Portal Page Forum Wiki Social Groups Scholarship Holders Infobase Site Map About
Go Back > Forum > ReCom Cafe > Education > Pre-U/ Undergraduate/ Postgraduate

Pre-U/ Undergraduate/ Postgraduate Post your questions on these topics ONLY

FAQ about TOEFL, SAT 1 , SAT 2 and US University Application

Thread Tools
Slightly Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 531
  #1 Old 07-02-2007 Default FAQ about TOEFL, SAT 1 , SAT 2 and US University Application

This topic is meant to provide simple answers to people who have questions about TOEFL, SAT 1 , SAT 2 and US universities in particular.


1.Types of Universities in USA

A.Public Universities

-University of California

-University of Michigan

-University of Virginia

B.Private Univeristies

-Ivy League Universities

-Massachusetts Institute of Technology

-Stanford University

-Duke University

-California Institute of Technology

-University of Chicago

-The John Hopkins University

For a view of the university rankings of public and private universities, please visit here

C.Liberal Arts Colleges

Brief Introduction of A liberal arts college
It is an institution of higher education offering programs in the liberal arts at the post-secondary level.(liberal arts refers to both the sciences and arts)

Generally, liberal arts colleges are small and thus have smaller class sizes and enrollment than universities. They usually offer a liberal arts curriculum. Liberal arts colleges focus primarily on tertiary education, and tend to emphasize interactive instruction rather than research. Full-time professors teach almost all courses, rather than graduate student teaching assistants.

Generally, a full-time, four-year course of study at a liberal arts college leads students to a bachelor's degree. Several colleges offer postgraduate programs; however, their postgraduate enrollments remain small compared to their undergraduate enrollments and to postgraduate enrollments at research universities.

Liberal arts colleges are often private institutions, although a number of state-supported institutions also operate on liberal arts college models. The private dominance is particularly pronounced among the leading liberal arts collges:

-Smith College

-Williams College

-Swarthmore College

-Wellesley College

-Middlebury College

Quoted from

A list of rankings for the liberal arts colleges can be found here


2.Admission Policy

Early decision
Early decision plans allow you to apply early (usually in November) and get an admissions decision from the college well in advance of the usual notification date. But there is a catch. Early decision plans are binding, meaning if you apply as an early decision candidate, you agree to attend the college if it accepts you and offers an adequate financial aid package. Although you can apply to only one college for early decision, you may apply to other colleges through the regular admissions process. If you're accepted by your first-choice college early, you must withdraw all other applications. Usually, colleges insist on a nonrefundable deposit well before May 1.

Early Action
Early action plans are similar to early decision plans in that you can learn early in the admission cycle (usually in January or February) whether a college has accepted you. But unlike early decision, most early action plans are not binding, meaning you do not have to commit to a college to which you've applied for early action. Under these plans, you may apply to other colleges. Usually, you can let the college know of your decision in the late spring or whenever you've decided.

Single-Choice Early Action
Some colleges have begun offering a new admissions option called single-choice early action. This plan works the same way as other early action plans, but with single-choice, candidates may not apply early (either early action or early decision) to any other school.

You can still apply to other schools regular decision and are not required to give your final answer of acceptance until the regular decision deadline. This allows you to compare offers of financial aid in the spring before making a commitment.

Quoted directly from


3.Financial Aid/Scholarships

Most public universities in the US do not provide financial aid. On the other hand, most private universities in US do provide financial aid or scholarships. These private universities have different policies when it comes to admssion of international applicants who apply for financial aid.These are:

A.Need-Blind Admission
Currently, there are only 6 schools which practice these policy. There are Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Williams and Middlebury. Your chance of admission to these schools will not be jeopardized if you apply for financial aid and these schools will provide sufficient financial aid for you to attend the school.

B.Admission Blind
Application to certain schools are independent of your need for financial aid. This include Cornell University.Cornell can admit you without providing you any financial award even though you have indicated that you need financial aid to attend.

C.Need Aware Admission
Your application to certain universities will have a lower chance if you apply for financial aid. These include Stanford and Upenn.

D.Rolling Admissions
It is an admission policy where no specific deadline is fixed. Under rolling admissions, applications are reviewed as they come in until all spots are filled.


3.Application Procedure

Each university in the USA has its own requirements for undergraduate application. Please check the universities you intend to apply to confirm the documents and information they require.

The Standard Requirement in the USA are
-Personal Information
-Academic qualifications and achievements
-Co-curricular activities
-Essays required
-Teacher recommendations (normally 2)
-Standardized test scores ( e.g. SAT 1 , SAT 2 , TOEFL )
-counselor report

In some cases, the universities can provide interviews through the local alumni associations.

Application dates differ depending on whether you are applying for Early decision or Regular decision. Both applications start in early October. However, Early decision normally ends by early November while Regular decision normally ends by early January of the following year.


4.Frequently Asked Questions

1.Can I send my teacher recommendations and my school counselor report together instead of sending them seperately?
You can do that provided that each individual envelope is sealed before being sent in bulk.

2.What if my essays exceed the word limit? Would the admission officer count every single word?
Since there will be hundreds if not thousands of essays coming in, admission officers won't possibly be counting all of them. However, after reading many essays, they would probably have a good idea of the ideal length of an essay.Essays should be edited if possible to fit into the word limit.

3.The common application ask me what would be my possible major and career path, would it affect my application if I am not sure ?
Yes and no. Some admission officers do take note of the choice when looking through your whole application(essays, recommendations). In other cases, admission officers ignore this choice.

4.Should I waive my right to the recommendation letters? Would it affect my application?
You probably should waive your right to these letters. Some teachers feel more at ease, not because they want to write bad stuff about you. Sometimes, it is more about privacy. Anyway, since most people waive the right, it won't really hurt if you follow everybody else.

5.How heavy does the SAT weight in the overall application?
Your application is made up of the SAT, essays, academic scores, co-curricular records, teacher recommendation, alumni interview and counselor report. A high SAT score can make your application even better.However, if you only have a high SAT score but mediocre academic scores and so on, you would be significantly disadvantaged compared to one who has an average SAT score but good recommendations and so on. The conclusion is that the SAT plays a part in your application. As to what percentage it occupies, it really depends on the quality of the whole application pool.

6.Should I send in my application as soon as possible?
If you send your application in before the deadline it will not be read sooner, you will not receive your decision sooner, and you will not be more likely to get in.

Just a view of what would happen to your application.When applications reach the admissions office, it takes a small army of people to open all that mail (or print out all the electronic submissions), sort it, file it, respond to all those little postcards people put in to confirm their applications were received, enter the data into the computer database, make folders containing the application with color coded stickers with your name/region/home state identifiers, then organize the folders according to admissions reader (usually based on geography) and present this final product in a uniform, readable manner so that the admissions officer can start reading applications.

quoted directly from

7.Besides my pre-university and upper secondary academic results, should I send my lower secondary results?
This totally depends on you. Giving the lower secondary school results can give the admission officers a good view of your consistent work. In other cases, you may just appear to be too eager to show your academic results. In the end, it's your call.

8.Which university or college should I apply to? Should I just focus on the Ivy League Universities?
This question can be answered in many ways.First of all, ask yourself whether you really want to go to the states for studies or is it just one of your choices other than UK,Singapore or Malaysia.If you really intend to go to the states, one of the methods you can use is to choose 3 groups of universities to apply. One group would be universities that you know you would surely get into. The other two groups would be universities that you have a realistic chance of getting in and some chance of getting in. Others would prefer to choose a list of universities that are good in one major and apply to those universities.

Do take into consideration your needs:
-rural/urban setting
-academic style
-strong departments
-fellow Malaysians
-student body

9.I am from a government high school and my school doesn't have a school counselor, who should I approach to fill in the secondary school report?
Most recomers who faced such circumstances normally approached their principal or vice-principal for help.

10.The Advance Placement (AP) test is available to me. Should I take it?
If you are taking STPM, A-Level or IB, you probably need not take it as these pre-university courses are considered sufficient for admission. If you intend to apply after SPM, it is highly recommended to take the AP tests.

11.I just finished SPM can I apply to US universities?
In most cases, you can. You would still need to take the SAT 1 , SAT 2 and TOEFL. Please check the respective university websites to find out the minimum academic qualification. The University of California system only allow STPM or A level standard pre-university courses.

12.What is the difference between college and university?
The two mentioned above are interchangeable terms. Universities and Colleges teach undergraduate studies and function pretty much in the same manner. Graduates from both institutes receive bachelor degrees.

13. When should I apply for financial aid?
Ideally, this should be done while you are preparing your admission documents (Recommendation letters, Essays, and so on).The reason being that these forms require quite an effort to fill in as it involves taxes, property, income and so on.Most of the time, you would need to download 2 forms and filled them up. They are the International Student Financial Aid Application and International Student Certification of Finance Form. The International Student Certification of Finance Form requires a banker to certify the amount of money in a bank account that will be used to pay for your undergraduate education.

Note that some universities require financial aid forms from their own universities.

14.How should I ask for waiver from a particular university?
This depends on the university in which you are applying to. Some universities allow you to
ask for waiver while applying online to their universities. In other cases, you are required to submit a written paper application to apply for waiver. Check the university websites to have a clear idea of the correct procedure to apply.

15.Can I refuse to go to my Early Decision school?
Basically, no. If you back out of an ED commitment, you will be blacklisted from other schools as soon as they find out. Universities take ED violations very much to heart.The only way you can turn down a university is if it doesn't offer sufficient financial aid for you to attend it. ALERT: THERE IS A CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR'S POLICY HERE. If you need financial assistance in order to finish your course of study, you need to request financial aid with your ED application. We were not aware of how much this bothered universities last year, but we now know that they see it as insincere to send an ED application while saying that you will only attend if you get a scholarship. The reason is that ED is understood as a whole-hearted promise that you really want to attend and are trying to give the university every opportunity to help you attend. If you do receive the scholarship later, you can immediately withdraw your request for financial aid at the universities where it will reduce your chances of admission.

Quoted directly from RJC US application website.

16. Can I apply to courses such as Medicine or Law for undergraduate studies?
No, Medicine, Law, MBAs are considered as graduate courses. You are required to finish a basic undergraduate degree with necessary course taken before applying to these courses.


SAT 1 and SAT 2

General Information regarding SAT 1
The SAT Reasoning Test is a measure of the critical thinking skills you'll need for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well you analyze and solve problems?skills you learned in school that you'll need in college. The SAT is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors.Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200?800, with two writing subscores for multiple-choice and the essay. It is administered seven times a year in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Territories, and six times a year overseas.

General Information regarding SAT 2
Subject Tests (formerly SAT II: Subject Tests) are designed to measure your knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as your ability to apply that knowledge.Students take the Subject Tests to demonstrate to colleges their mastery of specific subjects like English, history, mathematics, science, and language. The tests are independent of any particular textbook or method of instruction. The tests' content evolves to reflect current trends in high school curricula, but the types of questions change little from year to year.Many colleges use the Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection. Used in combination with other background information (your high school record, scores from other tests like the SAT Reasoning Test, teacher recommendations, etc.), they provide a dependable measure of your academic achievement and are a good predictor of future performance.Some colleges specify the Subject Tests they require for admission or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.

Both sections are quoted directly from


Test Dates
The SAT is tested on the following months outside USA, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories:



To register for the SAT 1 and SAT 2 , you would need to register at collegeboard


Frequently Asked Questions

1.I am taking STPM/A-Level now, do I need to take SAT 2?
You would still have to take SAT 2 unless the college you are applying to specifically tells you that SAT 2 is not compulsory.

2.How many SAT 2 subjects should I take?
This depends on the university you are applying to. Most universities require only 2. Some universities require 3.

3.Which subject should I take?
This depends on what course you intend to take in University. If you intend to apply to an engineering or business school, schools will advise you to take Math with Chemistry or Physics being the addition if you are applying to an engineering school.

4.What is the difference between Maths 1 and Maths 2 ?
The Maths 2 is more difficult than Maths 1.With sufficient knowledge of your STPM/A-Level Syllabus, it should be alright.Certain Universities accept Maths 2 only.

5.Can I take both SAT 1 and SAT 2 at the same test date?
You cannot take the SAT 1 and SAT 2 at the same test date. Both tests take place at the same time.

6.Do I have to send the scores to the college by myself?
No, Collegeboard will send the scores directly to the universities that you have applied to. Your first 4 college recipients are free, any additional college will cost USD 9.50.

7.I am taking 3 SAT 2 subjects for this coming test. What is the order of the subjects?
Basically, you get to choose the order in which you take the test.

8.My SAT scores are not good enough, should I retake?
The best bet is that you should take the SAT again only if you have confidence in getting a higher score.

9.What score should I achieve in the SAT?
Ideally, the higher the better. Other than that, you could see the range of SAT scores of the respective schools to have an idea of whether your scores are safe enough. This link shows the SAT scores of some schools.

For more specific questions regarding the SAT, please visit here



1.General Information
The Test of English as a Foreign Language? (TOEFL?) measures the ability of nonnative speakers of English to use and understand English as it is spoken, written, and heard in college and university settings.The TOEFL test is offered in different formats depending on a test taker's location.

2.The Internet-based TOEFL Test
The TOEFL Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) tests all four language skills that are important for effective communication: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The test helps students demonstrate that they have the English skills needed for success.Each section has 30 marks with the highest score being 30 for each section. Maximum score is 120. Only the TOEFL iBT test is offered in Malaysia. Registration is through ETS. The test dates varies with the test venues. Once you register for TOEFL, it would ask you to fill in the location for the test. Only then would you know which date is available.

Quoted directly from ETS TOEFL website.

A.Writing part
You would have to write two essays. One of them is to write a summary of the information provided to you and the other is to write your response to a question posed to you. The two tasks are rated from 0 to 5, and the average of these scores is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30.Human scorers rate the responses.

Scorers evaluate the integrated writing task on the overall quality of the writing (development, organization, appropriate and precise use of grammar and vocabulary) and the completeness and accuracy of the content. Scorers rate the independent writing essay on the overall quality of the writing:
o Development
o Organization
o Appropriate and precise use of grammar and vocabulary.

B.Reading part
This test is similar to the critical reading section of the SAT. However , it is much easier compared to the SAT.

C.Listening part
You would have to listen to a few conversations and answer them based on the conversations. It is advisable to write down the key points of the conversations so that answering it would be easier.

D.Speaking part
You would be asked to give your comment on an issue or present the ideas given in a recorded conversation.Each of the six tasks is rated from 0 to 4, and the average of these scores is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30.Human scorers rate the responses. They evaluate the test-taker's ability in topic development, delivery, and language use.

3.Exemption from TOEFL Test
If you have been attending an English-medium school for at least 2 years and have achieved a decent SAT 1 score, you can apply to the individual universities for exemption from taking the TOEFL. There is no gurantee that the universities would allow such exemptions. Please take the initiative to ask the universities you are applying to.

4.Important Information
If you intend to take the TOEFL, please register as early as possible as the test venues have limited places unlike the SAT 1 and SAT 2. The deliver of the test score by ETS is also not as fast as Collegeboard. Your scores may not arrive on time for admission consideration. In most cases, you should register about 2 to 3 months before taking the test.


These information can only be useful if you read it. Please pm me if you feel that more relevant or accurate information should be inserted. Would appreciate it if you don't post more posts here because I don't want this page to move on to the second page and , hence, this page be ignored and , therefore, make this thread redundant yet again.

Yours truly is also a fellow American reject.Read this at your own risk. Muahahaha

PM me if you have any queries unanswered in this page.

This site has been created to provide more information on secondary, pre-university and tertiary education. Please feel free to update it.

Please ask permission before proceeding to copy my works. This work of mine is copyrighted.
koln_auhc is offline   Reply With Quote
Super Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 18
  #2 Old 09-03-2007 Default

nice, nice, thorough research..
blackkirin is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to blackkirin For This Useful Post:
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 363
  #3 Old 09-03-2007 Default

California Institute of Technology is known as CalTech rather than CIT
Tasslehoff is offline   Reply With Quote
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 219
  #4 Old 17-03-2007 Default

The Ivies' decision will be released on 29th March this year.
eslite is offline   Reply With Quote
Less Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 143
  #5 Old 10-04-2007 Default

can i know where can i get tuition or help to study SAT...or IELTS? i mean in malaysia escpecaially in northern part of malaysia..
sweetiojj is offline   Reply With Quote
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 363
  #6 Old 10-04-2007 Default

IELTS... look for some language center there..

SAT? erm i've no idea.. maybe Princeton Review (the guy that got into princeton ed did this) .. but thats in KL

or get yourself a scholarship and go to INTEC and go to the SAT / TOEFL classes... XD

otherwise, just study for it yourself.. just like the rest of us
Tasslehoff is offline   Reply With Quote
Senior Member
JetLee0510's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,503
  #7 Old 11-04-2007 Default Re: FAQ about TOEFL, SAT 1 , SAT 2 and US UNIVERSITY APPLICA

Originally Posted by koln_auhc
This topic is meant to provide simple answers to people who have questions about TOEFL, SAT 1 , SAT 2 and US universities in particular. . .
thanks reli useful...
mayb I will sit for it... can I sit for it repeatedly? ( so I can try again if my result is nt good enuf ? ... but juz realize d fees r nt cheap... )
JetLee0510 is offline   Reply With Quote
andrewlza Male
andrewlza's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 240
  #8 Old 11-04-2007 Default Re: FAQ about TOEFL, SAT 1 , SAT 2 and US UNIVERSITY APPLICA

Originally Posted by JetLee0510
Originally Posted by koln_auhc
This topic is meant to provide simple answers to people who have questions about TOEFL, SAT 1 , SAT 2 and US universities in particular. . .
thanks reli useful...
mayb I will sit for it... can I sit for it repeatedly? ( so I can try again if my result is nt good enuf ? ... but juz realize d fees r nt cheap... )
andrewlza is offline   Reply With Quote
Senior Member
JetLee0510's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,503
  #9 Old 11-04-2007 Default Re: FAQ about TOEFL, SAT 1 , SAT 2 and US UNIVERSITY APPLICA

Originally Posted by andrewlza
Originally Posted by JetLee0510
Originally Posted by koln_auhc
This topic is meant to provide simple answers to people who have questions about TOEFL, SAT 1 , SAT 2 and US universities in particular. . .
thanks reli useful...
mayb I will sit for it... can I sit for it repeatedly? ( so I can try again if my result is nt good enuf ? ... but juz realize d fees r nt cheap... )
so I can sit for it repeatedly... thanks.
JetLee0510 is offline   Reply With Quote
Less Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 94
  #10 Old 12-04-2007 Default

Why isn't there a faq on the ACT test?
exec is offline   Reply With Quote


application, faq, toefl, university, usa

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Foreign University Application for STPM students aikws SPM & STPM 265 06-06-2013 10:50 PM
Application to UK university pringles Education 141 25-06-2011 01:51 PM
Help in university application needed Caprio Pre-U/ Undergraduate/ Postgraduate 3 09-03-2008 11:34 PM
[locked] ATU INTEC and University application YeeHoong Education 3 13-07-2005 11:46 AM
SAT and TOEFL Anthony Education 18 29-04-2005 12:05 AM

All times are GMT +8. The time now is 03:17 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

ReCom stands for Reborn Community. It has no affiliation with other organizations that may share the same name. The views expressed in this website solely represent the authors point of view and do not necessarily reflect the views of ReCom Anchors and other ReCom users.


Page generated in 0.17557 seconds with 15 queries