Should Universities Find a Better Way to Admit Students?November 06, 2017

It's a tried-and-tested truth that admission to your university of choice depends on three factors, namely electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) certificate, equivalent grades, and (admissions) essay. Not a few didn't like it, which would favour achievement robots than talented students who don't have favourable numbers. This might inspire students who want to follow the footsteps of George Lucas, but there's no guarantee that the next Steve Jobs could be found in our midst. Some American universities are thinking of other options. (Bard College announced that applicants could write four scholarly essays in place of a traditional application.)

It's high time that universities should increase the number of requirements, which give all students a leveling field. It will be more challenging to the faculty, who must decide which applicants should get an unconditional offer. Let's not forget the ones with a conditional offer, which means that they must meet one criterion (or a few requirements) to guarantee their place in the university. This flexible arrangement applies to mature applicants, who are above 21 years or age or much older individuals who decide to go back to academic life after working for many years and/or raising a (young) family. Could teenage applicants have the same privilege? It can be possible.

You must ask older students, alumni, and your would-be tutor alike, making sure that your department of choice isn't really strict when it comes to these requirements. It would be a huge mistake to assume otherwise, as these other options can help you communicate to your admissions tutor better.

5 Ways to Show You're the Best

A two-minute video. It seems like an audition for a reality TV show, but it's far from your first impression. Your sunny disposition won't win you another admirer. If you plead your case on camera, then you might end up wasting your time. And providing additional information to your application form can backfire on you. If you're aspiring to be a Literature student, then why not talk about your favorite books. Imagine your tutor (in place of the video camera), as you talk about its special features. Two or three sentences will be good enough. Remember that two minutes could be a short time, so practice on how you deliver your lines. (It shouldn't be too fast, which could confuse the tutor. It shouldn't be too slow as well. Your tutor might suspect your lack of enthusiasm.)

A comprehensive summary of your hobbies. Remember that your knowledge will be gauged here, as your tutor will try to find out your outlook. In this regard, stamp collecting can help you get closer (to admission) if you can relate the virtues of philately to your intended field of specialisation. (If you're an aspiring BA English student, then you should be aware of an interesting commemorative issue from Great Britain. It features Agatha Christie's works.) If you're a hobby photographer, then choose pictures that offer perspective. You don't have to try too hard on this one, as it can be a matter of time (e.g. sunrise vs. sunset) or angle (e.g. low-angle shot vs. high-angle shot). You should get the picture.

Your interest in sports. A video could enhance your presentation here, but you would do with some additional information in your application form. Your tutor will be looking for signs of motivation, as well as your ability to focus on that (winning) goal. In this case, running a ten-kilometre race (or marathon) can boost your chances.

More essays. It should put more pressure on your attempt to get a place (in your university of choice) especially if you're still looking for your own writing style. You can't wait for another year. Moreover, your tutor won't be fuzzy about the technicalities. (Your thoughts must be known. Don't afraid to write it down.) Ask first about the topics that you want to write in your essays. You can't have alibis here, not even a word count. (Time is on your side.) Try to be inquisitive in your approach. Don't be afraid to ask questions on theme(s) that you're uncertain of. Lastly, proofread your papers before sending it.

New skills. Many students may not have this option, as they rather cling to the carefree lifestyle. Tutors won't deduct it from them, but those who have summer jobs will have a huge advantage. It won't be good to mention the position(s), as you need to describe your experience and how it makes you a better person. It will be best to link the number of tasks (or your achievement) to virtues such as self-discipline. Your network may recommend you, which should make you feel good about your chances.

Here's a thing about your grades

You must make sure that your grades surpass the minimum (requirement). It indicates the degree of your intellect, also shows how you cope with the vigour of studying. In other words, high marks will give the tutor some assurance that you can handle the demands of higher education. Keep in mind that this system has been used for decades. The additional options give you an idea on what ways you can show your emotional skills, capacity of learning new ideas, and (student) values, all of which will influence how you handle the coursework.

If you're still in the dark, then you don't have to worry about it. Your tutor won't hesitate to answer all your questions. You can talk to your parents, who have their own experience to impart on you. Don't take it lightly.

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