As the application is winding to a close here are a few things to consider before things get really out of control. Yes, winter is here, motivation is down, applications are due for a month or so, school is feeling like a daily grind and life feels like the icy winds blowing outside. Get a grip! Get back to work and focus. Here are a few things to get you moving:
1. Your grades matter particularly if you are in a school with a Semester grading system. How you do this first semester in school is something every school – boarding or university will want to see. So with final exams looming sooner rather than later, revise, revise, and revise again
2. Get those applications done and submitted!
a. I require my students to complete all of their applications usually by December 1. This year with the complexity of SAT score delays, I have given my students a bit of a reprieve.
b. Why do I want applications in way before the deadline?
- You get them done.
- You look organized and prepared, not to mention mature to the schools you are applying to. Note that this does not mean you should hurry up and hastily finish your application
- If you have been working on your essays, hopefully you have written clear, well-devised essays. Tinkering over them, making adjustments will only take away from your original thoughts and ideas
- Once done and submitted, you will have time to focus on your schoolwork – the most important part of your application. Grades ARE more important than test scores
3. At this time of the year, you are half way done with this phase of your education. It is downhill from here. So, whether you are planning to go to boarding school or university next year, you only have a few months before you move – keep or regain that motivation to finish strong.
4. Just because you have submitted your application doesn’t mean you are finished telling your story. You may have some events coming up that you should share with the schools to which you have applied. If you have won an award or if you win one, you should let the schools know. If you completed a project, entered and did well in a competition – let them know.
5. Interviews – make sure you know if and how you can interview with schools
- Some will use third party companies: CIEE, IntialView or Vericant
- Schedule your time early so that your interview makes the window the school designates
- If a school offers an interview make sure you ask to schedule one
- Some schools will contact you to arrange an interview
a. For some schools interviews are necessary for others it is an option
- Unlike interviews for other countries they are a small part of the process
- For some schools, this is a way to see you in person to check your language ability
b. Whether required or optional you should do your best to have an interview
- Take some time preparing the “30 second elevator pitch” reply to the first typical question ‘ Can you introduce yourself?”
- Try to make all of your responses seem natural, not memorized
You are almost done. So get those applications done. Focus on good writing, double or even triple check for mistakes, and press submit. Now get back to work and good luck!