How I Prepared for the University Applications Process

As the university application deadline approached, I started taking a few steps in the application process:

Step 1. University research

Before deciding which university I would like to attend, I first settled on the major I would like to take: Computer Science/Software Engineering (CS). Afterwards, I started researching universities that fit my requirements: located in California, offering interesting CS major programmes and opportunities, providing a great social environment, etc. I then went through some university review websites, such as Niche, to make sure I got different perspectives and opinions on the universities I am considering.

Step 2. Finalising the university list

After having some universities in mind, I created my university list. First, I put together a long list that included all of the universities I have an interest in. Next, I made a shortlist with universities that I am seriously considering. Then, I finalised this into an application list, that only includes universities that I am 100% sure I am applying to.

Step 3. Application requirements

Every university has its application requirements. Most of the universities I applied to required me to fill the ‘Common Application’, and others asked for the ‘University of California (UC) Application’. Even though the SAT is optional this year, I still did it to increase my chances of getting accepted.

Step 4. Essays

Based on the application requirements, I had to complete the universities’ questions and essays. For the Common Application, I had to complete a personal statement, and some schools also ask for supplementary essays to make sure you are the right fit for them. The UC Application requires you to write four essays out of the eight personal insight prompts given.

Step 5. Apply

After I got my essays and applications ready, it was time to apply. The school counsellor and I  reviewed all of the application material and I submitted them. Then, it is just a matter of waiting, managing stress, while hoping the acceptance letters will come! Wish me luck!

By Troy, Year 13, YCIS Pudong Secondary

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