International applications to UK and US universities are booming and students are already starting to consider their university applications now. J&J Education helps people enter leading universities and graduate schools in both the US and the UK. They do this by providing mentoring and coaching to help students achieve their academic dreams.
The J&J team includes lecturers, professors and interviewers from Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge and many more – all with intimate knowledge of university admissions.
Expat Living spoke to them and their clients for advice for those looking at university applications.
J&J’s top tips for UK University Applications
#1 Start early – especially for Oxford and Cambridge!
Britain’s applications include specialist tests required for most courses (including medicine, law, languages, English and more), academic interviews and a UCAS personal statement. These can take several drafts, so it’s helpful to start early.
#2 Academic rigour is the key
Unlike in US statements, UK admissions tutors aren’t primarily interested in applicants’ personal stories as they are in why they wish to study a specific course. So referencing articles, books and work experience, and demonstrating thought and passion for the subject with intelligent analysis is vital.
#3 Prepare for interviews
Oxford and Cambridge interview candidates for all subjects, while other universities interview for some courses, such as medicine. These are rigorous academic discussions that can require significant preparation. They will push candidates to think about concepts they may not have encountered before, to discuss books/texts/ideas referenced in their personal statements and more. So read lots around your subject and do lots of thinking through interview questions!
A J&J alum studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford university says: “My J&J tutor was incredibly helpful in preparing me. I have no doubt that the sessions with J&J were one of the reasons my application was successful.”
J&J’s top tips for US College Applications
#1 Ace the SAT/ACT with enough preparation
Take the SAT/ACT early, so you have time to retake it if needed. Most US universities allow ‘superscoring’, where you can declare your best score, so make sure to plan in advance. If you think you’ll do well at the test, we recommend taking it, even for test-optional universities. It’s a great way to distinguish yourself and boost your application.
#2 Stand out with compelling narratives
Application essays for US universities require a very different way of thinking from Britain’s personal statements. US universities want a sense of ‘who applicants are’, what has shaped their character, life and interests, and how they might use their education to contribute. They’re often particularly interested in extracurricular activities, voluntary work and upbringing; and in how you’ll contribute to the undergraduate student community. So working to plan an interesting, original and compelling statement is important.
#3 Research, research, research!
For interviews and for supplemental written essays required by individual universities it’s important to demonstrate your passion and suitability for a specific university, course and professors. They receive thousands of applicants from compelling and qualified candidates, so they need to know why you deserve the place above others. Set yourself apart this way!
A J&J alum now studying at Harvard says:
“My tutor’s extensive knowledge of US universities and his discerning approach were instrumental in helping me submit a successful application to Harvard. Having been overwhelmed by the dizzying complexity of the process, J&J skilfully guided me through each step with diligence.”
How can J&J Education help your child?
J&J offers comprehensive applications support and mentoring, with specialists can support students with UK applications tests, US standardised tests (SAT/ACT/GRE), admissions personal statements, Common Application, supplemental questions and interview technique.
Read tips, see exclusive past interview questions and watch video content at the J&J blog. Contact the team today for a free consultation here, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. And quote ‘EXPAT’ for a free lesson on sign-up!
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