How to apply and plan your education


For an international student it takes a long time to apply to an American university. You will need to prepare paper work, research all your options, and finally make your decision. Planning is the key to your success. Many students have said, “If I only knew, I would have done it differently”. Making the right choices from the start will save you a lot of headaches in the future not to mention money and time.

In this section, we will introduce important planning steps and discuss what you should keep in mind throughout the entire process.


Advantage of early planning

Once you get into the application process you might feel overwhelmed by the new terminology, all the information that you need to collect, and requirements that you need to fulfill. The key to your success is planning and time.

It can take up a year to go through the entire process from start to finish.
Take a look at the Application Quick List below to get a feel for common deadlines.

The main reason for the long time is the wait between the different deadlines. If you are an international student, all universities in the United States require passing an English test. These are standard tests taken by all international students and are only offered a few times every year at specific locations around the world. If you do not plan ahead and sign up, it might delay your application for a whole year! Some tasks must be performed on or before a certain date whiles other deadlines are more flexible. Other tasks can be performed just before the actual submittal of the application. For instance, the translation of high school transcripts and gathering of financial data is important but does not need to be completed until shortly before you send in your paper work.


Language Tests - TOEFL

The most common language test required for international students is the Test of English as a Second Language or TOEFL for short. It is important that you take this test before you send in your university applications. The test is usually offered only a few times annually and it is only available in larger cities worldwide. Sign up early to make sure there are seats left. For tests dates, city locations, and to sign-up for a test, visit


SAT I & II - Tests

Universities often ask students to submit test results from other types of tests. This applies to US as well as international students. The SAT I and the SAT II (Scholastic Assessment Tests) are both designed to measure your ability to reason and solve problems. The SAT I tests verbal and mathematical abilities while the SAT II tests broader knowledge on a variety of different subjects. Just like the TOEFL, the SAT I and II are offered only a few times per year in larger cities around the world. Check the application requirements for the university to see if these tests are required, and plan to take them before you apply. You can always find them on the university websites under Student Applications or something similar. As an international student you should also take a look at International Student Requirements to see what is specifically required for foreign students.


The ACT test

Even though it is not as common as SAT, some universities require another test called the ACT. Just like the SAT, the ACT will test whether you are ready for college in the following subjects: English, mathematics, reading, and science. Practice tests and test schedules are available at


The GMAT test

To get an MBA in a graduate business school, you are required to take the GMAT test.  The GMAT measures basic verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that you’ve acquired during school or during work. To register for the GMAT, go to Visit wikipedia’s GMAT site for more information on the test: .


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