Applying to multiple grad schools can be a juggling act – staying on top of the many deadlines, essays, letters of recommendation, and other supporting documents can seem like an impossible job. You want to stay organized so that you submit the most complete and effective grad school application possible. Creating a system that works for you will make the application process easier by guaranteeing that you’re on track and have all of your information in one place. It can also help you put your thoughts in order when you start working on your essays.
Here are three tips to help you create an organized system that works for you:
1. Create a central document to track all of your applications.
This document should keep track of when each application component is due, what each requires, what you’ve already completed, and what still needs to be done. Some people create an Excel file, some generate a calendar using another app, some use a paper calendar or chart. Use whatever works best for you. Just be sure to document all of your deadlines and requirements, and check them off as you finish them.
2. Start another document for your letters of recommendation.
Note the name and contact information of the recommender, the date you contacted him/her, the dates of all discussions or meetings, the date the letter has to be sent in by, and the date you followed up.
3. Make a master list of your essay questions, including length specifications.
By doing this at the beginning of the application process you can see which schools ask for similar or overlapping topics. This will save you time and effort in the long run, allowing you to use your ideas in more than one place.
Finding an organizational system that works for you may take some time at the beginning, but will reduce your stress level as you continue on in the application process. This will allow you the freedom to concentrate on what really counts – getting a complete, comprehensive app; a positive, glowing letter of rec and an interesting; and meaningful essays to your target schools on time.
For more help on creating a successful grad school app, get your free copy of Get Your Game On now.