How to Prepare for Graduate School – A Complete Guide!

How to Prepare for Graduate School
How to Prepare for Graduate School

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Getting into a prestigious college is hard enough as an undergraduate, but the ball game changes when you apply to graduate school. Expectations are much higher, finances are harder to acquire, and the list goes on. But a master’s degree/doctoral degree will likely improve your likeliness of getting a higher-paying, more prestigious job.

Here are some tips on how to adequately prepare for graduate school: 

01. Create good relationships with your professors

Throughout your undergraduate degree, maintain sound, authentic relationships with your professors. If you interact with them a lot by asking questions, you create more dialogue and familiarity, so don’t be shy. A professor remembers students who do exceedingly well, and who made a presence in the class. Try to do both! 

02. Ask for recommendations 

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After creating a stable relationship with your professors, it won’t hurt to ask for advice. Most graduate programs require recommendations (from professors, student advisors, etc.), so it’s best to get your foot in the door whenever you can. A piece of advice from a well-accredited professional in the industry will give you a significant leg up when it comes to your application. 

03. Start a resume 

Starting a resume is extremely important. It’s one thing to complete an undergraduate degree, but to gain real-world experience is just as important. It will show the graduate program that you are applying to that you can take what you have learned in your studies and use it to a position and succeed. It lets the program know that you would realistically be a great candidate for them, and you have lots of high potential in the field you are applying for. 

04. Join organizations at your school

Joining organizations at your school will provide you with an opportunity to network with others in the same/similar program as you, learn more about the field, and have inside access to workshops, key speakers, and much more. It will be something to include on your resume. 

05. Complete internships 

Completing internships is an essential factor when applying to graduate school. As mentioned, it’s one thing to complete your degree, but another to utilize the skills learned and put them to practice. Completing an internship will let the program admissions committee know that you are capable of more than just a degree, and will result in you more likely getting admitted than someone who didn’t complete an internship. It recommended that you take part in a few placements to get well-rounded experience in different environments. The more diverse you are, the more competitive your application will be. 

06. Get involved in community service

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Getting involved in community service will show that you are not only smart and hard-working, but you dedicate to helping those less fortunate than you. It’s always important to give back, and most universities have a philanthropy program, so they will appreciate any volunteer work that you take part in. 

07. Submit your application early

Be ahead of the game and submit your request as first as you can. It doesn’t mean rush – be as meticulous as you possibly can, but don’t wait until the last minute (or close to the last minute) to submit your application. With some schools, the earlier you submit your transcripts, grades, recommendations, resume, etc., the sooner you get your decision. If this isn’t the case for your school, that’s fine, at least the program will see that you’re not a procrastinator! 

08. Write a compelling essay

A significant factor in a graduate application that some students don’t take too seriously is the essay portion. It seems like it’s there to be there, right? Wrong. The essay portion can sway the admissions committee and is a chance for students to showcase their personality, what they have been through in life, their passions, and more. You want to take a lot of time on the essay (or, in some cases, multiple articles) and make it/them stand out. It’s not easy to write a compelling article with a limited amount of words based on a prompt like many people may think. It requires figuring out how to entice the reader, what words to cut to fit the word count and more. 

Do you want to solidify your application? Do you feel everything is well-rounded, but you stump on the essay portion? We can help you!

Here at Smart Tutor, we offer in-person and online tutoring. We based in St. Petersburg, Florida, but you can access a tutor from the comfort of your own home anywhere in the nation. One of our professional tutors can help you polish up your essay to make your application as competitive as possible. 

Our results speak for themselves. We were the recipient of the 2019 ‘Best of St. Petersburg Award in the Area of Tutoring Service,’ we have a 5-star Google rating, and we helped students receive over $11 million in grants and scholarships based on an increase in SAT and ACT scores.

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