Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August Timeline for International Students: Are You on Track?

A new cycle of checklists has begun! Starting in August, we will now move forward with tips and advice for the incoming class of 2015 and 2016. 

Application season has already started so make sure to stay on track with WES Student Advisor!

If you are enrolling for fall 2015:

1. Get started on the Common Application

  • If you are applying for an undergraduate program, make sure to visit the Common Application website and create a login. The Common Application helps you to apply to multiple schools using one application system and can potentially save you many hours!

2. Start your college essay

  • Check out the Common Application essay prompts here
  • If the university you’re interested in does not accept the Common Application, make sure to check all the different essay prompts and personal statement guidelines. 

3. Retake any proficiency exams

  • If you took a proficiency exam during the summer and did not like your score, you want to retake them soon.
  • If you have not yet taken any of your proficiency exams, get started right away and register for a test date. 

4. Create an college application chart

  • Along the top list all the universities that you plan on applying to. Along the rows, list all the different application requirements you need to complete before the deadline. As you work through the next few months, start checking off each item that you complete. 

5. Practice your English

  • If you think you need to improve your English, consider watching U.S. dramas and movies. Also listening to music and studying lyrics can be a more exciting method. Lastly, consider reading some novels that you may have read in your native language now in English. This could help with comprehension and make the reading process a little bit easier for beginners. 

If you are applying for 2016:

1. Be wise in choosing your last year courses

  • It may be your last year in high school or undergrad. A part of you may want to take it easy and take easier courses. Try to avoid this because admissions officers will see how challenging your courses were throughout your academic career. 

2. Get involved in extracurricular activities

  • If you haven’t been very involved in school or community activities, it not too late to get started. Consider joining a student club or volunteering at a community organization to gain from extracurricular experience that you can highlight on your university applications. 

3. Plan to take proficiency exams at least once this year

  • Many U.S. proficiency exams last for several years so getting started early never hurts. If you’re applying for an undergraduate degree program, consider taking either the SAT or ACT. Also, consider taking the TOEFL or IELTS once this year also. 

4. Research different majors

  • Focus on learning more about majors that you are interested in. You don’t have to make a final decision now but consider what options you have. In the U.S. students can sometimes change majors from engineering to art while in college so keep an open mind. 

5. Get some rest

  • Does this sound silly? Well, in our experience, many students tend to over exert themselves during the application process so if possible, try to enjoy the summer as much as possible. Try to read some English books, watch American movies and listen to English music. This can be a great way to relax and also improve your English at the same time.


WES Student Advisor provides international students with free tips and advice from university admissions experts to expand your educational opportunities in the United States. On this website, you will find tools and resources to help you prepare for the university admissions process. Learn more about WES Student Advisor.

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