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Letter of recommendation tips for grad school applicants

Monday, January 11, 2010
Although test scores, personal statements and college grades play a major role in being accepted by a graduate school, most programs require applicants to submit letters of recommendation as well.

In fact, some schools may simply use grades and test scores as a screening device to narrow down the field, according to the Social Psychology Network, an Internet site devoted to psychological research and teaching. In this situation, recommendation letters can be very important.

The best sources for letters of recommendation are former employers and undergraduate faculty who taught or mentored the applicant. Be sure to find someone who knows you well, can speak authoritatively about your work and understands your educational and career goals, reports About.com, a part of The New York Times Company.

Make certain to ask your reference if they feel that they know you well enough to write a meaningful recommendation letter. If you sense reluctance, it is always better to ask someone else.

For applicants who graduated college several years before applying to a graduate program, it is imperative to provide faculty references with the information they need to write a comprehensive, cohesive, and timely recommendation. Give them a copy of your admissions essay, your resume, and the courses that you had taken with them.

Finally, select and approach your references as soon as possible. The more time you give them, the better letter they will write on your behalf.ADNFCR-2971-ID-19551484-ADNFCR

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Letter of recommendation tips for grad school applicants
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