September 4, 2019

The Study Overseas Information Evening held at Ascham School last week drew crowds of keen students and parents interested in learning more about post-secondary school options. Eleven US universities were represented by admission staff from the institutions and/or local alumni.

Universities represented at the expo on the night included: American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Boston University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Rider University, Southern Utah University, Transylvania University, University of California Berkeley, University of Michigan, and Yale University.

The event was set up in an expo-style setting which allowed parents and students to speak to the respective university representatives. Both Southern Utah University and...

June 28, 2019

Last year the US welcomed over one million international students to its colleges and universities. As part of the undergraduate application requirement for nearly all four year institutions, students need to submit a standardised test score, either the SAT (formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test) or the American College Test, ACT, both of which are administered privately and outside of the school curriculum.

Receiving US institutions will have capabilities to interpret results from either test and there is no preference from one test over the other but you should always check with the universities to which you anticipate applying to best understand their testing policies.

We encourage students to sit and self-score a trial test for both the SAT and the ACT to identify if one test is...

May 21, 2019

The US College Fair held at Redlands School in early May was attended by over 600 students and parents, including the US Consul General Sharon Hudson- Dean, proved to be a huge success. The evening provided an opportunity to learn more about studying in the USA and the US admission process followed by a college fair where students and parents were invited to speak to US university admission representatives and alumni.  

US Consul General Hudson-Dean welcomed the group providing the context of her own journey as a parent having recently experienced the US application process with her son. She also highlighted the diverse range of education institutions in the US and spoke of how US colleges and universities are integrated into their local communities and welcome international students. Hudso...

April 12, 2019

The number of US universities travelling to Australia to recruit students (like you!) is increasing every year.

In preparation for the upcoming college fair, below are questions to consider asking university representatives. Some of the representatives will be alumni (having graduated from the university they are representing) and live locally in Sydney and other representatives will be working in the admissions office of their respective university and have travelled to Sydney to recruit students and market their university to Australians. The financial commitment a US university makes by sending an admissions officer to Australia demonstrates the institutional enthusiasm for increasing applications from Australia and many offer scholarships to qualified international candidates.

One bit of...

March 11, 2019

Last Monday night a crowded room of parents and students had the pleasure of attending an information evening in Sydney to learn more about four US universities: Delaware University, Indiana University, University of Akron and University of Vermont.

All four institutions compete in the NCAA Division I sporting competition, the highest level of intercollegiate sport and which also award athletic scholarships to qualified candidates. If you’re not a sportsperson or not at that very high level of performance, you may still be eligible for a merit scholarship based on your marks from years nine and/or your SAT or ACT test scores and supporting application material. All four institutions award merit based scholarships to international students, something not all institutions do. They also all pr...

February 27, 2019

Interest in studying in the US is becoming so popular the SAT testing centres in Sydney are reaching capacity well before the registration deadline. Given these test seat limitations, it is imperative for students plan ahead. To help with this, below we have included the SAT and ACT Standardised Test dates as well as SAT Subject Test dates for 2019.

To learn more about SAT Subject Tests we invite you to read our article titled ‘Optional standardised tests for admission purposes to US uni’s - who should take them?’ We have also updated an article which summarises the SAT and ACT as well as an article which provides an overview of the US admission process

From 2019 in Australia the ACT has moved to computer based testing (CBT) where the SAT continues to be a hard copy testing format.

2019 SAT...

August 30, 2018

As part of the US undergraduate application requirement to most four year institutions, students are required to submit a standardised test score, either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT), both of which are administered privately and outside of school hours. Both tests are assessing competencies in comprehensive reading and writing and maths – the ACT also has a testing section on science which does require knowledge in the subject matter, however, many of the questions are analysis and interpretation based. Both tests have an optional writing component required for admission purposes by some institutions.

The College Board, who administers the SAT, announced in February 2017 that it will be reducing SAT testing dates outside of the US from six to four per ye...

July 26, 2018

If you are a current year 11 student click here

Following my recent article highlighting the changes in the new SAT, let's now look into optional standardised tests required for admission purposes by some US institutions. These tests, specifically the essay or writing component offered by the SAT and/or the ACT as well as the SAT Subject Tests are not required by all institutions.

Writing component

As there is no centralised application process blanketing the 4,000 degree granting institutions in the US, individual institutions are able to determine if the SAT or ACT writing component is required for admission purposes. The tests are 50 or 40 minutes respectively and assess a student’s ability to read a passage and demonstrate an understanding by constructing a persuasive argument a...

May 11, 2018

US colleges and universities take a holistic approach in reviewing a student’s application for admission. One of the most heavily weighted components is the transcript, or summary of a student’s marks, from every course from year nine – year twelve. These courses will be assessed on student performance and rigour. US admission committees are looking for evidence which demonstrates that a student is continuing to academically challenge themselves while at the same time maintain a high level of academic performance. Student transcripts should therefore demonstrate a balance of rigorous courses across many disciplines.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) is considered one of the most academically challenging secondary school curricula in the world. If a student is interested...

August 17, 2017

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the 24th annual conference for the International Association for College Admission Counseling which was held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio... which is also the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. More on that later.

Case Western Reserve is a prominent private research institution with nearly 95 undergraduate degree courses, 140 dual degree programs and over 100 interdisciplinary academic and research centres and institutions. Its combined undergraduate and post graduate student body of 11,000 students represents 91 countries from around the world.

The International ACAC conference is an annual opportunity for over 1,200 members who work in the field of international admissions to come together to discuss current topics and...

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