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Applying to college in US

  1. Feb 22, 2010 #1
    I am in my last year of high school in a South American country and I wish to apply to some colleges in US. However, college entrance process in US is completely different from the one in my own country, so I would like to know more about college application details.

    1) What kind of questions are asked during the interview? What questions you were asked during the interview?

    2) Is it very difficult to register for the SAT and subject tests? (I mean, is it necessary to register for it months ahead before the test, or can I register just a few weeks/days before the test date?). (I will be in the US beginning August, so you can answer this from the perspective of a US student).

    3)My teachers have never written recommendations for a college application before. What kind of subjects can they explore in the recommendation? What are some DOs and DON'Ts when writing a recommendation for a student? Can teachers ask other teachers for insight, or use something that happened in some other teacher's class as a example in their recommendation? (If you can provide me with some recommendation examples, I'd thank you very much!). How many words should they have (common application and MIT's application have no guidelines about that, I'm wondering what a reasonable evaluation size would be)?

    4)Most colleges that I'm planning to apply use the Common Application. Can the Teacher evaluations for the Common Application be sent over the Internet? (Mail in my country is slow, expensive and not very reliable)

    5)I plan to apply to some very competitive admission colleges (MIT, Harvard, Caltech, Stanford, Princeton, Berkeley, Cornell, University of Chicago, for example). I've read through their application pages, and all them seem very nice places to study. Of all the above colleges, MIT and Harvard seem to be the ones I most identify with. It's not about their fame (I know this doesn't matter much, since I study in a school which is only known in my city, but I've done very well in National Physics and Chemistry competitions due to my own effort). When I read their pages, I feel "Hey, this is the place for me!" and their student-professor community seem to be so cool! However, I really want to see other people's opinion about these places (mainly the last 6 of them, because I'm still unsure if I will apply to them): if you've studied or worked there, how is the community (professors and students)? Is their Physics course (the area I plan to major) good? How are the lectures? The pressure the students have to face? The extracurricular activities? The career opportunities after college?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2010 #2
    What are you interested in? Why do you want to do? Why do you want to go here? Any concerns? The interviews are mostly to gauge your interest and get a sense of your personality. My interviews were mostly conversations about the schools, neighborhoods, and environments, with me asking tons of questions.

    No. You go to the college board website, register through the site, and find a place in your region you can take the exam at. You'll want to start months in advanced just to see how often the SAT/subject tests are given in your part of the world. Then you plan accordingly.
     
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