How do I pass a scholarship interview

The NC does not always apply as an admission restriction, for some courses you have to pass an aptitude test. You can find out when you have to expect it and what to expect from the aptitude test here.

The selection process for the popular courses can be very different - sometimes the numerus clausus simply takes effect, sometimes you need an application portfolio and private universities often have an individual selection process anyway.

For some courses there are also special aptitude tests that you have to pass in order to be admitted. This applies to sports courses on the one hand, but many creative and, above all, artistic courses also use the aptitude test to select applicants. In addition to the portfolio, the test also counts as an admission criterion.

How exactly the aptitude test runs and what everything goes with it is determined by the university and, of course, also depends on the subject you are applying for. Accordingly, it is difficult to generalize the test, instead you have to research yourself better at the respective university.

In most cases, however, an aptitude test consists of several parts, which, depending on the university, can last for two or more days. This often includes the application, your portfolio, possibly a homework assignment that you work on in advance at home, the actual test and a personal interview.

We want to show you an example of the process of an aptitude test for the field of art, design and creation.

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You also have to apply normally for courses for which the university requires an aptitude test. This means that required documents such as high school diploma, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation and necessary documents such as a folder are sent to the university or uploaded online. If you meet all the formal requirements, you can take the aptitude test.

Not all universities require homework to be completed in addition to the portfolio and the aptitude test, but it is not unusual either. For your homework, the university will give you a specific task that you have to complete within a certain period of time.
You can do the whole thing from home and either bring the work with you to the aptitude test or personal interview or you send it to the university. Most of the time you should draw, paint, sketch or design something, but sometimes you should also think about a concept and describe the implementation. Of course, that also depends on the chosen course of study.

The exact procedure depends on the university. At some universities the exam only takes one day, at others it takes two days. In addition, the individual days can be very long, especially with a large number of applicants. Depending on how many tasks you have to work on, the time goes by quickly, but you should still be prepared for one (or two) strenuous day (s).

The task relates - at least in part - to the subject you applied for. So it makes a difference whether you apply for product design or communication design. Basically, however, your creativity and your subject-specific skills (e.g. drawing, design or conception) will be tested. Sometimes there is also a real exam, whereby existing knowledge is rarely asked, instead it is more likely to test how you approach questions.

Tip 1: So you don't have to memorize encyclopedias or art books in advance, rather train your artistic skills and creativity. You will also find many real exams from recent years on the Internet that you can work on for practice.

At most universities, you are given the tasks individually, for example one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, and this gives you fixed times for the individual tasks. Some universities also give you five tasks at once that you have to finish by the end, so that you can organize the time and order yourself.

The university usually gives you a list of material that you need or might need. Some universities also provide you with a few materials. So don't rush into expense, as a rule you don't need every color in watercolor, oil, crayons, markers, etc.

The face-to-face interview is often held during the other exams and usually lasts no longer than 5 to 15 minutes. To do this, while you are working on a task, you will be called out and shown to the meeting room. There you have time to spread out your portfolio (and, depending on the case, your homework and / or a task that has already been completed) before the examiners come and talk to you.

Do not be afraid of this conversation, even if you have probably heard a lot of horror stories about it. The examiners want to get to know you better and be able to assess your personality a little better, so it's less about technical knowledge. Many testimonials are about the fact that the examiners appeared quite critical, verbally torn up the presented work and put the applicant to grief. That can actually happen, and it might just be a bit of luck which strategy the examiners choose for you. Because many applicants also report very relaxed conversations and a very friendly and open atmosphere.

Typical conversation questions you can prepare for:

  • Why this college?
  • Why this subject?
  • Favorite artists / designers / styles etc.
  • Where do you want to go professionally?

Tip 2: In any case, do not take possible "attacks" by the auditors personally. Often times, they just want to test your ability to criticize and see how you deal with their allegations. But it can't hurt to be prepared in advance that the conversation might get a little rougher. Then you are not so surprised and can respond to the criticism more objectively.

Tip 3: As a rule, you will be supervised during the waiting period or the exams of the first or second semester. See this as an opportunity, because this way you get real testimonials. So if you still have unanswered questions, talk to the students, because no one can give you such honest and direct answers.

The individual examination tasks as well as your portfolio and / or term paper are usually assessed individually and then result in the overall grade. Sometimes the parts are not rated equally, but the portfolio counts more than the other tasks, for example.

The time at which the grades are announced also varies. Some find out right after the exam, others have to wait one to two, sometimes four weeks for the result.