Among the English Proficiency Tests, TOEFL is the most used and known. It really isn’t as bad as people think it is.
One of the reasons why people are hesitant to take it is because some people that know English really well fail in it. But the thing is, there are also people who don’t know English that well and pass in it. How can that happen? It’s simple: TOEFL isn’t about how well you know English, but how well you master its strategies. There are many strategies used in the TOEFL that you will be aware and able to get to know them if you take a preparatory course.
Each university accepts a different TOEFL score. Take a look at the list below of the most known and competitive American universities and their respective TOEFL (iBT) required scores:
Brown University 100
Stanford Not required
Harvard Not required
New York Academy of Art 80
There are some universities that don’t require TOEFL. You must be wondering why and this is why: their grades requirement is so high that they assume your English is already good enough. And after all, it makes a lot of sense, since one of the most important requirements are your SAT/ACT scores.
It’s been a couple of years since most American universities have been asking for SAT/ACT. The SAT is more of an aptitude test, testing reasoning and verbal abilities. The SAT has only 3 components: Critical Reasoning, Mathematics, and a required Writing Test. The ACT has up to 5 components: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing Test. The highest score for ACT is 36, and for SAT is 2,400, being 800 from each component. From the colleges above, the only school that does not require any of these tests is LDS Business College.
Once your application is complete, each university has their own documentation process, but in the end it takes you to the same place: issuing your I-20.
It is a document that holds all your information as well as the school’s. In my opnion, your I-20 is as important as your visa. The form also includes the student tracking number (SEVIS ID number) and school code. Your visa specifies the length of time that you are allowed to stay in the US; your I-20 gives more details, like how long your course will take to be completed, if you are on an employment license, etc. Every time you travel to your home country, you need a new I-20, because when you come back to the US, the immigration representative will stamp your new I-20 with your arrival date. If you lose your I-20, there isn’t a problem at all. Your school can always print you a new one.
To get your visa, it is also good to have an affidavit of support showing that you will be able to support yourself in the USA, even if you are planning to provide your own living wirking on campus. Before your interview, you need to fill out online the DS-160 form
In summary: for your interview, have in hands your:
And then, all you need is good luck! Student visas are the least likely ones to be denied.