Who to Ask For a Powerful Letter of Recommendation?
It is normal for colleges to ask you to send one or more letters of recommendation as part of your college application, applications for competitive summer programmes are another occasion when you may find yourself asking who should I ask?
Normally what the college or summer programme is looking for is an academic reference, an insight into your scholarly capabilities from those who have taught you and can comment on your approach to your academic pursuits and your overall presentation as a student.
This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to go about identifying who to ask and how.
Who to Ask?
Sometimes you will be asked to get a letter of recommendation from a specific subject teacher, for example, if you want to attend a summer school looking at an aspect of physics you may be asked for a reference from either you physics or maths teacher. More often than not you will be asked for one or two teacher recommendations, you have probably had several teachers each year throughout school so there are lots of possible teachers to choose from. So who to choose?
You might think that the teachers in the subjects you get the best grades should be to one’s to approach, and that may well be the case, but you should think more about which teachers know you best and will be better able to describe what you are like as a student, beyond your academic grades
If you didn’t speak much and just sat in the back of the class during those classes, your teacher might not have much to say about you that couldn’t be inferred by transcripts. Instead, you should go for teachers who best know your personality, ambitions, and work ethic. These teachers are more likely to be enthusiastic about helping you out, and can probably craft a genuine, compelling letter of recommendation.
A teacher you have had across several different grades can be an excellent choice as they have overseen your academic progress for a long time and can attest to your achievements and growth more than teachers who have only had you for one year or semester.
Other teachers to consider could include:
Any teacher that is in your intended field of study, for instance, if you plan to pursue biochemistry on a pre-med track, your biology or chemistry teacher could be a strong contender, as they have probably seen your passion in the classroom.
Any class that you participated more than usual, talked to the teacher after class, or regularly asked questions in can show how dedicated you are to learning.
Even if you weren’t the top academic performer, the teacher may have recognized your tenacity and your strong work ethic – important qualities for a college student to have.
Whoever you choose, you need to be sure that they could write a great, personalised letter for you.
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