Saturday, October 04, 2008

Comprehensive US Applications Guide

Su Ann or some called her pinkpau has written a very comprehensive guide on US Applications. This is just her first series of guide, where she would focus her 2nd series on application essays and then her 3rd series on a "Secret" topic soon. :)

It is very heartening to see more and more Malaysians who have studied or are studying in U.S. Universities to come forward to share many of their experience on U.S. Education, be it on how to get into there, to how to survive there and what's next.

Some other resources include:-
1. Tin Kosong Series
2. USA For Students FAQ Guide to US Applications
3. ReCom.org US Applications Guide - 1st Thread
4. ReCom.org US Applications Guide - 2nd Thread
5. ReCom.org US Applications Guide - 3rd Thread
6. ReCom.org US Applications Guide - 4th Thread
7. App2US.com
8. College Confidential
9. Andrew Loh's application essays
10. Su Ann's other post on Peer Recommendation
11. An article on US Application I wrote in 2006 (from Tin Kosong and ReCom.org)

The article below is reproduced fully below (with Su Ann's gracious permission) for your reading. Her original post is at here.

Do go to her page to read all the Q&As that have been asked and answered there. If you have any question to ask me, feel free to post it here too!

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Pinkpau’s Guide to US College Applications, Part 1

this is a walkthrough post written for students who are applying to colleges in the United States, mainly geared towards Malaysian students. the US college application process is a long, arduous and confusing one, so i’ve compiled a sort of to-do list peppered with little tips and advice on how to navigate the application process.

at the time of writing, it is October 2008, with about 3 full months to go before the December/January deadlines for most regular decision applicants. so if you’re still a little bit confused at this point in time, fear not! :) i am here to help! in case you are feeling extremely panicky right now, let me assure you that there is time. i only got started on my applications in mid-November during my year, so if i could finish applying to 8 schools in 6 weeks, you definitely can do the same in 12 weeks :)

the forms and requirements differ across the schools, but most schools use the Common App, plus an additional school-specific supplement. for the purpose of this walkthrough, i’ll be referring mostly to the Common App, but forms from schools that don’t use the Common App (eg University of Chicago, Columbia) should be similar anyway.

before i begin, i want to say that my walkthrough should not be read as a sure-fire way of guaranteed acceptance into the Ivy League or your choice of schools. it should be read as a guide written by someone who has learned the ropes of the app process, and it is up to you to extract from this walkthrough what is relevant to you, and then apply it to your own application. the most important thing to remember is that your application is all about YOU. what worked for me and my friends may not work for you, and vice versa. so it is crucial for you, as an applicant, to be discerning enough to pick out from this walkthrough the tips that will complement your application, and discard those that do not. remember that all successful applicants have very different kinds of applications, and that there is no one formula that is ‘the way’ to go.

and with that, let’s begin :)

1. SECONDARY SCHOOL REPORT (ENVELOPE 1)

the big question about secondary school report for most Malaysians is always: “What does Secondary School mean - my high school or my college/pre-U forms?”. assuming you completed Form 5 and also completed some form of post-secondary school education (A Levels, STPM, International Baccalaureate, ADP etc), my advice is to use your high school results in your Secondary School Report (SSR), and then your college/Pre-U in the Mid Year Report (MYR).

If you completed BOTH high school and college/Pre-U:
the best way to go is: High School results in SSR; College results in MYR. some schools require that you send in at least 4 years of high school results, some schools require just one or two years. send in what they ask of you, but remember that this can be tweaked to your advantage. if they ask for only two years, but your Form 3 (PMR) results were really good, send those in as well. trial/forecast results are not necessary if they were bad; what’s important are your final exam grades.

If you completed ONLY high school:
i would strongly advise against this path if you want to apply to the Ivies, because this was pretty much what i did and i think it was the weakest aspect of my application. without Pre-U, you are pretty much at an academic handicap compared to the rest of international students in the applicant pool. plus, college/Pre-U provides a good 1-2 years for you to pick up extracurricular activities and achievements to make your application look stronger. chances are that your application will look very bare with only SPM and high school activities under your belt.

however, if you really dont want to spend 1-2 years doing Pre-U, and you believe that you will be a successful applicant, then fine, apply. i do have friends who applied with SPM only and were successfully admitted into top liberal arts colleges and other top universities, but i only know of one person who did this and got into an Ivy (hello Matt!).

so your forms depend on how long ago it was that you graduated Form 5. if it was a year ago, then you will have your SPM results already. use Form 1 to Form 5 + Trials grades for SSR, and the SPM results for both MYR and Final Year Report. again, you can tweak this to however you want, just make sure that the emphasis is on your SPM results.

if you dont have your SPM results yet, ie you are applying in the midst of your Form 5 year, use Form 1 - 4 as your SSR, and Form 5 Trials/Forecast as your MYR. when your SPM results come in in March, send that in as your Final Year Report.

Navigating the Secondary School Report:

all Malaysian applicants should attach a counselor’s letter with their SSR and MYR explaining that the Malaysian system is very different from the American one, ie we dont use semester/trimesters, GPAs, weighted/unweighted and we really dont know how many people in our graduating class are going to attend a 4-year college. the forms will have a lot of jargon we dont use but the helpful tips are:

a) CONVERT THE UNFAMILIAR: convert whatever you can convert, ie your SPM results to GPA, but make sure you (or rather, your counselor) TELL them in a letter that you did a conversion. for instance, i got 12A’s and 1B in my SPM, so what i would do is convert it to a weighted GPA that would be 3.92 out of 4.00. my class rank would be 2 out of 151, because one girl in my school got 13A’s and i placed second at 12A’s, and the period would be Jan 2005 - Dec 2005.

you can choose to cross out the whole section and write “Not Applicable”, but i think this may potentially harm you if the admissions committee (hereafter referred to as adcom) use a specific formula or index to rank their applicants. do what i did and convert, because it worked for me and they didnt ask me any questions, but make sure you WRITE A LETTER explaining that you converted. this is VERY important.

b) MAIL IN INSTEAD OF SUBMITTING ONLINE: instead of submitting the forms electronically, get your counselor to complete a hard copy of the forms. trust me on this one… it’s so much easier to cross out and annotate stuff on the forms. one example would be the list of semester/trimester subjects on the first page. on a hard copy, you can just cross out the semester/trimester and write Final Year of High School and number your SPM subjects to more than 7 subjects. if you do this electronically, you can only fill out 7 subjects ‘per semester’, which is totally not right because we dont use semesters and we mostly take more than 7 subjects a year.

c) EVALUATION ESSAY: after all that technical stuff, comes the space for an evaluation / recommendation letter from your counselor. refer to Number 4 of this walkthrough.

d) TRANSCRIPTS: your high school grades should come attached with the SSR. use paper clips, not staples, make sure all photocopies have a stamp of “Certified True Copy” (obtain stamp from your school), and that all reports in Bahasa Malaysia are attached to an English translation. no, your translation doesnt have to come from an ‘official translator’ even though they say so; just make sure you translate everything correctly and you should be fine. report card photocopies are the norm for the SSR, though you can try asking your school if they print out nice tabled versions of your exam grades over the year. mine does! all transcripts should also come with an official letterhead or official signature from a counselor/exam secretary or teacher.

e) LASTLY: the SSR is filled out by your counselor, not you. so if your counselor has never completed an SSR, you have to guide your counselor through the forms. fill in 00000 for CEEB code if you are submitting electronically and they dont accept a blank field.

2. MID YEAR REPORT (ENVELOPE 2)

the MYR is exactly the same as the SSR.

If you completed BOTH high school and college/Pre-U:
now that your SSR is complete with your high school information and transcript, your college info and transcript should come under the MYR. college counselors are usually a little stricter about the forms than high school counselors, and they would not allow you to convert grades and class standing like in the SSR, so you have to cross out and write NA where not applicable. but if they let you convert and are willing to put their signature to it, then cool.

most college counselors know how to complete the SSR and write evaluations, so no worries there.

attach your latest college grades to the MYR. if you already have your final results, that’s best (in this case you dont have to send in a Final Year Report, but notify them that your MYR and your FYR are the same.. again, in a letter). if you dont have your final results yet, then send in trials or forecasts. dont even think about skipping out on the MYR and choosing to submit only an FYR! it doesnt work that way. most applicants submit an FYR only after they get their acceptance letters, so the FYR has no standing at all in your acceptance/rejection.

If you only did high school:
refer to my ‘high school only’ part of the SSR section and complete your forms accordingly. it’s a tricky one deciding which grades to put in MYR and SSR, but do what you think looks best for yourself :)

3. TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS (ENVELOPE 3 AND 4)

your teacher and counselor recommendations are extremely important to your application, some say even more important than your academic results, and so it is crucial that your recommendations are well-written and glowing.

the forms are pretty straight forward, so there’s no need for a guide on that. what i will share however is how to help your two teachers write you good recommendation letters. most schools require two recommendations, but if your school only requires one (eg New York University) send in two anyway. refer to Part 9 - Additional Stuff to find out why more stuff is good sometimes.

a) BRAGGING WITHOUT BEING A BRAGGART: the most important thing to know about recommendations is that this is the part of your application where you can shamelessly display your glorious achievements and shining personality without doing it yourself :) because someone else is doing the talking, it doesnt look like you’re bragging, which is good. so if there are any parts of you that you had to hold back from talking about in your essays because you were afraid of sounding braggy, this is where those parts should go.

b) CHOOSE RECOMMENDERS WELL: the first thing you should do is choose two teachers that know you the best. yes, it matters whether or not they are good writers, but it matters even more that the teachers you choose know you well enough to be able to write a very special recommendation for you. i want to emphasize that it is important to have a special recommendation. a letter with perfect grammar but with boring statements like “Su Ann is a good student. she is responsible, helpful, always punctual and turns in homework on time” is not going to do very much for you.

what is a special recommendation? it is a recommendation that sticks in the minds of the adcom when they review you and speaks about what a truly unique individual you are. something that i thought about while applying that i would have loved to do, was get my Add Math teacher to write my letter. i absolutely hated Add Math, i never did any of her homework, i skipped most of her classes, failed all the exams (except for the 2nd trial exam), she had nothing but the highest disdain for me, and it is for all these reasons that i think she would have wrote me an excellent letter. it’s a good story to tell, and despite looking like it would have reflected badly on me, i assure you it can be written to become the most perfect recommendation letter ever :) sadly, school was closed and she was on vacation when i went back to get recommendation letters, so i never got to ask her :(

c) NARROW DOWN: next, think about what you want your recommenders to write about you. in order to fully utilize the recommendation concept, what you would want to do is make sure there are no overlaps between what your 3 recommenders (two teachers + 1 counselor) write, meaning they should all address different aspects of you. there is no point if ALL of them write similar letters addressing only, say, your academic prowess - it’s a waste of space.

so help each of your recommenders narrow down one or two aspects (different and varied) of you that you would like addressed. for instance, my english teacher wrote about my debating, public speaking and writing abilities and also about my class participation. my chemistry teacher wrote about narrowed-down aspects of my personality (ie, friendly, helpful, kind etc). my counselor wrote about my leadership abilities and my academics. see! :) very varied and no overlaps. though it would be good for you to have a common thread between all your three letters. it’s up to you to figure out what this common thread should be, but sometimes it shines through even without you having to think about it.

d) SPECIFIC IS BETTER THAN GENERAL: another rule of thumb for recommendations is that specific examples are always better than general statements. anyone can say, “Su Ann is smart, generous, kind, helpful, a thinker, a good debater etc”, but such sweeping statements are forgettable and are not going to prove anything. so once you have picked out the aspects of you that you want in your letters, supplement these things with specific examples.

if you are smart, how smart are you? if you are helpful, when? if you have leadership, how so? let me give you an example. when my counselor wrote about my academics, instead of saying “she is a smart student from the top class”, she wrote about how i insisted on taking Add Math in SPM even though i hated it and was constantly advised to drop it, and also how i took two extra subjects in SPM that weren’t offered by my school, and home-studied for these subjects and eventually got A1’s. besides speaking of academic prowess, such examples also speak of determination and a welcoming of challenge. AND it’s proof that you are indeed smart, kind, generous, a good leader, and all else that the letter says you are.

e) COMPARISON TO PEERS: i think it’s a good idea to somehow work in a relative standing in comparison to the rest of your peers. if you chose for one of your recommenders to write about a certain skill that you have, you could request for your recommender to say that you are THE BEST in your whole school in this aspect, but only if it’s true, of course. for example, my english teacher & debate trainer wrote that i was the best writer and orator that he had ever trained! i was SO grateful for that :D

f) COMPILE A LIST: after having a discussion with your recommenders, give them a short list of what you would like them to address. simply to refresh their memories while they work on your letter :) i would strongly advise against writing the letters yourself and asking them to just sign it. writing a ‘recommendation’ from yourself looks more obvious than you’d think. the adcoms are probably experienced enough to tell a fake letter from an original..

g) NOT A RESUME: remember that the recommendation letters are very subjective spaces that bring out sides of you that the more objective and technical parts of the application cannot. so for this reason, dont ask your recommenders to write about you winning this and that award, you getting straight A’s every year, or even worse, a whole list of all the activities that you participate in. it’s redundant and a waste of space because all this information is already available in other parts of your app.

instead, get your recommenders to write about the side of you that’s not put on paper so far. when my english teacher wrote about my debating and writing achievements, he mentioned only very briefly the awards i’d won, but dedicated whole paragraphs to how diligently i worked to win these awards, how i fostered close relationships with my debate team members, and also how much writing meant to me. things like that :)

h) FORMAT: the format doesnt really matter, as long as it reads like a good essay and has Dear Sir at the top and your recommender’s signature and title at the bottom. you can have your school address at the top if you want, but you can save space by getting your letters printed on school stationery with a letterhead. it looks much more official with a letterhead anyway.

4. COUNSELOR RECOMMENDATION (in Envelope 2)

everything about teacher recommendations can be applied to counselor recommendations. but a few things anyway:

a) WHO IS MY COUNSELOR?: if you dont know who your counselor is, you can pick from any school official that holds some kind of administrative post other than teacher. it could be your principal, your vice principal, your penolong kanan hal ehwal (this was mine!), academic advisor, form teacher or even class teacher. pick whoever knows you best. an awesome letter from a class teacher is better than a boring letter from the principal himself any day.

b) HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE RECOMMENDATIONS?: if you did both high school and college, the other question is: where should your recommendations come from, high school or college? i would suggest that all 3 of your recommendations come from the same institution, but pick the institution that has recommenders who would write you the better letters. i think for most of us, this would be our high school, because we would have spent 5 years there and the teachers would know us better, as compared to college where most admins and professors dont even know we exist.

c) counselor recommendations should come attached to the SSR. you should have two recommendations from two different counselors if you decide to send in high school transcript for SSR and college transcript for MYR.

5. SAT SCORES (Sent online via COLLEGEBOARD)

you should be taking the SAT Reasoning (hereafter referred to as SAT 1) test and the SAT Subject Tests (SAT 2) if you want to apply to american colleges. almost all schools require the SAT 1, but not all schools require the SAT 2. all ivies do require at least two SAT 2 subjects however, and my suggestion is to just take the SAT 2 anyway, because again, if the adcoms use a formula or an index to rank their applicants, you lose out if you dont have the SAT 2.

i’m not going to explain what the SAT exams are because you should know by now. if you dont, go to collegeboard.com and read up! what i will address are:

a) IMPORTANCE OF SCORES: SAT scores arent as important as you think. really. i know everyone always stresses out about not getting 2300 and above, but may i humbly say that i dont think there is much of a difference between 2100 and 2400. if you get below 2000, then yes, time to re-sit, but anything above that should be fine. the SATs are not the best indicator of your thinking skills and academic abilities, and the adcoms know that. a good essay, glowing recommendations and solid academic transcripts will offset a 2000 SAT score easily. so the SATs should really be the least of your worries. but of course, dont slack off lah.

b) SAT SUBJECT TESTS: everyone always asks me what subjects to take for SAT 2. i dont think it’s that important. you can do it two ways: choose to take subjects that you’re already good in and thus get good scores, or you can choose to take subjects that you have never studied before (ie US History) and look like you’re up for a challenge. anything goes, really, but personally i would choose to go with the safe subjects that bring in high scores, because i dont think the adcom will scrutinize your choice of SAT 2 subjects. and if you must know, i did Math 1, Math 2 and English Literature.

c) SCORES SUBMISSION: you choose where to send your SAT score reports either on the day of testing itself or within a week (free for about 5 or so schools), or later when the scores are already out (you pay extra). i chose to pay extra because i didnt know what schools i wanted to go to until very late into the year. scores MUST be sent directly though collegeboard and not from you, so dont send a hard copy of your SAT scores to the schools you’re applying to.

d) RE-SITTING IS NOT ALWAYS GOOD: once you order a score report, Collegeboard accumulates ALL your SAT scores and sends them off in one go. this is where re-sitting over and over again will look really bad on you. so if you got 2300 on your first try, dont go and re-sit until you get a 2400. it’s silly, and looks silly too when you see all the accumulated repetitive scores on one sheet. pardon my bluntness, but it will look like you have nothing better to do with your time than obsess over 100 or so points.

6) TOEFL SCORES (Sent online via ETS)

the TOEFL exam is supposedly mandatory for Malaysian applicants, because we are an English As Second Language country. TOEFL is a very easy test of your writing, reading, listening and speaking of the English language, but it is also very expensive.

you can actually opt out of taking TOEFL if you can prove that you have a high command of english from your school english exam scores, but most importantly, if you can score a 700 and above for the Critical Reading section in SAT 1. this cut-off score varies from school to school, but if you look hard enough, you should be able to find the required minimum score on their websites. regardless, email them anyway to ask how you can opt out of TOEFL.

but if you’ve got money to spare or are under a scholarship, just take the TOEFL. it’s easy. if you really dont want to, make sure you write a letter justifying why you didnt take the test and prove that you can speak English well.

7. ESSAYS (SENT ONLINE)

because this post is looking ridiculously long already, and the Essay section will be REALLY long, i will write about essays in a separate post :) it should be up by next week if you guys want me to write it.

8. RESUME (ENVELOPE 5)

a resume is not required at all, but i am telling you this is THE KEY TO SUCCESS!!! okay lah not THE key, but definitely a very important key. if you’ve looked at the app forms, you would find that there’s barely any space for you to list down your most important co-curricular activities, let alone expound on the significance of these activities, and to add to that, the forms usually require the category of your activities.

most of us would have a LOT of activities we consider important, and then there are some of us who have activities that just dont fit in any category. this is where the resume is crucial. you get to list ALL your activities as well as explain the significance and your role in these activities (very important), all in one very comprehensive and organized list. one look at it and anyone can tell where your strengths lie.

i am attaching a sample resume HERE, complete with the format. it belongs to Kiasu Andrew, and when you see the resume for yourself, you will know why i gave him that nickname. do not be threatened by how mind-blowingly extensive that resume looks; keep in mind that Andrew is not human!

the resume speaks for itself, but just to give a little bit of advice on resumes for college applications:

a) STRUCTURE: this is a good place for you to give some structure to some kind of hobby/talent that you have developed but doesnt have a place in a traditional application. one of mine, for instance, was event management. back in school and college, i used to organize a lot of events, fundraisers and parties. i organized an average of 3 major events a year, most of which were for charity. it seems like a really random ‘talent’ to want to channel time and effort into, but it was something i truly enjoyed doing and was very good at. so i had a category called ‘Event Chairing and Organization Experiences’ in my resume, and in italics i would put the amount of money i raised for charity though my event. it emphasized the fact that event management is a developed hobby of mine that displays initiative (giving birth to ideas for new events), leadership (chairing of events), community significance (raising money for charity) and diversity of talent (not many people have event management in their resumes!).

b) THE HOOK: when putting together your resume, as well as the rest of your application, a very important thing to keep in mind is whether you are choosing to present yourself as an all-rounder, or a very specific kind of applicant. ask yourself if you have a talent that is SO developed, that it is enough for you to make the adcoms at the Ivies sit up and say, ‘we want this kid’s talent!’. an example would be a sport that you excel in and represent the state/country for, or mathematical and science ability that is heads and shouders above your peers. take this talent and make it the backbone of your resume, but ensure that you have enough awards/achievements to support this ‘main talent’ or ‘hook’ as we call it. it should be so that when someone looks at your resume, they know instantly what you are best at.

if you dont have an extremely prominent hook, it’s okay, but you have to dig around and determine which is the most defined of your talents/achievements. mine was writing and debating/public speaking, and this was the backbone of my resume. but if you ask me, i think i was more the all-rounder rather than the specialized applicant. which brings us to…

c) DON’T CLUTTER: a big mistake for college applications in general is cluttering it up with random activities and awards in a panicked attempt to buff up your application. dont make this mistake in your app, and also in your resume. i’ve seen sample resumes that included silly things like: ‘Delegate at XYZ Event - a participant at a discussion panel on youth study skills by renowned speaker ABC Tan’ when in fact these ‘events’ are SPM ceramahs where anyone can get in with an RM 10 fee. i mean, seriously, putting in things like this and also some random pantun award from Std 6 is going to highlight the fact that you actually have nothing significant to bring to the table, and worst of all, makes you look like an exaggerater who cant be trusted.

do away with small events and awards that have little to no significance. these things only serve to distract from the achievements that really matter. even if you dont have a lot to put in your resume, it’s better to have quality than diluted quantity.

d) THE BULLET POINTS: if you look at Andrew’s resume, which is done in an excellent format by the way, you’d see that the bullet points are what lends the most impact to each activity. this is where you tell the adcom exactly what’s so cool and significant about how you choose to spend your time. should you have the information at hand, here are some things you could put in bullet points: amount of money raised, hours in a week spent developing this activity, national ranking, exclusivity, pioneership if you spearheaded the project, and if not immediately obvious, the job scope.

8. PEER RECOMMENDATION

a peer recommendation is a letter written by someone your age who knows you very well and can vouch for your abilities and character. of the schools i applied to, only Dartmouth required this, and it was the only school that i sent a peer rec in to. early this year, i put this peer recommendation up on my blog for all to see, but eventually i took it down. however.. because so many people have been asking to see it, it’s now back up on my blog. click HERE.

a) USE THIS SPACE WISELY: like the teacher and counselor recommendations, the peer recommendation is yet another avenue for you to show a part of yourself that the other more objective parts of your application can’t. if you read the rec that songjun wrote for me, you’ll see that he did me a huge favor by addressing my volunteer work. most people with significant volunteer experience choose to write about that in their personal statements (essays), but because songjun already did it for me, i could use that space to write about something else :)

b) PERSONALITY: i would think that the peer recommendation is the best area to talk about the softer side of your personality - how you interact with people, what you like to do, what you are as a person from another person’s point of view. so if you could, leave the academic and extra curricular talk to the teacher and counselor recs, and get your peer to write about your personality and how s/he sees you. again, look at the tips up there in the teacher recommendation section, and apply what is relevant to the peer recommendation

c) CHOOSE A SPECIAL PERSON: i really really loved the letter that songjun wrote for me, and it’s so perfect because i picked the one person who knows me best. but here’s my best advice ever for a peer recommendation: it doesnt have to be the person who knows you best, and this person doesnt even have to be a good writer :) it can be someone you share a very special and unique relationship with, someone whose life you truly impacted. think about it!

9. ADDITIONAL STUFF (ENVELOPE 6)

like the resume, there are also additional things that you can put into your application, such as art folios or tapes of music/dance performances. some schools have forms for you to fill in if you want to send in supplements, and sometimes they say explicitly they only want artistic supplements.

i would be very, very careful when choosing to send in additional stuff, especially when there are forms you have to go through or if they say they dont want any additional stuff from you. this could make you seem like someone who doesnt follow instructions and hence work against you, but there are cases where the risk is worth taking.

of course, not all schools are so anal about this; in fact, only one of the schools i applied to explicitly stated they didnt want additional stuff, so i sent in an employer recommendation to my other 7 colleges. i also sent in an additional personal statement (essay) to all my schools.

so if you have something that you feel is crucial to be shown to the adcom, i would say go ahead and send it in. your application is all about YOU, and the more they know about you, the better. just make sure your supplement is something that’s worth their time, or it’s going to be another instance of an applicant cluttering up their folder with too many irrelevant things…

10. FEE WAIVER (ENVELOPE 7)

this is very useful if you are applying to lots of schools (it’s an average of 70 USD to apply to one school), and will offset the money you will spend on courier services to send in all your apps. most of us will qualify for the fee waiver. THIS is the fee waiver that i used when i was applying, which you should get your counselor to sign and either submit electronically or on paper.

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that’s all folks :) i hope i covered everything there is to cover in the US College Application process. this should answer most of the questions that you guys have, but if not, feel free to leave a comment here or email me if you have any concerns.

i actually have two more parts of my US College Application walkthrough - one post is advice for the essays/personal statements.. and the other one is a secret! please let me know if you would like to read either or both posts, cos both posts are going to take a lot of time to compile, just like this one did.

remember, your application is about you, and there is no sure-fire formula that is the one way to a successful application :)

The author of this walkthrough was accepted for the class of 2012 at Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, University of Chicago, New York University and University of Michigan. She is now a freshman at Columbia University in New York, and doesn’t know yet what she wants to major in, but she’s pretty sure it’s not going to be math. Su Ann is also known as Pinkpau and likes ice cream.

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Thanks, Su Ann for your permission of reproducing it here. To all, now, go to read the Q&As at her page.





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Click here to read more of Chen Chow's posts

Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

3 comments:

Charis said...

Hi,

Just to let you know that in the post, the < a> tag for College Confidential has an extra 'http://'.

Chen Chow said...

Thanks, Charis.

MA7H FR3AK said...

Hi,

For the SSR, where i'm supposed to convert our 100% score to GPAs, do I:
a) average every non-tak-hadir score,
b) average every score including above, or
c) forget set of tests which have TH all together?

Thanks