Seven common mistakes with the overseas college applications

  • 22-5-2018

Mistake number one, “I have excellent academic scores and high SAT/scores, I can easily make it”


Overseas college application review is much more than academic scores and cut-offs. Colleges need achievers in the complete sense not just academics. They want to see students who care about community, who are interesting and definitely inspiring, they need an interesting class of keen learners. The academic and test scores is a very small part of the application and it is definitely not the deciding factor.

Mistake number two, “I have to show some community work in my application” because so and so told me or the Google says so.


And quickly, you join an NGO to teach or do something to write in your resume and you think you are ready for the application.

Just think about it, you picked up something only to write in your application which has no connection with who you are, and shows no relevance in your high school years, not even in your statement of purpose, and above all you think admission officer will be really impressed with the certificates you have collected and by your detailed and edited write up on same. Experiences prove that it is not about just random community work, it’s much more than what you have understood, relevance of your work with the real you is the key.

Mistake number three “I should choose an innovative, different, unique topic for Common App Essay.”


You write something on which you may even do not believe in, you choose a extra ordinary vocabulary and you think you have created the best piece of writing, heavy words, unique prospective and what not!!

Remember, the admissions office is not a publishing house and this essay is not for the list of “Newyork’s Best Seller” nor they would want this to be converted into a novel. What they want is to know you through this Essay, anything which has had the significant impact in your life or your Deep Desires, It is about you and only you, whether you want to be scientist or a musician, what makes you who you are, what is that you love, what affected you or could be anything as simple as you may have visited on your school trip and had a life time experience or your journey of high school, or a person who influenced you so much that the encounter became the turning point to define your uniqueness. Hence heavy words, unique thoughts, keep all that aside and write something that deeply defines your life.

Mistake number four “I should have my English teacher write my LOR because I’m her favourite student”


Choosing someone to write your LOR because you think, he/she will right the best letter of recommendation because you are their favourite student and you often meet them, and they exactly did what you have thought of. Again, LOR is not about how good a student you are, it’s about who you are, how did you deal with your successes and failures or your in-depth knowledge about the subject you love. So if the LOR has a mix of your strength and weakness it will be about you as a student and as a person.

Mistake number five “If I have the best counsellor in town in grade, s/he will work her magic on my application”


How did/will you choose the best one? Because somebody told you..and you believe in, you forget to understand every child is different so is the need, Firstly, you are late if you are hiring one in grade 12. Application is just not about filling Data it’s about creating a story of “who you are”, you are already in Grade-12 and you hardly have time, your application process will start in the next six months, and with this time frame counsellor can only do the application with what you have created so far not what colleges look for. You may not have had any idea about what you were suppose to do in your high school years because you focussed on scoring the top rank in class. You presumed once you top the school/board, only knew it’s not really a big deal to get the college of your choice. Every year so many toppers students face rejections amongst the global pool of toppers.

Mistake number six “I should be involved in maximum number of extra curricular activities”


Someone told you, your extra curricular plays an important role in your application and then immediately you joined as many clubs in school, from theatre to swimming, debate, writing etc etc. You have left nothing and now you have an enormous list of activities to write about you and you feel so happy and proud!!!
Now your application looks like “ Jack of all trades master of none” And even with all good intentions and hardwork, unknowingly you missed out on coming out as the smartest one did and wasted precious Highschool years.

Mistake number seven - We call it “The Biggest Mistake “


You choose a college not the course. Years of hard work deserve what you want to be, not where you want to be!!!

You want to have a Smart application, you need your career mentor. Partner with us and connect at

Related Post

College: India v/s abroad

When I recently met my high school mentee, I asked him what made him choose...

Should I take the first step now?

If you are a 14-year-old 9th grader, the answer is yes. And if you're older..

Become A Part of FYC
Community Today