Tips for applying
Australia Awards Scholarships applications must be filed and submitted online. To ensure efficiency, and avoid any potential misunderstanding, before completing the application, interested individuals are encouraged to read the OASIS User Guide for Application (also known as the OASIS Guideline. OASIS stands for Australia Awards Scholarships Information System).
Web browsers for OASIS
To register and apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship on the OASIS website, applicants must use Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox or Apple Safari. Other browsers are not supported and may not work as expected.
Back-up your application
If answering sections of the application form that require long answers, you should always save a copy of your answer on a Word document before pressing “Next” on each section.
After you have submitted the application, you should immediately save the completed application for your own reference. You will need to refer to it later to prepare for an interview.
Various sections of the application that require long structured answers may contain a character limit of 500 to 2000 characters, depending on the section. Please note that the limit is the number of characters, not words, and this limit includes blank spaces and all punctuations. Thus, "Laos" is one word, but four characters in total.
If you exceed this character limit, when you attempt to proceed with the application, the system will mark the section with a red X. If you encounter an error message to the effect of “Enter the response up to 1,000 character”, this means you have exceeded the character limit and should edit your answer so that it does not exceed the 1,000-character limit.
Submit application earlier than the application deadline
Note that the OASIS system is used by applicants from all over the world. If possible, do not wait until the application deadline to start uploading documents or submitting your application. The website is extremely busy on the last few days of the application period and you may experience difficulties. Even if you must wait until the last day to upload one last document, for example, the IELTS results, you should complete all other parts of the application beforehand. Applications finalised after the application deadline, even if you started your application before the due date, will not be accepted.
When you create a new application, you will be given a unique OASIS ID number. The ID is in the form AASxxxxxxx (where xxxxxxx is your unique number). Remember the number and quote it along with your full name in every correspondence with the Scholarships Team at LAI, including emails.
Make sure to include the CRICOS code of your chosen courses of study. Without them, the application may be ruled ineligible.
Any files uploaded to OASIS must be under 2MB in size. If your supporting document is several pages long, and will not fit under this size limit, split the document into two or more files, numbering the files “CV part 1”, “CV part 2” etc.
At the application stage, all supporting documents (except Family Book) must be submitted in English. In case the original document is not in English, a translation must be accompanied. The translation does not need to be done by a certified individual/company, instead it can be done by yourself with similar outline of its original version.
Before scanning your Family Book, make sure your photo and official stamp are shown and marked which number you are on the list.
Be Open and Truthful
Do not alter dates or withhold information about your qualifications. Applicants found altering dates or withholding qualifications will be ruled as falsifying documents, and therefore, will be ineligible for the scholarship.
Less is more
Please do not submit any supporting documents that have not been requested in our Brochure.
Keep a copy of your application
Make sure you keep a copy of your application form as your reference. Interview panel will ask you about several points you’ve provided in the form.
Note: This year’s scholarship selection cycle does not require supporting documents to be verified during the early rounds of screening.
Tips for interviewing
- The purpose of the interview is for the selection panel to know more about you, your work experience, and your personal and career aspirations. It would be helpful to prepare a list of points you would like to highlight about yourself.
- Familiarise yourself with your application. The panel would usually ask you to clarify or explain some of the things you have written in your application.
- Do some research on your chosen field of study and your chosen university and prepare some justification as to why you have chosen them.
- Think about your career goals and how studying in Australia would be useful for you to achieve those goals.
- Think of how you intend to use the knowledge gained from Australia to make a contribution to your community, organisation or Laos as a whole. This is something the interview panel will certainly explore with you.
- Try to research or think of other possible questions that might be asked at the interview. Remember that interview questions require much more than yes, no or maybe answers. It would be good to prepare and practice responses to such questions. Even if the questions you are asked in the interview are different from the ones you prepared for, the practice will make you more familiar with the technique of answering questions. Make sure to provide examples, especially from your own experiences.
- Finding a friend or colleague to role play an interview with you can also be a helpful way to prepare and practice. You should also consider taking a turn to role play the interviewer, so you are familiar with what it feels like to be an interviewer asking questions as well as the interviewee who answers them.
- There are many resources on the internet to help you prepare for an “Australian” style of interview.
During the Interview
- Arrive at the interview venue at least 20 minutes before your schedule. You will need to present your ID to a LAI staff for verification.
- When your interview time comes, you will be invited into a room where a set of main interview questions, a pen and clean papers are provided for you to think of answers and take notes for 10 minutes ahead of the interview schedule. You are allowed to take the notes to the interview room.
- The interview will be conducted in English.
- When you enter the interview room, the interview chairperson will explain the interview procedure to you, after which each interviewer will take turns to ask you questions.
- Try to be as relaxed as possible. This can be achieved if you are well prepared.
- Be direct to the point when responding to questions.
- If you are presented with a difficult question, do not hesitate to seek clarification. Some difficult questions may be well answered with examples. Hence, it would be helpful to think of some beforehand.
- When giving examples, it would be good if they are your own. It is always better if you talk about your own personal experience.
- At the end of the interview, the panel will give you an opportunity to ask questions or provide comments. Feel free to bring up things you believe will highlight your strengths, even if they may not have been raised by the interviewers.
Note: If you have a disability and require adjustments at the interview, we encourage you to inform the Scholarships Team ahead of time.
Tips for IELTS testing
Tips for IELTS testing
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English language test for study, migration or work. Australian institutions accept IELTS Academic as a proof of English language proficiency to satisfy the requirements for admission.
As part of the Australia Awards Scholarship selection process, shortlisted applicants are required to take the IELTS test and obtain the required IELTS result.
To proceed to the interview, applicants must hold a valid Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) result with an overall score of at least 5.5 (no sub-band less than 5.0).
LAI will sponsor one IELTS test for candidates passing the application assessment round who have yet to meet the minimum IELTS requirements above.
Applicants holding an IELTS overall score of at least 6.5 with no individual band less than 6.0 will bypass the IELTS test sponsored by LAI.
Preference for interview consideration will be given to applicants with higher English language skills.
Note: PhD applicants must meet IELTS requirements specified on the country specific conditions section and PhD level applicants.
Useful IELTS Websites
1) The official IELTS website This is obviously the best place for information about the IELTS and there are links to a few practice test sections.
2) IELTS Simon This website is well maintained as it is updated daily. It has lots of good advice and lots of small practice activities for the IELTS.
3) IELTS Essential This website has reliable practice tests and information.
4) IELTS British Council This trustworthy site has some free practice material for your use.
Success on a test comes from:
- Thinking positively. Staying confident. Encouraging yourself.
- Staying calm. Breathing slowly and deeply.
- Keeping going. ‘Letting go’ of the previous sections, the parts you don’t understand, etc.
- Being realistic about your aims.
Important advice to consider:
- Time management is one of the most important aspects of the writing and reading tests. You need to keep your eye on the clock so you can complete both writing tasks. You need to keep moving in reading (about 1.5 minutes per question) and not waste too much time on the difficult questions; instead, focus on the easier ones.
- Follow the instructions carefully in the listening and reading and follow the word limits. If it says write up to 3 words, you can only write 1, 2, or 3 words. If you write 4 words it is wrong regardless of your answer.
- Make it your goal to answer every question in the reading and listening tests. You are not penalized for an incorrect answer and may get lucky! If you run out of time, just guess. For the writing test your goal should be to write enough words for both tasks.
- For each section of the test:
- Listening- listen to follow the ‘ideas’. If you just listen for ‘words’ you will likely hear ‘words’ but still not know the correct answer. You need to understand the ideas.
- Reading- you likely don’t have time to read through the reading texts. Instead, after briefly overviewing the text to understand the topic, focus on analyzing the questions and locating the answers.
- Writing Task 1- be sure to include an overview of what the graph is all about (an overview doesn’t have any specific figures from the graph). You don’t need to give your opinion, just describe the graph.
- Writing Task 2- spend enough time analyzing the rubric and responding to all parts of it. Give your opinion clearly if you are asked for it. Use an ‘academic essay structure’ including introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.
- Speaking- Be yourself! Be natural! Be relaxed! Smile! Make eye contact! Let the examiner get to know you and be interested in your ideas. There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers in speaking. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question.
Most importantly, make sure your answers are your own. Copying from someone else, or from the internet, is plagiarism and is considered cheating. It is very easy for examiners to see when answers are copied from somewhere else.
The best way to improve your general English skills on your own is to read; read short articles, newspapers, magazines or graded readers (books at your level). Reading improves your vocabulary and helps you learn correct sentence structure and grammar.