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What Elite Schools (Universities) are looking for?

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By Hubert Ho | Head of Admissions Consulting Services, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions

During the COVID-19, not only the economic activities are changing but also the elite school admissions are transforming. With the cancellation of public exams and test optional policies in the past 2 years, student’s profile becomes the sole tool for the elite schools’ admissions committee (adcom) to rely on their recruitment process. However, what do you know about the student’s profile? Let us reveal the true contents of a student profile.

An elite student profile includes the followings:

Academic records – A lot of parents and students misunderstand that the public exam is the only indicator that the elite schools consider. It is a fatal mistake to the application. Elite schools compare your school term reports and predicted grades with your standardized test results. US colleges will give you unconditional offer, but UK universities will give you conditional offer and you still need your public exam results.   

Extra-curricular Activities – A lot of families heard that elite schools want “all-rounded” students. Unfortunately, “all-rounded” students are the one who will not get any offer from elite schools. Adcom wants students who have dream and strengths. Imagine that you are building an all-rounded profile, what a student’s strengths can be?

Personal Achievements – Parents always told me that their child wasn’t an athlete causing hard to have any personal achievements. That is not true. I have met a lot of students who have stunning achievements in non-sport areas in the past few years. However, remember that personal achievements are not magic, they require time to grow.

Here comes an interesting question that I heard a lot. When will be the best time for a student to start building the profile or prepping for elite school admissions? The answer is… Grade 9. It is always a 4-year process involving precise actions. Elite school admissions cannot be an ad-hoc activity, it basically needs research, understanding and detailed planning to make it works. And the most important thing is there is never a standard equation to help building up one’s profile.

Let me share my magic words for profiling: UNDERSTANDING, CREATIVE and REALISTIC.   

Need more information on how to get accepted into elite school? Come and speak with our Admissions Counselor: https://bit.ly/3teynbI

Mr. Hubert Ho

Head of Admissions Consulting Services, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions

Associate Member of IECA, Member of NACAC and AEE

MCom (Finance), UNSW

BCom (Management & Marketing), University of Wollongong

  • 10 years+ of experience in education industry
  • 100% of his students got admitted to Top 3 choices & Top 50 US National Colleges and G5 UK Universities
  • Proven track record helping students gain admission to US prestigious colleges including Yale University, Stanford University, Cornell University, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, New York University, Boston University

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