Admissions Advice: Prescreens

Welcome back to another edition of Admissions Advice! It’s about a week and half since the majority of Early Decision/Action deadlines have passed. However, this edition, we’re stepping away from academic applications and focusing on prescreens! Prescreens are an important part of the artistic review process for college admissions. If you are applying to a very popular college for one of their performing arts majors, it is highly likely that you will have to submit a prescreen audition video. Here are some tips to ensure your prescreen audition enhances your application!

STEP ONE: Know the Guidelines.

Make sure you know the content needed and the time restrictions for your video. Following directions is a HUGE part of the college admissions process. Following directions proves that you will do so while attending the school. Also, it proves that you care enough to put in the effort to respect the guidelines. Nonetheless, you’ll want to know what type of monologue or song to perform. It’s disrespectful and ignorant to show up unprepared with the incorrect materials. So, double check on the college’s website to be sure you know what you need to prepare.


Here is Pace University’s School of Performing Arts’ Guidelines for their BFA in Acting Major prescreens and auditions.

STEP TWO: Rehearse!

Just because it is a video does not mean you should go into it blindly. Think of it as an extension to your audition, or the audition before the callback. You wouldn’t go into a regular, in-person audition unprepared or underrehearsed, so this shouldn’t be any different. If you can, work with a teacher or coach in order to truly perfect your piece. If they went through this process before, they may also have some insight into what the college may be looking for.

STEP THREE: Prepare.

Gather your materials. If you have access to professional materials, use them! However, not everyone does, and colleges recognize that. Luckily enough, most people today have or know someone who has a phone that shoots in higher quality. Friendly tip: iPhone 6Ss and 6s Pluses shoot in 4k video! Prioritize lighting, too. They want to see you! Audio is still important, too. Especially for musicians! They want to hear you play! If you can utilize an external mic, do so. If not, just be sure your audio is as clear as possible with minimum background noise.

STEP FOUR: Record, record, record!

Record your performance several times, especially for actors. You’ll want to review all your options and send in the best one. It’s better to have options than to record once, review it, and then realize it wasn’t your best. Remember, this is still a major part of the artistic review process. You’ll want to put your best self forward. Also, Friendly Tip: Record landscape. Please. It’s just more pleasing to look at.

STEP FIVE: Know Where to Go.

You need to know which website to submit your prescreen on. Some colleges use websites separate from their application portals. Websites such as and are two very popular options. allows you to store all of your digital media, so that you are able to quickly submit the same videos for various applications. In addition to this, depending on your audition location or date, some colleges use different websites. Be sure to be aware of this as well. You don’t want to fill out or submit the wrong form. It will just be a hassle in the long run.

STEP SIX: Money.

Know how much your prescreen costs beforehand. Don’t be blindsided by unknown fees. Some may be very expensive: around $100. Be wary of fees and whether or not you’re eligible for a fee waiver. Again, don’t be blindsided. Do your research.


Hopefully, these tips will help you be better prepared for your prescreen auditions! For more tips and tricks regarding college auditions, check out the last article in this series. Also, stay tuned for more in the future! We’d love to take requests for future topics, so contact us via Twitter or Facebook, or comment below. We wish you luck on your future endeavors! Happy prescreening!


Article by Mia Zappacosta.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s