Kedah
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Heyy is there any Americans or a uk students that are studying in America that can help me apply for unis through the common app or website and the whole process I’m lost and confused and trying to apply for next year
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Anonymous #1
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How about ✨don’t✨
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kamara41
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Hey! I'm a current year 13 who's studying at a US uni next year - I'd be happy to help. What questions do you have?
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Kedah
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Omg Heyy. So I’m playing to study in America next year 2022 doing or fall. I’m struggling to fill out my information and what I need in the common and the type of exams and visa i need to apply for and where I can get them from
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kamara41
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(Original post by Kedah)
Omg Heyy. So I’m playing to study in America next year 2022 doing or fall. I’m struggling to fill out my information and what I need in the common and the type of exams and visa i need to apply for and where I can get them from
Exams wise, on top of your GCSEs and A-levels or IB exams, in a normal year, for most US universities you would need to take either the SAT or ACT, however, because of Covid, a lot of colleges are going test optional so you could get away with not taking a standardised test if you don't want to, though a strong SAT or ACT score won't hurt of course.
You may see some references to SAT subject tests/SAT II tests online, but these are being discontinued so you can ignore them.
As long as your educated in a school where English is the primary language and/or you live in an English speaking country, you won't have to take an English proficiency.

You don't need to worry about visas right now - to oversimplify things, once you have been accepted to a US university and confirm your intent to enroll, they will give you a form called an I-20 which you use to take to the US embassy to apply for an F-1 visa (a non-immigrant student visa), so there's nothing you need to do now. They'll also be someone at your university, either an international student admissions counselor or an international student advisor, who will help support you and walk you through the visa application process. Some unis will want a scan of your passport with your application so if your passport has expired, applying for a new one now would be a good idea though.

Have you created a Common App account yet?
I know some of the American lingo can be confusing. Are there any specific questions that are puzzling you? I can 'translate' them for you, haha. There are also videos on Youtube of people walking you through the Common App which may help.
Last edited by kamara41; 4 months ago
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Kedah
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(Original post by kamara41)
Exams wise, on top of your GCSEs and A-levels or IB exams, in a normal year, for most US universities you would need to take either the SAT or ACT, however, because of Covid, a lot of colleges are going test optional so you could get away with not taking a standardised test if you don't want to, though a strong SAT or ACT score won't hurt of course.
You may see some references to SAT subject tests/SAT II tests online, but these are being discontinued so you can ignore them.
As long as your educated in a school where English is the primary language and/or you live in an English speaking country, you won't have to take an English proficiency.

You don't need to worry about visas right now - to oversimplify things, once you have been accepted to a US university and confirm your intent to enroll, they will give you a form called an I-20 which you use to take to the US embassy to apply for an F-1 visa (a non-immigrant student visa), so there's nothing you need to do now. They'll also be someone at your university, either an international student admissions counselor or an international student advisor, who will help support you and walk you through the visa application process. Some unis will want a scan of your passport with your application so if your passport has expired, applying for a new one now would be a good idea though.

Have you created a Common App account yet?
I know some of the American lingo can be confusing. Are there any specific questions that are puzzling you? I can 'translate' them for you, haha. There are also videos on Youtube of people walking you through the Common App which may help.
Thanks you this helped so much.
yeah I created my common app and just trying to follow YouTube videos.
I’m mostly struggling with what I put for how many courses I’ve done and the different between semester, trimester, and quarter is that similar to terms in the uk.

Im currently doing level 3 Heath and social care extended diploma so do I put regular/standard, advanced, gcse international a-level and what’s the difference between full year , first semester and second semester

and is my personal statement written like it’s supposed to be in when apply for ucas if not suggestion on what to write about.
lastly because the deadlines past for this year can I still send it off or should I wait until application open for next year to send it off

sorry for all the questions
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kamara41
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(Original post by Kedah)
Thanks you this helped so much.
yeah I created my common app and just trying to follow YouTube videos.
I’m mostly struggling with what I put for how many courses I’ve done and the different between semester, trimester, and quarter is that similar to terms in the uk.

Im currently doing level 3 Heath and social care extended diploma so do I put regular/standard, advanced, gcse international a-level and what’s the difference between full year , first semester and second semester

and is my personal statement written like it’s supposed to be in when apply for ucas if not suggestion on what to write about.
lastly because the deadlines past for this year can I still send it off or should I wait until application open for next year to send it off

sorry for all the questions
If you're referring to the 'Current or most recent year courses' section under the 'Education' section, you'll want to select trimester, meaning three academic terms, and full-year, meaning you're studying your BTEC for the whole academic year, not just one term.


If you're referring to the Courses & Grades section, first work out if you actually need to input it; out of the 19 US unis I applied to, only two, Stanford and USC, that even used it. But if you do need to input it, this is the exact email I received from my USC admissions counselor about it:

"You can leave Grade 9 blank and for Grade 10 input your external GCSE results.
For Grade 11, you can leave them blank and for Grade 12 input your predicted marks."

For the 12th grade courses section, for 'grading scale', if it's not available, put other. For 'schedule', put other and then under 'please describe', put biennial, meaning a two year course. For 'course level' just put N/A. You'll also want to tick the N/A box for 'credits'.

As part of your application, your school will send a transcript of your GCSE grades and your BTEC and predicted grade in that, so don't worry if the Courses & Grades section on the Common App doesn't contain the phrase 'BTEC'. As I said, most schools won't use the Courses & Grades section, just your transcript, and for the schools that do use the Courses & Grades section, they'll also have your transcript to provide more info.

Just a side note, you may want to have your sixth form/college include info about your BTEC: the fact that it qualifies you to apply to university in the UK, what a level 3 extended diploma is equialent to A-level wise, a brief description about what you study etc. I could be mistaken, but I believe that ry7xsfa said that they did a BTEC course but that some US unis were unfamiliar with it and confused by it. I'm sure they'll be able to provide better advice and info.


And great question - a very important answer. No, your Common App essay should not be written like the UCAS personal statement.

The easiest way to understand what the Common App essay is supposed to look like is probably to go on Youtube and search 'reading the essays that got me into' and tons of videos of students reading their Common App essays will come up. I highly recommend you go on a Youtube binge and watch several of them.

I also highly recommend reading this very popular (and for good reason) free online short book, which I personally think offers some of the best advice out there on how to write a really strong Common App essay.
https://www.hackthecollegeessay.com/...essay_2017.pdf


No, don't send off the Common App this year. The Common App you're currently on is for those applying to start in 2021, not 2022. On August 1st, the Common App will roll over to 2022 entry. Any answers to essay questions will disappear, so make sure any drafts you have are saved somewhere on your computer, though iirc your other answers will remain.

An important thing to know is that the supplemental essays for each universities may change year to year; the ones you are seeing right now on the Common App are the ones for this year's application cycle, not the next. If you want to find out how likely the prompts are to change, you can google X university prompts 2020/2019/2018/2017; if they have been the same for the past few years, there's a good chance it will be the same prompt next year, so you can likely write your first draft, or at least brainstorm ideas, prior to August 1st. And if a certain college's prompts typically change every year, you don't want to be wasting your time writing this year's supplement. NB: some schools will release their prompts in June or July on their websites, so keep your eyes out.

I would also recommend waiting until around October to begin sending your applications off, as between now and then you will have precious time to develop your extracurricular activities, which are really important for admission to US universities, and you'll also need time to write, redraft, and redraft your Common App essay and supplements.


One piece of advice for something you should probably do now: quite a few US unis consider 'demonstrated interest' in their admissions review, so I would highly recommend adding yourself to the mailing list of any college you're at all interested in; you'll also hopefully get some useful information as well. Do you have any schools you're currently interested in?


And don't worry - I'm more than happy to answer any questions you have =)
Last edited by kamara41; 4 months ago
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tablakaurr
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(Original post by kamara41)
If you're referring to the 'Current or most recent year courses' section under the 'Education' section, you'll want to select trimester, meaning three academic terms, and full-year, meaning you're studying your BTEC for the whole academic year, not just one term.


If you're referring to the Courses & Grades section, first work out if you actually need to input it; out of the 19 US unis I applied to, only two, Stanford and USC, that even used it. But if you do need to input it, this is the exact email I received from my USC admissions counselor about it:

"You can leave Grade 9 blank and for Grade 10 input your external GCSE results.
For Grade 11, you can leave them blank and for Grade 12 input your predicted marks."

For the 12th grade courses section, for 'grading scale', if it's not available, put other. For 'schedule', put other and then under 'please describe', put biennial, meaning a two year course. For 'course level' just put N/A. You'll also want to tick the N/A box for 'credits'.

As part of your application, your school will send a transcript of your GCSE grades and your BTEC and predicted grade in that, so don't worry if the Courses & Grades section on the Common App doesn't contain the phrase 'BTEC'. As I said, most schools won't use the Courses & Grades section, just your transcript, and for the schools that do use the Courses & Grades section, they'll also have your transcript to provide more info.

Just a side note, you may want to have your sixth form/college include info about your BTEC: the fact that it qualifies you to apply to university in the UK, what a level 3 extended diploma is equialent to A-level wise, a brief description about what you study etc. I could be mistaken, but I believe that ry7xsfa said that they did a BTEC course but that some US unis were unfamiliar with it and confused by it. I'm sure they'll be able to provide better advice and info.


And great question - a very important answer. No, your Common App essay should not be written like the UCAS personal statement.

The easiest way to understand what the Common App essay is supposed to look like is probably to go on Youtube and search 'reading the essays that got me into' and tons of videos of students reading their Common App essays will come up. I highly recommend you go on a Youtube binge and watch several of them.

I also highly recommend reading this very popular (and for good reason) free online short book, which I personally think offers some of the best advice out there on how to write a really strong Common App essay.
https://www.hackthecollegeessay.com/...essay_2017.pdf


No, don't send off the Common App this year. The Common App you're currently on is for those applying to start in 2021, not 2022. On August 1st, the Common App will roll over to 2022 entry. Any answers to essay questions will disappear, so make sure any drafts you have are saved somewhere on your computer, though iirc your other answers will remain.

An important thing to know is that the supplemental essays for each universities may change year to year; the ones you are seeing right now on the Common App are the ones for this year's application cycle, not the next. If you want to find out how likely the prompts are to change, you can google X university prompts 2020/2019/2018/2017; if they have been the same for the past few years, there's a good chance it will be the same prompt next year, so you can likely write your first draft, or at least brainstorm ideas, prior to August 1st. And if a certain college's prompts typically change every year, you don't want to be wasting your time writing this year's supplement. NB: some schools will release their prompts in June or July on their websites, so keep your eyes out.

I would also recommend waiting until around October to begin sending your applications off, as between now and then you will have precious time to develop your extracurricular activities, which are really important for admission to US universities, and you'll also need time to write, redraft, and redraft your Common App essay and supplements.


One piece of advice for something you should probably do now: quite a few US unis consider 'demonstrated interest' in their admissions review, so I would highly recommend adding yourself to the mailing list of any college you're at all interested in; you'll also hopefully get some useful information as well. Do you have any schools you're currently interested in?


And don't worry - I'm more than happy to answer any questions you have =)
Hiya I just began my common app today for Stanford, and university of san Francisco I'm so confused on the education section, as they have everything like courses, GPA what do I put for those? And I'm gonna start the beginning to my UC apps aswell today just extremely stressed and confused
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tablakaurr
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like what do I put in the graduating class size option when I am in 3 different classes and subjects?
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kamara41
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(Original post by tablakaurr)
like what do I put in the graduating class size option when I am in 3 different classes and subjects?
When it says class it means your year group. Don't worry about getting the exact number; I asked the head of Year 13 at my school and he said "roughly 200" so I just put 200
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kamara41
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(Original post by tablakaurr)
Hiya I just began my common app today for Stanford, and university of san Francisco I'm so confused on the education section, as they have everything like courses, GPA what do I put for those? And I'm gonna start the beginning to my UC apps aswell today just extremely stressed and confused
You can just leave the GPA section blank as it doesnt apply to you (iirc you're not required go give an answer).

Also well done on being so on top of the Common App!
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tablakaurr
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(Original post by kamara41)
You can just leave the GPA section blank as it doesnt apply to you (iirc you're not required go give an answer).

Also well done on being so on top of the Common App!
oh okay, and thank you so much!! could you read my essays once finished please? maybe private message me idk?
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philip.13o+++++
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(Original post by kamara41)
You can just leave the GPA section blank as it doesnt apply to you (iirc you're not required go give an answer).

Also well done on being so on top of the Common App!
hello, Whats intellectual Vitality in regards to what stanford looks for
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kamara41
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(Original post by philip.13o+++++)
hello, Whats intellectual Vitality in regards to what stanford looks for
Best to go straight to the source

Definition from admission.stanford.edu:
Intellectual Vitality
We want to see your commitment, dedication and genuine interest in expanding your intellectual horizons, both in what you write about yourself and in what others write on your behalf. We want to see the kind of curiosity and enthusiasm that will allow you to spark a lively discussion in a freshman seminar and continue the conversation at a dinner table. We want to see the energy and depth of commitment you will bring to your endeavors, whether that means in a research lab, as part of a community organization, during a performance or on an athletic field. We want to see the initiative with which you seek out opportunities and expand your perspective.

From gsb.stanford.edu:
Stanford University’s pioneering spirit creates an environment where we approach problems from interdisciplinary perspectives; teach using multiple methodologies; and embrace collaboration to explore new points of view.

In assessing intellectual vitality, we believe you are far more than your GPA or standardized test scores. While we do review these to assess your readiness for our academic program, we look beyond them to consider your interest in seeking new knowledge or expertise; your willingness to test and challenge assumptions; and your ability to develop new ideas or perspectives.

As you complete your application, please think about the times you have taken initiative to learn new things, to solve challenging problems, or to develop new insights. What have you discovered? How did you share what you learned? Why does it matter to you and others? We would like to hear about these experiences to help us understand how you might engage within our classrooms.


Not a Stanford source, but I also remember finding this really helpful:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/blog.ac...-vitality/amp/
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philip.13o+++++
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TSR should Verify you the way your always helping, Thank you. Important take away was to take intiative
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I’m currently a freshman at a t20 college. If yall need some inspiration, here’s one of my essays:

Paris, where I started. I love Paris, but still something is missing.

I need the ocean.
None of my parents were rowers but I started rowing quite early at 4. Every morning I get to school and I go past the Eiffel Tower and I don’t even look at it anymore. I find it very boring! What I admire about the ocean is that it constantly surprises you. No two days are the same. And soon as you get a bit too confident, it unleashes on you. The ocean is dangerous, it’s unpredictable and still humans have been attracted to it for a long time.

It makes no sense; I like unpredictable but my passion is physics, the science that studies the motion and behaviour of natural things. If we study something, it is in the sole goal of being able to understand it and predict it. It is true I enjoy understanding how things work; sometimes I tear object to pieces to understand their mechanisms.

Then I guess I just like understanding?

My passion is learning, and physics is my tool.
I need change in my and environment; to understand new material. I love to learn. My passion isn’t physics, it is but a tool to learn about the world and beyond.
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