It should contain a summary of your personal history, your goals, and accomplishments. While playing up on your strengths is recommended, remember that you want admissions to see you as a well-rounded person. Let them know that you are also aware of your weaknesses and areas of trouble so that you prove you are capable of acknowledging and addressing your shortcomings. Be sure to give yourself several days to carefully craft and edit your personal statement.
Gather as Many Letters of Recommendation as You Can
In order to learn about all applicants, graduate schools also want to hear about your former professors, guidance counselors, coaches, and leaders and community have to say about you. This is where letters of recommendation figure in. It is up to you to determine who to approach and ask for a letter of recommendation. Remember that your former teachers, bosses, and other role models will be honest in their summation of you as a person. If possible, get at least five or six people to write their letters of recommendation, then choose the best and most accurate for submission with your grad school application packet.
Proofread and Tweak Your Full Application
After you have gathered everything you need to apply to the college graduate program of your choosing, it becomes time to edit your application and make adjustments. Start by checking for the most basic spelling and grammatical errors. Your application is going to be scrutinized, so you don’t want any errors to serve as a distraction to the admission department. Submit an easy application for graduate schools online within the submissions window, then wait for a response. Ideally, your application should be submitted to a few graduate schools that you are interested in. Just like getting into undergrad, you can’t guarantee that every school is going to offer you a seat.
Graduate school can be quite a bit more challenging than going to a traditional college. In grad school, you are going to be continually challenged. The course work is going to be harder, and you might even be working a full-time job. Take your time and submit a killer application to ensure that you get into the college of your choosing.