You May Be Sabotaging Your Application Success… and You Don’t Even Know It

Welcome to another edition of 7 Secret Sundays!

What is 7SS?

Well, it’s a ‘reveal all’ mini blog series, which will give you the hints, tips and insider secrets of studying abroad.

Applying to study abroad is a complicated and difficult process - we get it!

So, we wanted to create something especially for you, the student, that helps with your journey!

Is the fear of rejection stopping you from applying to study overseas?

As consultants for overseas education, it is our job to ensure this doesn’t happen.

But, knowing WHY students get rejected, helps us to prevent it from happening.

Having seen 1000’s of applications pass through the University system, I came across many students that had their application rejected and most of the time, these were completely avoidable.

In this blog, I’m going to talk about the reasons why so many students don’t quite make it, so you can avoid the same thing happening to you!

Don’t let an agent write an SOP for you!

1. Low Grades

I get that this is a fairly obvious one, and often one that is hard to influence as you’ve already completed your studies.

But there are ways around this.

If you have found yourself in a position where you haven’t quite achieved the grades you hoped for, applying for university overseas may seem impossible.

Firstly, to avoid being rejected by a university, do not apply somewhere that has exceptionally high entry criteria.

You might have your eyes set on Oxford or Cambridge, but with 55% in your Bachelors… I have some bad news for you.

You may have to lower your expectations slightly.

You could also think about doing a Foundation Course, or a Pre-Masters.

It’s an extra year to pay for, but you’ll almost always be accepted on to these courses and they’ll build you up to a level where you’ll be able to succeed on the full course.


I’m sounding like a broken record now… we always talk about the importance of having an IELTS.

For those agents that offer “No IELTS”, this will be because some universities can accept your Standard 12 English score or an MOI if your Bachelors was taught in English.

If you’re relying on not having an IELTS, you MUST have a 70+ Standard 12 English, completed within the last 3 years, only applicable from certain boards and on the rare occasion an MOI is accepted, it’ll probably have to be from a State or Central University, within the last 5 years.

So, “without IELTS” has some HUGE caveats to go with it.

Make sure you fully understand the criteria before applying, or you’ll find you may be rejected.

Or… just take the IELTS!

3. Missing Documents

This is a less common reason students applying for studies abroad are rejected, but it could happen if your agent isn’t on top of things.

Some courses out there require additional documents to submit, such as a portfolio (for courses like design or architecture), and they need to be presented in a certain way.

Each university will have its own set of guidelines, so make sure this is followed.

You may also need a document such as an ATAS certificate (this is for some Engineering students), you have to apply for this document, which could take a few weeks to arrive.

So, if you need a solid portfolio or an additional document to support your application, get working on that right away.

Don’t run out of time and get an avoidable rejection!

4. Forged / Plagiarised Documents

Yes, this happens.

There are some agents out there that forge documents.

If you ever come across an agent like this, avoid them at all costs.

You may get your offer and may even get a visa.

But there have been cases of students stopped at the border in the UK and turned away because of forged documents.