5 Tips on How to Ace The Application Process

16 September 2014

Applying for a postgraduate programme can be very nerve-wrecking, especially if you are applying for a foreign university or are returning to academics from a period of time in the workplace. To help you ace the application process at TUM Asia, here are 5 handy tips you might find useful!

To apply for the Master of Sciences programmes offered at TUM Asia, the branch campus of TUM, first you should take note of the most-important-details.

  • Application Portal is open: from 1st November 2014 to 31 March 2015.
  • Early Bird Discount: If you apply before 21 January 2015.
  • What do you need to do: Complete the online application on the Portal, send the hardcopy documents and pay the application fee of SGD 70 or EURO 40.

Now that you have the details, lets move on to the tips!

TIP #1: Assemble your hardcopy documents FIRST

Many applicants make the mistake of applying on the Portal before even checking out the application checklist for required hardcopy documents. This causes a great time-lag between the submission of one’s online application form and the mailing of the documents, plus it adds to the stress or lethargy that applicants feel during the process.

To ace the application process, we advise that you should gather your documents first, after which you can complete the online form + mail your documents on the same day! The best benefit of this cheat tip is that you will be able to complete the application process seamlessly, since you have your grades on hand for input into the online application form. See, it isn’t so complicated after all!

TIP #2: Take note of BANK CHARGES

An application fee of SGD 70 or EURO 40 is required to be paid in order to complete the application process. Students have the option of doing a Bank Transfer or payment by either Cheque or Credit Card (Credit Card option appears on the portal after you complete the online application). Bank Transfers (or also known as telegraphic transfer) may incur bank charges from your paying bank. Please ensure you factor in these miscellanous fees or we may not receive the full application fee from you and your application will not be processed until you have completed the payment in full.
Bonus tip: Always include a copy of your payment receipt with your hardcopy documents so we can verify the payment!

TIP #3: Where to NOTARIZE your documents

In every intake, we have a good mix of fresh graduates and professionals who are looking to further their career with a Masters degree. Fresh graduates usually have an easy time getting their certificates and transcripts certified in their schools when they required true copies of photocopies. For those who have graduated from their universities for more than 5 years, your administrative office may have a difficult time trying to find your records.
In this case, we would advise these applicants to go to the notary office instead, where the process is much quicker and less frustrating at times. Fresh graduates can go to the notary office too. Kindly avoid the German embassies if possible.

TIP #4: Whose RECOMMENDATIONS will help

For our Master programmes, 2 recommendation letters per application are required. As with the norm, generic sounding reccomendation letters are not very helpful to an applicant.
Applicants usually panic when they receive a reply from their professors/mentors that they will only be able to write them a letter in one month’s time or two. To avoid this panic attack, do take note that recommendation letters take a while (and sometimes longer). Make sure you ask for them early and help the process along by pre-drafting them if possible.

We would also tell you not to “put all your eggs in one basket”, meaning you should have at least 5 diferent people you can write to, in case one or two falls through.

TIP #5: Choose your battles WISELY

Those who have read to the end of this article will be rewarded with the tip we find most useful: choose your battles wisely. In summary, please don’t send us all the hardcopy documents you can find in your entire academic journey – we do not want to know about the science experiment competition you won 15 years ago and neither do we care about your preschool grades.

If you are applying for a postgraduate degree programme, the most important documents will be 1) those in the application checklist and 2) achievements in your undergraduate days that successfully showcase your ability/interest/passion in the field you are applying to in your Masters. Again, pick only the essential and the achievements with the most compelling stories (eg. Best Project in a National Competitio or Best Thesis award).

We hope this article gives you an edge over your competition and we hope to receive your application soon.

Application Portal for our Master programmes is open from 1st November of every year to 31 March of the following year.

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