SGIA students have received early acceptance to reputable and world-renowned universities. Amanda Fahmi, from the class of 2022 A-level cohort, received an offer from University College London (UCL) and a scholarship grant worth $ 50,000 from University of Toronto.
How long have you been at SGIA?
I have been in SGIA for 6 years, I enrolled in Grade 7.
Why did you decide to apply to the universities that you did?
The main factors I took into consideration when looking for universities are geographic location, costs/fees, social atmosphere and academic atmosphere. For me, I wanted to apply to universities in a city atmosphere like Toronto or Sydney and I avoided places like Europe as it was just my personal preference and I wanted a university with a good social atmosphere as I am a very social person and academic atmosphere also was important as I wanted a university with a good reputation for my major so I can get the best education.
How did you feel after receiving admission offers / acceptance letters?
It felt satisfying as it felt like all of my hard work has paid off and getting offer letters is like a weight lifted off my shoulder, knowing I have a chance to get into university. Although it also pushes me more because offer letters do not mean full acceptance, but it means I have to get a certain grade for my A level in order to be fully accepted, so it also worries me a little because I know I have to achieve a specific grade because if not, then I won’t be accepted.
How has the A-levels helped prepare you?
I took the A-levels, so I only needed to pick the subjects that are important for my major and that has helped me to really narrow my focus as I’m only focusing on the specific subjects and it allows me to learn prior knowledge that can help me in my further education as the topics I learnt for the A-levels will be directly used for my major. So, for example, my major will be Pharmacy, so the subjects I took were biology chemistry and mathematics.
Tell us about your university application / admission journey?
It was fun at first applying to universities but also nerve-wracking because you’re taking a step towards to your future. It was a roller coaster of emotion for me, from stressing about making my personal statement (which took me total of 5 drafts) to panicking because of application deadline, relief after submitting my application and then I was anxious waiting for the results and finally the joy and excitement of receiving an offer letter. There was also the disappointment phase when receiving a rejection letter but it didn’t affect me as much because this is the reality of applying to universities, rejection is not a big deal.
What advice do you have for Grade 10 and 11 students who are preparing for their university journey?
I think the most important thing is knowing what you want and focusing on it; not only knowing what major you want to pursue, but also considering other aspects like what type of person are you. Also, if you are still feeling laid back with your grades and school, I would highly suggest you to start to do well in school, every homework, task, unit test is important as universities will look at your academic transcript from grade 9 to 12. It’s not too late to turn your grades around; you just need the drive to do so. And also, another important thing is not just grades, but also your extra-curriculars, universities love to see students who are not just smart academically, but also active in your extracurriculars, so start looking for thoseespecially activities that bring out your leadership skills and activities that contribute to the community.