How to join an American university: 14 steps (with pictures)

How to join an American university: 14 steps (with pictures)
How to join an American university: 14 steps (with pictures)

Entering university is always a stressful experience. Would you still like to become smarter and enter a recognized establishment in the USA?


Get into College Step 1

Step 1. Consider taking classes from high school

  • Choose a course that allows you to develop your skills and that meets your expectations. Don't listen to others who dread this kind of preparation and tell you that too much PA (Advanced Placement) or good grades will make you sick and not help you. You certainly wouldn't want to suffer from an ulcer at your age!
  • Take PA classes. Take whatever you can. If you settle for just one or two programs a year and manage to set yourself apart, admissions officers will see that you are serious and ready to learn. The AP exam also allows you to earn college credit and save your training costs.
  • If you think your choice is too difficult, ask your institution if it is possible to benefit from a preparation period. An extra hour on class days will allow you to relax, get up to date with your homework and study with your friends. It will also help you maintain your focus. PLEASE NOTE: some establishments do not like this kind of practice. They look more for students who are involved in the schedule and extracurricular activities. You must be able to take all of the courses.
  • Gather the required documents as soon as possible! This way, you can take the courses that interest you and learn more about the subjects you want to study at university and later.
  • Recommendations are essential. If the course is open to third-year science students, but requires four years of study, wait four years before applying. This will make your application more interesting.
Get into College Step 2

Step 2. Pay attention to your GPA (Grade Point Average)

You do not need a GPA of 4.0 to be admitted to a reputable institution. Keep in mind, however, that your cumulative grades during the four years of secondary school help universities choose from the plethora of applications received. It will be easier for you to choose your institution and apply for financial aid with better grades.

  • Study for testing. Identify the most appropriate learning methods and put them into practice.
  • Do your homework.
  • Pay attention in class and get good grades.
Get into College Step 3

Step 3. Solicit good letters of recommendation

Choose carefully which teachers you are going to ask them to - be careful how you are going to ask for the letters, ask yourself if the teacher appreciates you, if you like the class and how much you put into it.

Get into College Step 4

Step 4. Get involved

Use what you have learned to help others. Introduce yourself as a volunteer in the areas that interest you, guide other students and share your knowledge!

Get into College Step 5

Step 5. Show your ability to lead others by speaking directly to teachers and their staff

Show respect and interact regularly with other students. Try to be a leader in your extracurricular activities.

Get into College Step 6

Step 6. Rather than participating in all the extracurricular activities, choose only the ones that interest you and make sure you stand out

The universities will be impressed with your enthusiasm and your involvement.

Get into College Step 7

Step 7. Set a goal

Think not only about the areas that interest you, but also what kind of profession you will be doing later. Once you've found an interesting activity, get started! Take courses in this field, find an internship, find work and introduce yourself as a volunteer - the possibilities are endless.

Get into College Step 8

Step 8. Take part in competitions

Even if you don't win, the time and effort invested will set you apart. If you win, the title “First in ___” will be all the more meaningful!

Get into College Step 9

Step 9. Make a CV

Keep track of everything you have accomplished. This will help you remember your background when it comes time to send your applications.

Get into College Step 10

Step 10. Prepare for the SAT (SAT Reasoning Test) or ACT (American College Testing)

Many establishments rely on these two tests. If you want to enter a reputable university, you will increase your chances by getting a good score on the SAT or the ACT. Although your score alone does not determine your acceptance or rejection, it is advisable to aim for a good mark. Do not neglect these tests!

  • Study the vocabulary, math problems and SAT tips of the day.
  • Take test preparation classes if you can. Some people get good scores without taking these courses, but others take part and greatly increase their chances of success.
  • Buy a prep book for the tests and use it to study. Focus on your shortcomings and practice with the suggested exercises.
  • Note that it is possible to pass the SAT several times and only retain the best score. However, you cannot take the test twice and take, for example, the best reading and spelling scores of the first to add them to the math scores of the second. If you like your marks from the second test, you will have to settle for these: universities will not see your marks from the first test.
Get into College Step 11

Step 11. Do your own research before sending your application to universities

Choose different establishments and estimate your chances of being successful based on your scores on the various tests and on the GPA. Pick a number of good institutions and a few "fallback" universities. If you only apply to Ivy League faculties, you significantly reduce your chances as these universities are known to be the most selective in the United States.

Get into College Step 12

Step 12. Write good essays

Your essays not only give universities an idea of ​​your writing skills, but it also sheds light on your way of thinking, essays reflect your outlook on life.

Get into College Step 13

Step 13. Prepare for your interview

If possible, opt for an on-campus interview rather than an out-of-university interview with alumni. An on-campus interview is led by the admissions officer and has more value. It will allow you to stand out if your personality and your involvement are more important than what others think of you.

  • Relax. There is usually nothing to fear from an interview unless you are making a really bad impression by showing up in old jeans and a dirty t-shirt or being vulgar.
  • Do some research on the establishment that contacted you before going there. Think about your reasons for going, what strengths this university has and what you can do for it as a student.
  • Anticipate questions. Whether it's an interview with alumni or the admissions manager, know that this interview is the best way to learn more about the university. If your interview is being done at the same time as that of a former student, ask him questions about life on campus, the classes he finds most interesting, the dormitories, the canteen, etc.
  • Stay natural. Show people who you really are and why you are showing interest in their establishment. Be friendly and polite: show them your good side!
  • Search the Internet for some sample interview questions and prepare your answers. Among the most common questions, we can quote: why did you choose this university? What types of books do you like to read? What do you do with your free time?
  • Stay up to date with the latest news. You don't necessarily have to know everything about what's going on in the world, however it is advisable to read the daily newspapers a few days before the interview.
Get into College Step 14

Step 14. Good luck


  • Scholarship students are more likely to be successful.
  • You have the choice between taking the SAT or the ACT.

    • ACT = English, Math, Reading, Science, and Writing with one essay question.
    • SAT = a mathematics part (multiple choice questionnaire + grids), a critical reading part (sentence to be completed, text comprehension and long text comprehension) and a writing part (the essay and multiple choices not only allow the identification of sentence errors, but also to write down sentences and paragraphs).
  • Be diligent! Your teachers will appreciate it.
  • Have a life! It is not just your mental health that depends on it, because having a happy life is simply essential.
  • Don't overlook the test. In your essay, don't just introduce a topic. While you have to do your best and prove your worth, you also have to show that you are determined to make your way to college.
  • Note that in an interview, the examiners make their decision during the first 90 seconds.


  • In the admissions essay, do not use strong vocabulary or specific terms. People who read your essay will know you used a thesaurus or dictionary. Write just naturally!
  • Avoid these few points during your interview:

    • to be late
    • speak awkwardly and mechanically, do not memorize your text, instead try to appear natural and relaxed
    • eat chewing gum
    • to be vulgar
    • to be arrogant
    • lie
    • make monosyllabic answers
    • bring one of your parents
    • refuse an interview
    • tell the facility that it is a matter of life and death
    • say nothing
    • deceive and show indifference
    • dress inappropriately

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