Educational consultancies are no doubt the biggest cheaters and helpers, both at the same time. You may now be curious about how this goes around.
Hold on a little bit while I explain how I was scammed but not totally. Yes, there are some points to be considered while you apply for a consultancy. These points can help you to save a ton of money at hand.
With no further chitchat let’s get started.
Introduction & Experience
I am Riyan from Delhi, age 21 and I completed my engineering in 2019. I always had a thought in mind about studying abroad. Try my luck with some chick too(finger crossed).
You may be in one out of two situations. First is either you are a student/professional who is running out of time to apply or you are a student/professional who is having plenty of time to apply for the program and search thoroughly. Unfortunately, I was in the first category.
I would like to start with my tale of experience that I had when I applied for a consultancy. This will give you a view of how things go inside a consultancy. Along with this, I will mention the tactics I used to save my money.
As I was searching for how to apply for an education program abroad, I came across a shit load of websites and articles telling me what to do and what not. Even on youtube, everyone had their own opinion and I was so confused about what to choose and who to listen to.
I was running out of time to apply for a master’s program. It was all ready August and applications were soon to be rolled out. I had no SOP(statement of purpose), LOR(letter of recommendation), no preparation to clear GMAT/GRE.
I filled several forms on a number of education websites. After two or maybe three days I got a call from an educational consultancy. They asked me to meet them and so I did.
I was already running out of time and their promising talks lured me in. As a result, I ended up applying for them.
I applied both for coaching classes and for the consultancy which included preparation for a university interview, visa approval interview, university shortlisting, documents help, and any other help needed at hand.
Must Read About Our Article on Problems Faced By Indian Students Living Abroad | How To Resolve Them
What They Help With?
Its true consultancies make your work easy so you can focus on your entrance exams. They will shortlist universities according to your budget and profile. They will even beautify your letters which are to be submitted to the university.
You need any help, they will take care of it but not always.
Let me start with the university’s shortlisting. You give them your profile including your budget, your preferred country, and your preferred program.
They don’t care about all this. Regardless of your preferences, they will ask you to join the university they feel is best for you. Even though the universities that they shortlist aren’t as good as they claim.
What to do: I searched on my own daily for about two weeks and shortlisted universities. Then, I contacted them to shortlist from those universities according to my budget and acceptance rate. They have all the information you need so you should take advantage of it. I have paid for it so why not?.
Note: Acceptance rate is important as it symbolizes your chance to get accepted into the university.
Advantage of consultancy: I got all the information I needed every time I asked.
Second is Documents Help. I didn’t know what documents are needed for which university but as I researched and now you be surprised too, all the documents needed were mentioned in almost every university website.
If not then you can simply email them and they will reply. So, don’t fall in for this as there is nothing like documents help. You just search for them on the website of the university or email them.
Advantage of consultancy: Nil.
What to do: Do your own research.
LORs and SOP
Third is LORs and SOP. Those who don’t know, LOR or letter of recommendation are the letters that have to be submitted by you to the university in order to get approval. These letters contain your academic qualifications and a signature from your professor.
SOP or statement of purpose is a statement generally like an essay that is asked by the university. It contains your statement about why are you fit for their program and university, why only their university and some others.
Consultancy will ask you to write on your own. This is literally shit. They ask you to write on your own and then beautify it with some fancy words here and there.
Advantage of consultancy: Nil except they add some fancy words.
What to do: Find articles and sample templates. Draw inspiration for them and write in your own words with a real story. Real stories are accepted very quickly.
Next is Filling-the-Application. No one will fill your application for you. They will give you a link to the login page of the shortlisted universities and ask you to make your account and upload the documents they helped sorted.
In my case, I sorted my documents by visiting the website of the university as I started no trusting them. They don’t know your parent’s details or your undergraduate scores. So they ask you to fill yourself.
Advantage of consultancy: Nil.
The last thing is the Visa help. If by luck you get an admit, they offer you help with Visa. Again, they make you do all the work, including going to the bank, getting affidavits, capability certificates, etc. They remotely do none of these things. They can’t even do it if they wanted to. How will they know how much money you have or how you plan to sponsor your education. They simply become your text to speech translators reading and telling you what millions of websites tell you for free.
They will say they have an expert who will be assigned to you. The truth is, that expert gets paid by them to give you a brief about what to expect in your visa interview. That’s all nothing else.
He told me to stay calm and answer the interviewer’s questions nicely.
Advantage of consultancy: Nil.
Note: Many people fail on their first attempt even after going to a consultancy. So, if you have failed in the past don’t approach an agency just try again with confidence and little help from the internet.
What to do: Consult your seniors(they will help) or people on the internet(very few chances they will help).
If you have enough time to apply like a year or 8 months then I recommend preparing your own. This exam is too easy to crack and get confused with it.
Maths is purely based on IQ which no one can improve for you, only you can improve it y practicing and practicing.
I literally had the worst with the classes as they were only for 21 days in regular and then they will lask you to go home and prepare your own. If you have any problem then you call them they will arrange a session with your teacher. I was fed up calling them, again and again, asking to set up sessions.
Overall what help I got?
Instant information for the universities “I Shortlisted”.
Beautification of LOR and SOP as I could not do it myself due to lack of time to search and write over.
If you have time and enough time to apply then search and search. Prepare on your own to get a clear mindset and concepts of the GMAT/GRE format.
No matter if you are a student or a working professional. 2 hours a day is more than enough according to my own experience. After two hours you seem to lose focus so only take in the practice you can handle.
I highly encourage anyone to apply for a consultancy if they have just 3 or 4 months left to begin with the process. But do not do this blindly. Pay only for the service you want.
Like a fellow in my consultancy did. He paid only for LORs and SOP while I paid for the whole package. Most of my money was a waste.
I hope you find this article helpful and add this to your consideration.
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