How to Correct Costly Mistakes in Your University ApplicationNovember 13, 2017

Millions of teenagers would make mistakes during their university application, and most of them are unaware of it. Guidance counselors might have given them a bad advice, a result of long working hours. Peer pressure, if not follow the trend. Parents have good intentions, but they are ill-informed about the whole process. Applicants wouldn't know better while some couldn't comprehend the steps, which could cost a place in their university of choice.

The first step (in this long process) is to think positive about your chances. If you don't believe in your capabilities and talents, then you must consider a gap year. Don't plan your backpacking adventure in Southeast Asia, even a week in Bali. Yet. You must know someone who can guide you during the application period. You can also be bold enough to inquire some members of the faculty, who may end up as your admissions tutors. Ignorance is not a valid excuse, so you must identify the common mistakes that will prompt your tutor to pass up your application. This is the point where you must pay attention.

What to Do With These 10 University Application Mistakes

Your list of universities is too short (or too long). There's nothing wrong if you have a short list of universities, but it's likely that these will be the top universities in Australia. You won't be the only one who is going through that course, which can motivate you to exert lots of effort. You can like your chances if you have an outstanding (academic) record, but even this won't guarantee you a place. On the other hand, a long list is a sign that you haven't thought about it carefully. It should be a waste of time to go through it. Your list must be a mixture of two or three top universities and several lesser-known institutions. Money can be an issue, but think of what each school can offer. Choose the one that can make turn you into an exemplary student. Look at the program carefully. Ask questions if you need clarification. Don't make a rush on this one.

You assume that admissions tutors are looking for all-around teenagers. If this is the case, then there won't be many departments. Tutors are drawn to someone who excels in a particular field, if not passionate about a certain subject. You should know yours.

You have a good idea of how to write your application essay. If your guess is perfection, then you have overlooked something. If it must be substantive, then you haven't looked at the bigger picture. If you're aiming for a longer essay, then you're about to be disappointed sooner or later. Admissions tutor won't be strict about the technicalities, as your perspective on your chosen topic will be more important. As for the subject matter, you must avoid the ones that will come to mind of most students. (Someone who is dear to you passed away. Your most memorable experience with your family. First love.) Think out of the box. Lastly, it will be better to ask your tutor about the word count. It might save you lots of time.

You have a long list of recommendations. Remember that your past instructors would be the only ones that matter to your tutor. This cuts off your task, but decide which teachers know your capabilities and talents too well.

You take the (admissions) interview for granted. It will be a fatal mistake if you don't prepare for it. You mustn't dread this step, as this is your best chance to convince the tutor that you will be a valuable member of the department. You must be articulate about your opinion on topics (that the tutor have in mind). You must be able to show your enthusiasm. You should have a knowledge about your department of choice. In this regard, you must have made a prior visit.

No one will check out your activities on social media. You're dead wrong if you believe it. This should be the good time to delete photos that will prompt tutors to have second thoughts about your application. If you don't have one, then your account(s) must revolve on something you really like about. It can be rugby (without the sledging), it can also be the iconic landmarks in your hometown. You may think twice about the Opera House, though.

You're wishing for a flexible deadline. Another huge mistake. Make an inquiry about it while you plan your application ahead. It will be better if you can submit it ahead of the deadline. You don't want to be caught in the mad rush.

You'll have problems in looking for a scholarship (or sponsorship). There's lots of money in tertiary education. If you don't have sufficient funds, then it doesn't mean that you're about to reach the end of the road. Use your resourcefulness, as you ask around. (You may do a research on the philanthropic activities of celebrities. Someone might be contributing to your university of choice.) You'll find one if you're persistent enough. If your parents can help you on this one, then pretend that you haven't read a word.

You rather not discuss your choices with your parents. It won't be right especially if Mum and Dad will pay for the tuition fee. You'll get to spend more time with them, and it couldn't be better. They can share their experience, which will help you. Better take the lead. Furthermore, there's no point in discussing it after you have send your application. How about a holiday?

You didn't look at your application over (and over again). This is the reason why you must finish your application ahead of the deadline. It will give you plenty of time for proofreading it. This can drag a bit, which shouldn't worry you. One mistake, even a trivial one, might be taken against you.

When it's all over

There's no need to talk about the application process after you have submitted it. You'll realise that you could have done something, even skip another one. No point in beating yourself up on this one. If someone asks you about it, then give a short response. (You learned a great deal about yourself. If you believe that it's a phenomenal experience, then prepare for a puzzled reaction.)

Patience is a virtue, and don't forget to celebrate on every letter of unconditional offer.

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