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    Documents You Need From High School For Admissions Abroad

    By Vijeeth Srinivas
    23 Nov'22  6 min read
    Documents You Need From High School For Admissions Abroad
    Synopsis

    Students who plan to study abroad after Class 12 are typically required to collate a bunch of documents for applications and subsequent admissions. This article elaborates on what all documents aspirants would need to procure from their high schools and get the process going. 

    Documents You Need From High School For Admissions Abroad
    Synopsis

    Students who plan to study abroad after Class 12 are typically required to collate a bunch of documents for applications and subsequent admissions. This article elaborates on what all documents aspirants would need to procure from their high schools and get the process going. 

    Applications to universities abroad are intricate and detailed, and the documentation required far outweighs the typical requirements of domestic universities. This is because of two reasons: first, admissions to universities abroad are made based on broader and more holistic parameters, validation of which requires a greater level of documentation. Secondly, given that education abroad involves a temporary transfer of residency, the onus on verification for admissions is significantly higher. Applications require a wide variety of documentation to be submitted. Some documents (such as essays & SOPs, self-reported scores, CVs and portfolios etc.) may be prepared and submitted by the students without third parties' intervention or involvement. Other documentation (such as LORs, transcripts, mid-year reports etc.), however, must be validated (and very often submitted) by third parties on behalf of students.

    Which Documents Do You Need?

    Universities in different countries have different systems and forms through which they accept applications for undergraduate admissions abroad. Whilst there are some commonalities between the processes in these different systems, it is best to understand which document is required for which application.

    Also Read | Important Application Deadlines For Studying Abroad

    Transcripts

    Transcripts are essentially documents which contain details about the courses and subjects undertaken by a student at an academic institution. Schools issue transcripts to indicate the subjects undertaken by a student in high school and the marks earned by them in the same. All transcripts must be duly signed and stamped by school authorities. A transcript should contain the following information:

    • Accreditation of the academic institution
    • Name of the student
    • Roll number/identity of the student
    • Name of the degree obtained
    • List of courses undertaken
    • Marks/grades obtained in all the courses
    • The total aggregate of the marks/grade obtained

    Transcripts are an essential requirement in the application forms of almost all universities and countries. However, the specifics differ from country to country. The United States and Canada, for example, require transcripts from Grades 9 - 12, whereas the United Kingdom and Australia only require transcripts of board examinations undertaken in Classes 10 and 12, combined with the predicted scores for the Class 12 board examinations (specifically needed in the United Kingdom). Transcripts may be demanded directly by the university or through other forms such as the mid-year report, final year report, etc.

    Letters Of Recommendation

    Letters of Recommendation are documents that outline a student's proficiencies, qualities, and activities from the perspective of a third-party referee. High school teachers and counsellors are required to prepare and submit these documents which are key enablers of the assessment of student abilities and acceptances. Letters of recommendation are usually 1-2 pages long and might be accompanied by an objective form (as in the case of the Common App application) that a teacher has to fill out to provide detailed insights into a student’s personality. Letters of Recommendation are also required by many universities across the globe with these specifics: -

    United States | Best to have three Letters of Recommendation prepared one from the school counsellor and two from any two subject teachers

    United Kingdom | Best to have One letter of Recommendation prepared- from the school counsellor or a subject teacher

    Canada and Australia | Only for scholarship applications, it best to have one Letter of Recommendation prepared- from the school counsellor or a subject teacher

    documents required for abroad study, documents required for studying abroad, documents required for study abroad, documents required to study abroadUndergraduate admissions to universities abroad are made prior to the release of the results of Class 12 board examinations.

    Also Read | How Should You Create A Balanced College List For Study Abroad Applications?

    Predicted Scores

    Undergraduate admissions to universities abroad are made prior to the release of the results of Class 12 board examinations (with the exception of Australia and Singapore). Hence, universities often require a measure of a student’s expected performance in Class 12 boards, which they demand through ‘Predicted Scores’ from the student’s high school. Schools are required to assess students’ historic academic performances and essentially predict how well they would score in the upcoming examinations. These scores are required by universities even before students take pre-board examinations. Predicted scores are required by universities in the United Kingdom (submitted by the referee who is either the school counselor or a subject teacher or the school principal), the United States (submitted through the mid-year report by the school counselor/principal/registrar), and in Canada.

    Additional Documentation

    Universities nowadays have included provisions for students to include additional information about their lives and learnings that might add to the perspective of admissions committees and enable themselves to make comprehensive decisions on acceptances. These experiences include struggles with physical or mental illness, challenges induced by Covid-19 etc, which are often tough to accommodate in the primary application. Schools might be required to submit additional proof to validate claims made by students in their applications.

    Also Read | Exams You Need To Take To Study Abroad After Class 12

    How Should You Submit?

    Most of these forms are submitted by the school and its employees (teachers and counsellors) through a request prompted by the student on their portal. Typically, it is a three-step process:

    • Students fill out the portal/form from the student login and enter all required details (including the names and details of their schools, referees, and counsellors)
    • The university sends a request to the school teacher/counsellor to upload the required documents on their end of the portal
    • The teacher/counsellor uploads the documents from their official email (note that personal emails do not work in many college application portals including the Common Application) prior to the deadline for applications.

    Also Read | Your Pre-Departure Checklist Must Contain These Items

    As outlined in the list above, the requirements for each country are very diverse and unique. Moreover, combined with the dynamic and often early cycles and processes of admissions it is best for students to start collating this documentation from high schools, fairly early in their senior years. Students should reach out to the admissions counsellors of their schools and inform them about their plans for studying abroad (along with the intended countries, universities and so on). This allows the counsellors enough time to ensure that all documentation required for applications from the school’s end is processed and submitted on time.

    It is equally important to maintain regular communication with school teachers/counsellors to ensure that all required documentation is submitted on time with respect to the deadline for each university. It is best to initiate and align these processes as soon as possible to avoid problems at a later stage in the application process (especially in schools which witness a high number of applications being processed for universities abroad each year).

    Vijeeth Srinivas is a development consultant with extensive experience in the foreign education industry. With the Centre for Career Development and Essai Education he has helped hundreds of students secure positions in leading universities abroad. He is keen to make novel developments in education and skill development more accessible to students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

    • Education
    • Cognition
    • University
    • Learning
    • Test (assessment)
    • University and college admission
    • International student
    • Teacher
    • Letter of recommendation
    • School counselor

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