It is almost every young person’s dream to make it to college. However, most undergraduate students tend to be overwhelmed by the number of choices that are available to them. And the fact that you could have passed plenty of opportunities that would have influenced your application doesn’t make it any easier. Despite the fact that you may not be entirely sure about the career you want to pursue, it doesn’t negate the fact that your life’s journey should coincide with the career path you are going to take. Admission officers want to see that your job, experience, and activities are closely related to your field of study. Therefore, one cannot overemphasize the importance of ensuring that you figure out which career path you want to take so that you don’t feel suffocated later on in life. After doing that, the next step would be to prepare yourself to join the graduate school. But how do you prepare for that?
1. Ace the MCAT
For you to pass the MCAT exam, you need a serious MCAT prep strategy. It is advisable that you start preparing yourself at least six months to before sitting for the exam. Although many people say that it requires less time to study for the exam, you have to factor in your schedule. If you are taking not less than 12 academic credit hours, volunteering, working part-time, doing your research or involved in an extracurricular activity, three to four months will be inadequate for you to prepare. For you to pass the exam, you need to ensure a few things:
- a) Understand what you are facing: An important point to consider during your MCAT prep is to know what you’re up against. To do that, you need to take as many MCAT practice tests as possible. Practice tests are a great way of boosting your knowledge and confidence.
- b) Don’t memorize: The examiners aren’t interested in your ability to memorize formulas and processes; they are interested in your ability to understand them. The key is to ensure that you understand the concepts and ideas.
- c) Focus on improving your weaknesses: The prep tests offer a great way of figuring out your strengths and weaknesses. Even as you hone your strengths, don’t forget to improve on your weaknesses. This will ensure that you tackle the exam holistically.
2. Know what you want to study
Before you even apply for your master’s degree, you need to have an idea of the topic of your dissertation. This requires you to have a clear sense of the field you are interested in, and you should also be sure that you will not get bored down the line. When you narrow down your interests, you stand a higher chance of going through past the application process.
It is important to note the options that will be available for you once you are done with your course. The information gotten can prove crucial in your decision-making process. There are a number of fields known for having the highest absorption of students after they graduate: law, business, and medicine are good examples. These fields are credited with providing solid, stable careers after graduation. However, they are not the only fields that provide stable careers. Needless to say, others offer very limited opportunities to students who have just graduated.
People whose trust fund is burning a hole in their pockets have nothing to worry about. Hence, if you don’t have a trust fund you need to ask yourself whether you are capable of withstanding the financial backlash that comes with the decision to go back to school. Graduate school is quite expensive, and you will need to be ready to bear the weight of it. It might require you to take out a student loan so that the financial burden doesn’t weigh heavy on you. However, this loan will still have to be repaid, and this might prove detrimental in the long run. Some schools, however, have developed programs that help graduate students with their finances: teaching assistantships, financial aid, merit scholarships and scholarships with low-interest rates. You could also consider getting a part-time job to help cover the expenses.
The application deadline for most graduate schools tend to be between January and March. Irrespective of the program you choose, you will need to give yourself time for you to get your documents ready. Some of the documents that might be required include professor recommendations, standardized test results and statement of purpose. Therefore, you ought to begin preparing from as early as August or September. If you have been out of school for several years, you have no reason to panic. This is because most grad schools take an interest in people who have taken the time off from studies to put their careers into perspective.