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We have been receiving questions from students and we think it would be beneficial for all of you if we post the answers here. Questions are welcome at usapps2010 [at] gmail [dot] com but we request that the emails be written politely and in proper English. Since you are applying to top U.S. colleges, it is good practice to always write in proper English and avoid using “u”, “tq”, “dunno”, “skool”, etc.
1) How many certificates do I need to submit?
Do not, I repeat, do no submit any certificates such as participation in events or quizzes. The only certificates that should go into your application are copies of your SPM, STPM, O Levels, A Levels, IB or UEC certificate. These should be attached with your Secondary School Report or Mid-year Report by your school counselor.
2) Can I not include my GPA, grades and/or ranking in class and school because they look bad?
If you don’t include those, how will the admissions officers know your academic capability? Admissions officers tend to compare applications from the same region while reading applications. If other applicants submit theirs, the admissions officers would be wondering why your GPA, grades and/or ranking are missing.
3) What if I don’t have a GPA and/or ranking?
Students in certain programs such as A Levels do not have GPA and/ or ranking. If that is the case, then it is fine to ask your school counselor to put “Not Applicable” in those fields.
4) What SAT 2 subjects should I take if I am applying to an engineering school? Should I take Math 1 or Math 2?
The number and combination of your SAT 2 subjects depend on the school(s) that you are applying to. Some colleges request for 2 papers while some ask for 3. As for whether you should take Math 1 or Math 2, again it is up to the colleges. Some engineering colleges would specifically ask for Math 2.
5) Can I take both Math 1 and Math 2?
Technically, there’s no one forbidding you from doing so, but you might want to take other subjects instead of Math 1 if you are already taking Math 2 because you’re really not adding any additional information to your application if you’re taking 2 math subjects. If you take Math and Physics instead of Math and Math, then it will show that you are good in both Math and Physics instead of just Math.
6) Should I get my copies of SPM, STPM, O Levels, A Levels, IB or UEC transcripts certified? If yes, how?
As a general thumb of rule, it is always good to have your photocopies of transcripts certified by getting your school counselor to stamp the photocopies. It would be best if the wording in the stamp is in English.