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If you are planning to apply to a college or university, you probably know how stressful and competitive the process can be. If you are looking for ways to improve your odds of getting accepted, here are some of the top ways to boost your application.

Write a Stellar Essay

Many colleges require, as part of the application process, prospective students to write a personal statement or essay, typically to get a fuller picture of you as a person. While test scores and transcripts are generally important, the essay portion allows you to really shine as a well-rounded student and tell your story. You may consider looking into essay coaching as a way to get pointers and feedback on your personal statement, especially if writing about yourself isn’t your strongest attribute.

Consider Getting a Tutor

If you’ve already taken any necessary exams, such as the SAT or ACT, and you didn’t receive the grade you’d hoped for or think you can do better, consider getting help from a tutor. You can take these standardized tests as many times as you want, so start early and get help if you need it. If you are the type of person who doesn’t handle the pressure of an examination environment well, getting a tutor can help lower your test anxiety and ensure that you are confident on test day.

Get Sterling Recommendations

Many universities require that you submit letters of recommendation with your application as another way to get a fuller picture of you as a person. Choosing who to ask for a letter of recommendation can be difficult, so ensure that you are considering people who know you the best and can attest to your academic abilities. Most colleges want to hear from teachers or mentors, so don’t choose friends or other less professional relations when it comes to a recommendation.

The college application process can be daunting, but these tips can help you boost your odds to get into the school of your dreams.