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General Tips

Are you worried about the various requirements for admission into a competitive graduate program?

Here are ten tips that will get you on your way towards a successful admission:

Start preparing ahead of time: this is probably the first and most important step you could take once you decide you want to go to graduate school. You will need years to get all the requirements a  graduate program asks for on your resume, so it’s better you start preparing as soon as possible, preferably in your early undergraduate years.

Keep your grades up: your overall college GPA will probably be the main criterion in your application being accepted for further consideration or simply rejected. So try to do your best each and every semester; it will pay off in the end!

Gain experience in your field of study: most respected graduate programs require you have extensive relevant experience. You can acquire it in your undergraduate years through volunteering, shadowing, internships, directed independent studies, or even jobs.

Show interesting extracurricular activities: admission committees like to consider well rounded students who show exceptional abilities outside their fields of study. Find a hobby if you already don’t have one that would make you stand out from the thousands of applicants.

Earn awards and honors: since you’re already doing all these great things for your graduate school application, try to get recognized for it while in undergraduate school. Winning scholarships, merit awards, or scholastic contests shows that you are already a successful student.

Be part of societies/organizations: being involved in a student organization or being a member of an association in your field shows that you have leadership skills which are required in any respected profession.

Make connections: it is extremely important that you create strong professional relationships with your professors, employees, advisors. These are the people you are going to ask for recommendations, internships, jobs, and most of all mentorship.

Research the schools you are planning to apply to: once you decide which field you are going into, look at some graduate programs you might be interested in. In this way you know exactly their requirements and you can start working on meeting them right away.

Prepare for your admission test: the graduate school admission test scores are as important as the GPA, so you better take them seriously. Whether it is the GRE, MCAT, or GMAT you need to take, they are all challenging and require months of practice.

Plan your time wisely: you already got an idea of how busy your life as a prospective graduate student can be. In only a few years you have to make sure you graduate, you get enough experience, you pass the admission test, and you send in your application and required documents before the deadline.