Following the comments from some of you, I will write about why I chose to study in the UK rather than in France, who the successful applicants at LSE are, and how to be ready to study in Britain.
The major difference between the two systems is that in France, the emphasis is put on learning substance, whereas in the UK, this is so taken for granted that I have actually never heard any of my teachers use the word ‘learn’ once. No, they use the work ‘think’. And trust me, you will only realize that you cannot properly think independently and critically when you start studying here (I know what you’re thinking – of course, I can think! I thought that too. I was wrong). What you will spend almost every waking minute doing at a British university is sitting in front of a book (a little reading, a lot of thinking). The key to success is very good self-discipline and excellent time-management skills.
I do not know what stood out in my application but what I can tell you is that everyone at LSE has not only outstanding grades and the ability to work extremely hard (10 hours a day is just not enough), but also a very unique and exciting life, having travelled everywhere, done loads of unusual jobs, created their own NGO or consultancy, etc… I think that LSE wants pro-active people who take the initiative, have creative ideas and implement them without waiting till they’re 20 or 30. And this is something that I really enjoy at LSE: I am not surrounded by brains, but by people who have a personality, and a life beyond these long working hours (and what a life!)
How to adapt to the British system? Read a lot about it, in particular about reading and essay structure. Read every single page on your university’s website. You do not want to discover useful things the night before graduating. Try, fail, ask for feedback. Try again, fail again, ask better questions, succeed.