see my replies in red. i know they're pretty curt, so if youre confused with my answers you can point them out. all in all, the US apps seem pretty daunting at first but once you understand the process, it ain't difficult-- just plain tediousI have a few questions:
1. How do I apply to Universities in the US (Both ordinary and Ivy Leagues )? What do I have to do other than filling up application forms and writing essays eg.
Create a "common application" account and you can see what you need there. All your report cards/academic transcripts since form 3 (PMR, SPM, internal exams in college); at least two teacher recommendations; student counselor's recommendation letter; essays; etc. A common application's purpose is exactly like UCAS but you should be more independent in your common app since colleges tend to spoon feed you in UCAS. When i asked the uni placement centre lady about US, they dont know coz these unis in US are pretty independent from one another.
2. Should I start applying by mid 2013 for the fall 2014 intake?
Fall 2013 intake if you're doing a 1.5 years pre U course (aka started this year january and graduate august 2013). you should be wary of these applications dates because like UC, they only open for one month i.e October i think. Just pay more attention from august onwards. I think they all start around october (sorry memory pretty foggy and quite lazy to recheck ><)
3. What is this "Common App" for application to US Universities? Will I be using this system?
Yes, it handles nearly all your US applications except for MIT and california unis (UCLA, UCB.. NOT stanford and caltech)
4. Can I apply with only an IELTS instead of TOEFL? (meaning: SAT + IELTS)
California uni can (UCs), but the rest no and not recommended anyway
5. Should I sit for my SAT test in early 2013 or this year for applications for fall 2014 intake?
anytime. people normally retake the SAT 1. you can try SAT 1 first because it tests english and basic math but i suggest the SAT 2 to be around your AS (lower six) time because the SAT 2's "difficulty" is between SPM level and first year pre U level. but you must prepare, since not all chapters are the same
6. How does one study professional and critical courses like pharmacy and medicine in the US?
Is it true that one must obtain an undergraduate degree in science (eg. BS in Biology, Chemistry,Physics,Math or Social Science)
before applying for pre-med / pharmacy school in the US?
(Previously I was confused that top Ivy League universities like Harvard, John Hopkin , Stanford, Yale, UCLA and Duke do not offer these courses)
Pharmacy i dont know, medicine yes. Medicine and law are for post grad entries only in the US (i.e you need first degree)
Hope you could sort out my confusion.