To get into Ashoka University, one needs a good academic and extracurricular performance. One needs to be well informed about current affairs and confident in front of the interview panel. Critical thinking, creativity, and clarity of thoughts are evaluated with the help of an essay. The Aptitude test checks the thinking skills and the interview helps to understand the candidates better.
Credits to Malvika Sampat for this blog.
** My daughter is from the 2021-24 batch and the below information is primarily based on my own experience last year. Few things may be different as last year due to Covid everything happened online (aptitude test and interview)
I heard about Ashoka University when my daughter was in grade 9 and we added that to our list of preferred choices to study in India. At that time we were also contemplating sending my daughter to study abroad and one of the ACadru's mentor (Abhishek Singhal) too encouraged us to keep this option open. ACadru is a great platform for profile building and there is an option of mentor guided process through which one can build a strong and unique profile.
Ashoka University admission is highly competitive as they follow a holistic admission process and candidates are evaluated on the basis of overall performance in academics, extra-curricular activities, and personality traits. The acceptance rate at Ashoka is comparable to top universities around the world.
Ashoka follows a holistic admission process, very similar to applying to colleges abroad.
Profile Building (start early):
Ashoka University looks for more than grades. This means that you need to start profile building early to make yourself appealing. Profile building is basically a process of developing projects and skills which can be showcased in your CV. The pressure of academics increases from Grade 9 and most of the time parents/students DROP the extra-curriculars like sports, dance, MUNs etc.
DON’T DO IT!
Ashoka looks for students who have been consistently doing such activities and have achieved good levels in these.
- Internships after the 10th and 11th exams are recommended
- Apply for leadership roles at school (cultural head, sports captain, environment club, etc.)
- Have an online presence where you can present your projects, artworks, blogs, etc. If your child is an artist, ask her to create her portfolio on Behance.com or anything similar.
In my daughter's case, I made her a simple website that showcased all her achievements and performances (she is a classical dancer and wanted to pursue psychology as a major). She wrote the complete content herself, wrote a couple of blogs as well on Art and Dance Therapy (combining her passion for dance and her interest in studying psychology)
Haryana Domicile Certificate: IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE, GO FOR IT!
You can thank me later for this tip :-)
Ashoka being in Haryana has seats reserved for Haryana domiciles PLUS your chances of getting a scholarship also increases.
Applicant should have permanently resided in Haryana for 15 years and should own property as well. More details about how to get a domicile certificate can be found here.
Ashoka Admission Process:
There are 4 rounds of the Ashoka university admission process and applying early does have a few advantages. My daughter applied in Round 2 and received her “Firm Offer” in February that helped her concentrate fully on her boards without worrying about college admissions or marks that she may score in the boards. And then we also got away with the hassle of applying to other colleges, because Ashoka was our 1st choice anyway.
Many students receive a “Conditional Offer” as well, wherein Ashoka will see the 12th board marks and then give a confirmed seat. Most of these conditional offers get converted to Firm seats later if the student gets decent marks in the boards.
Make your grades, activities, and skills match up to the best. The essays make a great difference.
Ashoka University's admission process is divided into 3 stages – Application Round, Ashoka Aptitude Test (AAT), and Interview Round.
1. Application Round::
In the application round, the candidates are required to register themselves on the official website and fill in their personal details, academic performance, and extracurricular activities along with the relevant documentation to support them. Though not compulsory, candidates can also present the SAT/ACT test score. Keep a minimum of 15-20 days in hand to fill this form. (We took a month to fill this and skipped Round 1).
Letter of Recommendation (LOR): Ashoka asks for 1 LOR only. This should ideally be from the school counselor or someone who knows your child very well and has spent a considerable amount of time with her. If applying in early rounds, ask for predictive scores as well from the school that can be mentioned in the LOR.
There are 3 different questions every year that student has to write in the application. These are to be written very carefully and with full honesty. Put a lot of thought into it!
Questions in Round 2 in 2021 were (this will give you a good idea):
QUESTION 1 We want to know and understand how you observe, perceive, think, and engage with yourself and the world around you. Respond to all parts of the following prompt accordingly: Reflect on a belief or opinion held by you, which you questioned and examined. What initiated your questioning? Describe the intellectual process you undertook to examine this belief or opinion. Explain the results of your reflection and the changes you saw in your belief or opinion. [400 Words] *
QUESTION 2 Share with us an important personal experience, which has significantly shaped you and your perspective(s) on life. Provide relevant details to help us better understand you. [150 Words] *
QUESTION 3 Think about a possible development, cause or innovation which, you believe will impact the world in the next decade. In what ways would you like to participate and add value to it? [150 words] *
*A new question in Ashoka last year- Name three books that you have read, which have had an impact on you, and also name their author(s). Give us an insight into what kinds/genres of books you like to read. This is not a mandatory field; however, we highly encourage you to engage with this question.
2. Ashoka Aptitude Test (AAT)
The AAT round consists of 2 parts:
1. On-spot Essay writing – Two topics are provided and the students are required to write an essay on any one within 30 minutes with no limit on the word count. This helps to assess the decisive thinking, ingenuity, and creativity of thoughts.
2. Ashoka Aptitude Test – Earlier this was optional for students submitting SAT scores. Since last year, appearing for AAT has become compulsory. This test accounts for 20 problem-solving questions and 20 decisive thinking questions. Ashoka's website has sample papers to see what type of questions are there. The level of questions is a bit high (at least the paper in 2021 was tough for students who dropped maths after the 10th). Better to revise basic maths till grade 10th.
Shortlisted students will receive an interview call after 15-20 days of the AAT. This is usually taken by a panel of 2 people and can go for 30-45 mins. Be dressed formally, be confident and honest in your answers. The questions are basically from the application that you had filled out. They cross-check your answers with what you wrote there. Questions can be personal or your thoughts or views on any current topics etc. It is more like an open discussion session wherein you can openly share your thoughts without getting judged.
In short, to get into Ashoka University, one needs a good academic and extracurricular performance. One needs to be well informed about current affairs and confident in front of the interview panel. Critical thinking, creativity, and clarity of thoughts are evaluated with the help of an essay. The Aptitude test checks the thinking skills and the interview helps to understand the candidates better.