Application Advice | Student Life Awards

Putting together an application for this year’s Student Life Awards and need some advice? Take these tips and tricks into consideration and ensure that you are presenting yourself in the best way possible. 

What to include in your application?
A clear response specifically addressing the questions. Utilising the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action and Result) can help structure your responses to each question. Clear and concise responses are often received the best. Refer to the assessment rubric on each application pack for guidelines on how your application is assessed.

What should you avoid in writing in your application?
It is unlikely the judges know you or have prior knowledge of the event or occurrence so make sure your answer addresses the question directly and includes all relevant information. Avoid including details that do not address the assessment rubric guidelines. Stay on topic and clearly express the important points the panel needs to know. 

Give yourself enough time
Applications close on Sunday, 25 October 2020, so make sure you get your application in on time. The panel can generally identify who spent time preparing a thoughtful award-winning submission and who didn’t. An application that is submitted after the due date will not be considered by the judging panel. 

Read the Information Pack
Each Award Category has a corresponding Information Pack which contains the assessment rubric that you will be marked against. Read this through carefully and consider how your answers will be scored by the judges. Reflect on if there are any changes you could make to better suit the rubric and score higher marks for your application. 

Stick to the word limit
Ensure that you stick to the word limit provided for each question. Your answers should be succinct, well-phrased and provide the most important information to help you win the award. Going over the word limit will deduct points from your application.

Type out the questions
Applications for the Student Life Awards 2020 will be done through an online form. If you type your answers straight into this form there is a chance you may lose your work before you can submit it. A great tip is to copy all of the questions into a document and then use this to draft your answers. The document will allow you to proofread and spell-check your answers, as well as provide you with a copy of your answers for future reference. It also means that if you are preparing the award application over a few days you can keep coming back to it and you won’t lose your answers. Once you have answered every question and proofread the document, you can then copy and paste your answers into the online form.

Don’t skip questions
Sounds obvious, right? You’d be surprised how many people skip questions. Every question left unanswered results in a zero score for the question and makes your application ineligible to win.

Use Grammarly
Grammarly is a free browser extension that reviews your text, highlights spelling mistakes and ensures that you are using correct grammar. Sometimes writing documents will be auto-selected as US English and may not pick up on correct spelling, however, Grammarly will always ensure that any spelling or grammar mistakes won't get in the way of your success.

Speak the truth
The judging panel fact checks as much as possible in the application. Embellishments are easily discovered and dishonest claims will make your application ineligible

Get feedback
Before submitting your application, have a trusted friend, parent, mentor or even a teacher look it over. Make sure to provide them with the assessment rubric so they can provide you with any feedback or advice to ensure that it's your best work.

Read your submission aloud
Before you send off your award entry, stand up and read it using your normal speaking voice. You’ll be amazed at how the act of getting on your feet and using your full voice uncovers clumsy sentences and other errors affecting the readability of your submission. An easy to read and clear application that addresses the assessment rubric is the most likely to succeed!