Unlike China where you take one college entrance exam that determine your college fate, many of the top US colleges and universities employ a process called Holistic Review. It seeks to evaluate the student based on his/her overall achievements and potentials for future successes by review multiple metrics.
First and foremost is academic preparation. In this category, your GPA, the difficulties of your classes, the type of classes you took and the competitiveness of your high school are considered.
Second is standardized testing. This is the ACT, SAT, SAT2, AP Exams, and others. Although some top American universities and colleges like University of Chicago are moving to a testing optional model, a student may submit creative writing, research paper, school capstone projects, school capstone project, or highlights from music/dance/visual art/theater performances to demonstrate students' talents and accomplishments in place of the ACT/SAT. Depending on your situation, that might be even more complicated than just taking the test.
Third is contribution to community. This is where they measure the student's commitment, leadership, initiative, and personal responsibilities.
Fourth is the personal essays. This is one of the most critical aspect where you present the human element, who you are and what have you done.
Fifth is the recommendation letters. Choose carefully. Find the teachers that know you the best and can give strong personal recommendations.
Sixth is the Interview. Many top US colleges and universities would ask international students to participate via Skype or through a third-party provider such as InitialView or Vericant.
Seventh is major selection. What is the best major choice for you?
Eighth aspect is institutional fit. What kind of students are the admission committee looking for?
Now, you know the metrics they use to measure you. How do you separate yourself from the rest of the applicant pool? Set up an appointment with Wuhan Vision Oversea. Let us discuss how to prepare yourself for the US colleges application process.