At the start of every semester I try to reflect back on my previous one to know what mistakes I made and try not to make those mistakes again that semester. It was in 5th grade that my marks started deteriorating and it is in 11th that I have regained my curiosity and my study habits (well I guess my GPA is around 3.6/4) . I have also started taking part in competitions. I belong to the CBSE (Indian) curriculum and I am very confused whether to focus my efforts for studying abroad or do I focus my efforts on studying in India and prepare for the JEE. So are there any suggestions from your side on where I should try and if I could get into a some-what (sorry about that!) prestigious university abroad?
Hi @PolarPanda! It's a great practice to learn from the past and improve study habits!
Whether you prepare for JEE or not depends on whether you want to study engineering over there or you want to study in the US. JEE is harder than NCERT because it has a larger syllabus and has a harsh time-limit. I suggest you talk to your parents and plan ahead. Preparing for JEE won't hurt you, but it's a waste of time if you aren't going to study in India.
If you decide on coming to the US, here are further steps:
1. Understand the financial costs: International student fees are much higher than fees for US residents/citizens.
2. Take the SAT and/or ACT: To decide between the two, take practice tests for each. Take the one which suits you better. Although many colleges are test-optional, a high standardized test-score will increase chances of admission. The Math portion of these tests is much easier than any of the Math you would've dealt with till now.
3. Try to shortlist a couple of universities where you wish to apply. Build a balanced list of safeties, targets, and reaches. You'll have a better idea about these categories when you take the SAT and/or ACT and input your academic and extracurricular stats into the Collegevine chancing simulator.
4. Check the application systems used by the universities in your list. Majority of colleges use Common App, many use Coalition Application, and others might have their own.
5. For some applications, one/more recommendation letters might be required. (You'll see the requirements in Common App, Coalititon App, etc.) Approach teachers who you think might help with that.
6. Most regular decision (RD) applications for Fall 2024 will be due in Dec 2023, and most early decision/early action (EA/ED) applications will be due in Nov 2023. Think of RD and EA/ED as admissions cycles I and II. Draft admissions essays well in advance.
7. Another thing you can do (I'm not saying you have to) is give AP exams for earning college credit. They'll help you graduate early from college and cut down costs as they're cheaper than taking a college course. Since you have PCM, the AP equivalents are: AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, AP Chemistry (which has no organic chemistry), and AP Calculus BC. You can give AP Physics C: Mechanics in the coming May; wait for the others till May 2024. AP Calc BC has some topics that aren't covered in NCERT, so you'll have to learn those yourself. There's about 1 test center per state in India, so you might have to travel to another city for the exam.
Hope this helps!
Thank you so much for taking your time and helping me with the detailed steps you have listed here for me!!
To keep this community safe and supportive: