Connecting the BIS Community

From Good to Great: Simple but Effective Ways to Boost Your College Portfolio

Wanna become a star college applicant? Want to be the one student to stand out in the applicants? Read this to learn more.

Bishkek International School – Secondary Library

What can you do to increase your chances of getting into top universities or colleges? You’ve probably had yourself pondering on such questions from time to time. You might assume that what universities/colleges look for is probably very high test/exam scores, good grades, high GPA, high SAT scores, high ACT scores and high TOEFL/IELTS scores, challenging courses, and anything academic or sports related, yet it is not the whole story. Every good university has different things they look for.

Diversity. Every top/good school looks for diversity. Whether it’s your background, culture, hobbies, ethnicity, etc. It would be good to include in your essay, resume, interview. Universities want to see different people. Which means if you have a hobby, you should continue to do it because universities would like to see more interesting hobbies. They are bored of the same hobbies appearing in college/university applications. Colleges and universities  seek different compelling hobbies. I spoke with Ms Nazira (college counsellor at BIS), and asked some questions.

“What hobbies benefit different kinds of courses?”

She replied, “Reading can be a hobby, or a learned challenging skill, which greatly benefits in all areas of life.   Reading is very essential no matter what courses a student chooses.”, she stated. 

From this we can see that reading should always be one of your hobbies because it helps with any course.

The school offers many books that might help you with anything, either for school, silent sustained reading, or just to entertain yourself.

Good inspiring leaders. I have also asked Ms Nazira this question: “What is a good and inspiring leader to you? What does it mean?”. 

She answered, “ An inspiring leader is a person who inspires others to dream the impossible, to make it possible by believing and doing more, and who respects others and takes responsibility for all their actions, thus building a dream team, where everyone is happy to do what they are assigned to.”

 People who can take over when things go downhill. People who work well in groups because they listen, instead of doing their own thing. You can show that you are a good leader by understanding people’s perspectives, listening to their opinions, helping others, etc. There are many things you can do to be a good leader. An example would be: community service.

Ms Nazira; The college counsellor or the alumni officer

Hard workers. All universities look for people who work hard, and make the most of every opportunity they get. People who took all the IB and AP classes. People who try their best. Go beyond to reach the academic standards. Try to challenge yourself. When I say challenge yourself I mean try AP and IB classes, and if you get good grades there, your GPA will most probably increase. And just then you might reach your full potential. Though it also varies from where you want to learn. The USA is more social centric, while the UK is more academic centric. Social centric is when something is focused more in the community and the way you contribute than academic achievements. Academic centric is when something is focused on your GPA, grades, scores on exams like: SAT, TOEFL/IELTS, and other important exams.

Though the actual question is “What can you do to be a hard worker?”, 

Ms. Nazira gave us an answer, “To be a hard worker sounds a bit scary and hard :).  I believe that in order to be diligent and succeed in a chosen field one should know his/her priorities, set reachable long term and short term goals, take actions and always monitor whether these actions take him/her  closer to their desired goal.  And if the goals are set correctly and the person knows what he/she wants to achieve in life, only then he/she will work responsibly and “hard”.”

In conclusion universities and colleges are tired of the same things. They want something different. They also want leaders. Leaders that will lead the weakest. And of course hard workers. People who work their hardest; to try and be the best. Though I didn’t cover everything. This is briefly what you can do to increase the chances of you getting into a good or top college or university.