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Already thinking of University Applications? Here's 4 areas to start with!

Large Wreath

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Large Wreath

Content written by:

Christy Lee

Last Updated:

9 June 2021 at 2:57:36 am

Image by Daniel Mirlea

While university application seems far, time will pass very quickly.

Before you know it, you are already in the “holiday mood”. It will be wise to start preparing for applications early. It also gives you ample time to think of your strengths and improvements to make you an outstanding applicant eventually. Here are four possible areas to start!

1) Research

2) Personal statement

3) Interview skills

4) Portfolio building

1) Research

i) Starting research early provides you with adequate time to plan and realise what you want. It is never too early to begin and start reading up on the different institutions’ websites!

ii) You can begin researching on;

- Your dream university (its location, reputation, facilities)

- Tuition fees

- Subsidies for a tuition fee loan

- Scholarships

- Subject and grade prerequisites of your desired course

iii) Knowing the restrictions and prerequisites can encourage you to work even harder for your results to achieve your goals.

iv) For students considering their tertiary studies overseas, it is important to note that many application and interview deadlines differ widely from local universities. It would be good to research and note down key dates to prevent yourself from missing them.

2) Personal statement

i) Crafting a personal statement is never easy. This is because the word count limit forces you only to include the most relevant and crucial stories of your life.

ii) Common content include;

- Experience in serving the school, community, or nation

- Competitions

- A challenge or impactful event of your life

iii) Although difficult, you still have to write it. A personal statement is an important component for admissions officers to get a good impression of you.

iv) Ensure you have sufficient amount of time to think, plan, and write and re-write. Identify which areas you are lacking in and have time to work on it to make up for your inadequacies.

v) Find someone you trust and provide you with constructive and honest feedback to vet and re-vet. Make sure you approach them early to give them enough time to read and comment. Avoid last-minute requests.

3) Interview skills

i) There are many interviews that one must attend to gain admissions to universities, special programs, and scholarships.

ii) While each interview is unique in its own way in terms of the content discussed, certain skills are applicable across most contexts. However, different types of interviews may require different skills too — for example, the ability to program a robot.

- Compared to one-to-one interviews, group interviews require you to demonstrate more cooperation and listening skills and to avoid being too dominating in the discussion.

- Other skills include decent body posture, good structuring of answers

iii) There are many interview training videos available online, allowing you to choose the one best suited to you. You are just a click away!

iv) We must prepare ourselves to be equipped with these skills to achieve a good start to the interview. Starting early is especially beneficial to people who have minimal exposure to interviews or fear speaking in a public context. You will improve with practice.

4) Portfolio building

i)The admissions officers also look at your past achievements and contributions as a JC student to estimate how much you can value-add to the institution you are applying to.

ii) It is encouraged to join activities that are highly relevant to the courses you would like to apply for as well. For example;

- Hospital or clinical attachments for Medicine/Dentistry

- Internships at corporations for Business/Media

- Internships at renowned science and technology agencies for Science/Engineering

iii) These additions to your portfolio show the effort and time outside of school that you have put into experimenting and knowing your interests better. 

They also serve as credible examples to support your claims of your passion in your personal statement or interview and that they are certainly not empty words.

Additional Tips

For Singaporean son who will be serving National Service (NS), it is advisable you also apply for University after receiving your results.

Securing a seat first will ensure you do not worry about admission after NS. You may also have to consider signing up for early enrollment as you do not wish your Operationally Ready Date (ORD) to clash with your University starting date.

Otherwise, you may have to request an early disruption during NS.

Early disruption means you will leave NS for University, and afterward, serve back the remaining time to be considered ORD.

For more information, you can visit

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