Today, our US Admissions Team has provided us a sneak peak into some of the common inquiries we receive at UNIKEY ACADEMY.

Learn everything you need to know about applying to the US now!

Q: How important are extracurricular activities and what should I be doing?

A: Apart from your grades and standardized test scores, extracurricular activities are incredibly important. Admissions officers want to know you as a person and how you spend your unscheduled time. Through looking at your extracurricular activities, they can better understand whether or not you can contribute to the campus culture and the community at large. Your extracurricular activities can also demonstrate some of your strongest qualities, such as persistence, empathy, and social awareness.

Q: Should I fill my summer with all sorts of activities?

A: You should never waste your summers during high school, but you should also not overwhelm yourself with different types of activities. This is because admissions officers want to see whether or not you are dedicated to the things you are truly passionate about. If you are someone that loves playing in the school orchestra or band, by participating in music summer camps, you can show that you are truly committed to developing your skills and knowledge in this area. Hence, in freshman year, you should be trying and discovering activities that you are passionate about and plan the rest of your high school with that in mind. By sophomore year, you should be focusing on those very activities that you have chosen. By the time you apply to universities, you should be able to showcase a strong profile of activities that you’ve been dedicated to for years.

Q: Should I select easy courses so that it’s easier to get a 4.0 GPA?

A: Course selection is strategic. You should always remember that the raw GPA score is not everything. Admissions officers can tell if you choose all the easy courses. By doing so, you will be shooting yourself in the foot. At the same time, you should also be realistic. By choosing all the most difficult courses offered, you may significantly harm your chances in getting an offer because of your low GPA. As such, you should plan ahead and prioritize the courses that best match your future major at your dream university. Again, the key is to plan ahead.

Q: What do admissions officers mean when they talk about ‘leadership’?

A: The term ‘leadership’ has become one of the key areas that you need to tackle in order to get an offer from a top university. Some examples that demonstrate leadership includes holding positions in student clubs, the student council, and/or other organizations. You can also demonstrate leadership by establishing a new organization that focuses on something that you are passionate about. Nevertheless, leadership is much more than just holding a title. You need to show how you as a leader has impacted others, helped transform an organization, or gone beyond what is expected of you in that position.

Q: Should I be worried if I don’t have any sports activities?

A: Traditionally, US universities have emphasized sports activities over other types of activities. However, in recent years, this trend has somewhat changed. Admissions officers understand that sports activities are not for everyone and to promote a diverse and well-rounded university culture, they need to find people talented in other areas as well. If you have not done any sports activities, then rest assured, it is not the end of the world. BUT, do try to participate in sports activities if you can. Their significance may still sway some admissions officers.

If you'd like to know more about how to ace your US applications, feel free to give us a ring to book a free consultation session!

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