My story.

<p>Hi. This is my first thread on CC.
I need advices about getting into college.
I am a sophomore in public high school (near Los Angeles. 2500+ students).
I moved to the USA in April 2011 (from Russia). I took a test in our School Unified District Office. They put me in ESL (4th level out of 5) classes and Algebra 1 (even though I did 25/25 correct).
My counselor told me that I won't get credits for any of the classes that year (I came too late).
So, my schedule in April-June looked like this:</p>

<p>ESL 4 Reading
ESL 4 Writing
Algebra 1
Intro World History

<p>I went to summer school and did ESL 4. There, I realized that I don't ESL classes.
In September, I got out of ESL and now I'm in Regular English.</p>

<p>In April-June I got 100% in Algebra 1 (well, of course. We were studying PreCal stuff in Russia). It was the only class I got credits for (my teacher is a very kind man).
In September, I was in Geometry. I tested out of it in the beginning of October, and now I am in Honors Algebra 2.</p>

<p>So, my schedule and grades for 1st semester (10th grade) are:</p>

<p>Biology (I need it in order to graduate) (B)
Honors Algebra 2 (A)
PE (B)
World History (A)
Jazz Band (I'm a keyboardist) (A)
English 10 (A)</p>

<p>I was sick for two weeks, and that affected my grades (that's why I got Bs in PE and Biology)</p>

<p>I'm sure that I'll have all As this semester. My W GPA will be 3.98. And UW GPA will be 3.83.</p>

<p>I want to become an aerospace engineer. I know chemistry, and I had it in Russia. I want to take AP Physics B next year. Should I take Chemistry over the summer? Will my app look better because of that? </p>

<p>So, my junior year schedule will look like this:
PE (I need credits for the 2nd semester of freshman year)
AP Physics B
Honors PreCal
Spanish 1-2
Health 1st semester, Career Prep 2nd semester (need credits)</p>

<p>I just wanna know what should I do to get into good colleges like UCLA, USC, maybe even UCB.</p>

<p>I can't have many ECs now, because I'm teaching my younger sister how to speak English. I spend about 2 hours a day on that. But I'm in 2 bands that are after school. And I'm a volunteer in local Armenian Church (by the way, I'm Armenian). </p>

<p>Advice people please. Thank you very much!!!</p>

<p>Your grades are fine, take a writing and grammer intensive course. That will help you significantly. A 2 week sickness is not that unusual, and is not that difficult to overcome.
What college do you want to go to? Your EC's are not bad, it might help if you were able to get into an EC that was focused on engineering in some way. Like a school First Robotics team, or even Math team. </p>

<p>Take the SAT / ACT this spring or begining of Junior year. You will need to study for that. </p>

<p>Keep getting good grades.</p>

<p>Thank you very much, vlines. I'm thinking of joining the Science club of my school. I'm also thinking of starting a new club. The club, where students will discuss news and cool innovations in Hi-Tech.
So, should I take Chemistry over the summer? I ask that because it's 400$, and we don't have much money. I have to take English 9 over the summer, so I already have to spend 400$ :/</p>

<p>Have you considered taking chemistry at a community college? Taking cc classes looks good on college transcripts, and might cost less than $400. </p>

<p>I think teaching your younger sister English is a WONDERFUL EC, and I think you teaching English while still studying/perfecting your own English could make a great topic for a college essay! You're doing plenty, don't worry about taking on any extra activities, instead, do some self-studying for the SATs. Google 'xiggy's method' on this website. Xiggy has been writing here for years, and his studying 'method' has been used by lots of students - with very good results!</p>

<p>Academically, you're doing everything right, and if your SATs are good, you're a good candidate for the top CA schools. It sounds like you have a good relationship with your school counselor - good. Get to know him/her well. Let him/her get to know YOU very well. An excellent letter of recommendation from a seasoned counselor can be very helpful in getting to the top school. </p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Actually, I don't have a good relationship with my counselor. That's why I posted this thread :)
She has given me wrong information several times.
She told me that I had to take Algebra I and I can't skip it. I skipped it.
She told me that I couldn't skip Geometry. I skipped it.
She told me that I couldn't enroll to Honors Algebra II in October. Now, I'm in Algebra II and I got an A :)</p>

<p>I just don't trust her :D</p>

<p>Is there a college counseling office available at your high school? They might be able to give you better advice than your current counselor.</p>


<p>A lot of guidance counselors in the US don't know what to do about Math for students who arrive from Russia because of the differences between the programs here and there. Fortunately, your Math teachers were able to get this sorted out, so you don't have to worry about that anymore. Your counselor may be able to help you with the other issues that you have, so start with her. If she seems uncertain, ask her if any of the other counselors at your school have more experience with students who come from Russia, or who are interested in Engineering. Someone else there might be able to help you out.</p>

<p>Since money is tight, and you need English 9 this summer, you might be best off to just take English. You did have some Chemistry back in Russia, so you may be able to review the subject on your own time. Ask the Chemistry teacher at your high school to recommend some books for you to read through. While you are meeting with that person, ask if there is a placement exam you could take to find out if you can go straight into AP Chem instead of having to take general Chem first.</p>

<p>find your limit, take a bunch of exams, including self studying aps and SAT subject test + sat or/act. Do more standing out ECs that you might like.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone. I guess, taking Chemistry in CC is the best way for me.</p>

<p>What are standing out ECs ?</p>


<p>you dont need many outstanding ECs. You arrived in this country a year ago, teaching your sister a language, volunteering in your church and are in two bands. That should be enough.</p>

<p>Study really hard for the SAT, and I mean it! It is especially hard for students who have only been in the US for a few years(in my opinion ). It is difficult to some native speakers as well. UCLA and UCB have a pretty high average sat score. They are the top public colleges in the US. I think if you are good at language related thing and you study hard, then you will do fine on the SAT. SAT has critical reading, math, an writing including an essay, and as you can see, there By the way, I live in this city near LA that has the most Armenians. Just wondering if you happen to know there.</p>

<p>Sry about the previous post. From as you can see, there is more language involved than math.</p>

<p>I think you are already very well positioned to get into one of those schools, you seem like you've adjusted well and really improved quickly! Make sure you study for the SAT and do very well on the reading and writing sections to prove that your English skills are up to snuff. I don't think you need to take on a load of ECs, but at least one that's science-related and maybe a little unique might be interesting. Maybe there is an engineering firm in your area you could intern at or something? Oh, and try and see if you can get a better guidance counselor.</p>