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Applying to a prestigious university?

Overview

Getting a place at one of the world's most prestigious universities is no easy task. It is a result of years of systematic work often starting as early as when the future applicant is 14 years old. But is there a chance if you are starting later? Absolutely.

1) Decide which country you want to study in 

The world's most prestigious universities are mainly located in the UK and in the USA. 

Among these prestigious universities are: Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Stanford, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). the UK and the USA have two very different application processes and it helps to focus on one country and one system.

2) Work on extra tests and finalise all the essays

If you are applying to a prestigious UK university such as the University of Cambridge, you may be required to sit an extra admissions test. You are also required to produce one core essay (Personal Statement). If you are, however, applying to America, you will have to do standardised tests: either the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests or the ACT. You may also have to write up to 50 different essays.

3) Submit the application by the 1st of October

Whether you are applying to a prestigious university in the USA or in the UK, application deadlines are similar: the 15th of October for Oxbridge in the UK and the 1st of November (Early Decision) in America. Save the stress and submit everything by the 1st of October.

4) Go through the interview process

Every successful candidate for Oxford and Cambridge will have to go through a tough interview selection process. Elite American universities such as Harvard or Stanford also interview candidates but these are much more informal and are not as important as the Oxbridge interviews.

5) Meet the academic conditions

Most offers from elite American universities are unconditional meaning that there are no further exams that a candidate needs to sit to begin studying. Oxford, Cambridge and other top UK universities are different - they will almost always impose an academic condition.

How to get into a prestigious university?

1) Start early. Your completion will often start as early as four years prior to submitting an application and there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing the same.

2) Be ready to work hard. The competition for world's most prestigious universities such as Columbia and Stanford is often as high as 21 applicants per place. Unless you get a lot of things done extremely well, you stand a very small chance. Getting near-perfect or perfect scores on the required exams is one of the best things you can do to pass the first hurdle. This requires hard work.

3) Put yourself into the shoes of an admissions officer. If you were them - what would you look for? Generally-speaking, admissions officers seek out candidates with excellent academic track record and a proven potential for future excellence. How do you prove future excellence? Have a track record of achievements - academic and otherwise.

4) Have a competitive extra-curricular profile including one or two super-curriculars in which you are world class - especially important when applying to the elite universities across America!

Anna, a current student at Harvard, says: "I got offers from Harvard as well as 4 other Ivy League schools. Getting excellent SAT test scores and having a solid extracurricular profile was definitely key to me getting in. All the work has paid off. I am so happy"

If you want Allen & Jain to increase your chances at admissions to a prestigious university, then fill the form below to get in touch with us. Our retainer model clients have enjoyed success rates of 76% at Oxbridge admissions and of 82% for Ivy League admissions last year.

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