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greenabyss
May 11th, 2012, 06:19
Hello all.

I have recently discovered this forum while researching JET.

I saw that there were old threads on bad grades, and it seemed that a bad gpa didn't really matter..?

However I have also heard that they are changing the system this year...???
I have really really terrible GPA. My average is like a D or C-....I have like a 2.3..........................

How bad would this affect my application?

I am currently working on bringing my marks up higher for my last year, and I have already started on my essay.

Advice needed, thanks in advance!

Prospective
May 11th, 2012, 07:09
I'm not going to say they DON'T look at GPA, because they probably do. But it's NOT a game breaker if your application is strong.

I had MULTIPLE YEARS of FAILED study and I was shortlisted on my first attempt. I did do well in my final year of study, though, averaging A- (roughly? in Australia we use a different system...).

Don't feel you have to make excuses for it, either. The only time I mentioned grades was to say "I've had challenges through my University study that I have now overcome". The topic didn't come up in my interview, either.

While you are studying grades feel like a big deal. But out in the workforce they are far less so. JET is a job like any other job and they want to see if you are a good fit for the job of being an ALT. If you don't have much experience teaching, living abroad or being involved in intercultural exchange they MIGHT look more seriously at grades but if you seem like a qualified participant that would make a good ALT they aren't going to knock you back based on grades alone (especially passing grades!)

greenabyss
May 11th, 2012, 07:33
Thank you for your reply!

I have minimal teaching experience(like I taught a kid to play piano once), and 0 professional teaching experience....... ):

I am planning on taking the TESOL course though!!

On the other hand I am a frequent flyer and have had numerous travel experiences....

Would this balance out my bad GPA? (hopefully?)

greenabyss
May 11th, 2012, 07:35
Another thing.

What exactly makes a strong application?

I understand that a good SoP is crucial and so is your reference. Anything else?

Replies are much appreciated.

Merkypie
May 11th, 2012, 08:05
Your love for AKB48 determines if you get into the JET Program.

Actually, a lot of stuff makes or breaks an application. Just focus on the program and what you can do for it and less on how much the program will help you realize your amazing dreams of being AKB48's newest member.

kawaiijutsu
May 11th, 2012, 08:12
They really do seem to care the most about your SoP. Also, if you request places, they like hearing a good reason why you chose them. They spent a lot of time asking me about my college major, and how I would use what I learned in it to help improve the education experience for the students. When not asking about that, they were asking if I could handle a complete nervous breakdown from gaijin-ness and what I would do.

Lianwen
May 11th, 2012, 08:17
At least for Americans...your SOP and Letter's of Rec are worth way more than pretty much everything else on your application. Your interview won't even be worth as much as your SOP.

I can't say if it's the same for Canada, but I imagine it might be similar. Be prepared to address your GPA in your interview and the possibility that whoever writes your letters of rec might address.

greenabyss
May 11th, 2012, 08:25
Your love for AKB48 determines if you get into the JET Program.

Actually, a lot of stuff makes or breaks an application. Just focus on the program and what you can do for it and less on how much the program will help you realize your amazing dreams of being AKB48's newest member.

Wait I harbour intense hatred towards AKB48 :|

Ini
May 11th, 2012, 08:31
if you dont live in japan but know who akb48 are then your application is already off to a bad start

greenabyss
May 11th, 2012, 08:33
if you dont live in japan but know who akb48 are then your application is already off to a bad start

Yeah it's called the internet, maybe you've heard of it.

hunterofpeace
May 11th, 2012, 08:49
Yeah it's called the internet, maybe you've heard of it.

Mouthing off to ITIL users is also a bad start. Unless you're exceptionally good at it. Then they respect you.

Ini
May 11th, 2012, 08:49
sitting in your parents basement in your sailor moon costume, looking at preteen japanese idols on youtube while shoving your hello kitty shoulder massager up your arse isnt the type of preparation you should be doing. maybe if you studied a bit harder rather than watching fan subs of dragonnarutopiece you wouldnt be in this situation?

greenabyss
May 11th, 2012, 08:58
sitting in your parents basement in your sailor moon costume, looking at preteen japanese idols on youtube while shoving your hello kitty shoulder massager up your arse isnt the type of preparation you should be doing. maybe if you studied a bit harder rather than watching fan subs of dragonnarutopiece you wouldnt be in this situation?


I really love how over the top your stereotyping is. It makes me a little bit embrassed not knowing what dragonnarutopiece is.

Prospective
May 11th, 2012, 09:03
Teaching experience of SOME description and a fondness for kids will always go over well.

If you can get involved with a cultural event like a festival of some sort (preferably Japanese) in Toronto that will work wonders, too.

Your SoP and life experience basically need to address the core objectives of JET. Will you be a good teacher? Will you be a good cultural ambassador? Will you readily be able to adjust to life overseas (psychologically and emotionally)? Do you have a solid motivation for being in Japan yourself (particular as part of a youth exchange programme)? Do you have solid ambitions beyond JET will will be helped by being a participant on the programme?

I covered all of those points in my SoP. Unlike many of the SoPs floating around "I fell in love with Japan as a child and have a strong passion for going on JET pick me!" mine read a lot more like a cover letter. It was still a bit informal and told a story compared to a cover letter but it was still in the form "what I can bring to JET, why that is important, what relevant experience proves I can bring what I said I can."

So checklist for your SoP should be something like:
Teaching Skillz? Example?
Like teh Kiddies (in a non-sexy time way)? Example?
Cultural Ambassador? Example?
Interest in Japan? Example
Ability to survive overseas? Example?
Future ambitions?

I think a lot of SoPs fail because they only address a few of the points on that checklist (spent 1.5 pages talking about an interest in Japan, .5 page talking about teaching but nothing on the other points).

greenabyss
May 11th, 2012, 09:06
.

Thank you for your reply and checklist!!!