What to do? Please Help I Need Your Opinion !!!

Hello, I’m Lucia from Spain and I’m finishing my senior year and the next school year, I would like to start University studying in USA. But unfortunately I won’t be able to apply for this year, I mean, for this fall 2015 because it is too late because I haven’t taken either SAT or ACT and TOEFL. Nevertheless I think that If I took I wouldn’t fail it because I think I’m good in English, but I would like to get really good grades to enter and to gain some scholarships. That’s why I want to take SAT I and II because I have reading that If I took it, it would determine If I get or I do not. I am excited to do it, I am really focus on what I want to do. But at the same time, I feel like I am goind to fail the SAT or ACT because I know there is a lot of competition. Futhermore, my last two years (this included) haven’t been my best school years I failed some tests because I have been feeling pretty bad with myself and I had to help my parents with our restaurant, plus my parents sometimes argued each other. I know it is not a excuse but I do not know but somehow I was not the person I have been before because since I got into High School I became I really hard-working girl when it was about studies, plus I helped a lot my mom with household chores because she had to work a lot and my father too. I studied a lot, I did everyday my homework and all that stuff. After some years, my Spanish teacher told me that I shouldn’t be in the class I was so, my tutor changed me to a class where there was a high level. So my level was always going up because I always wanted to study in USA because where I live the education is not good as it is in USA. Futhermore, we are not a rich family so, I would like to get scholarships but I am afraid to try it and be unsuccesful and realize that I wasted my time on a thing that I could not get. Plus I know that Asian and Indian students could get high scores on SAT or TOEFLT because they are really good in English, so I am like scared. Moreover, I have been doing volenteering because I liked it and I heard that maybe the university could consider that.

If I try the fact of applying for an American University, I should look for universities in New Jersey because I have a friend there who could guide me, so the question is do you know any cheapest universities there that could give scholarships for International?? Do I have to do SAT there in the US?
Moreover, do you (international students) prepare for SAT or ACT tests in your country or in the States? I mean I do not know If I could get higher scores If I prepared in the US than If I did in my country, where did you prepare for those tests??
Are they different in your country than in the US?
Should I try to take that risk? or Shouldn’t I? I would like you to comment what you think and your experiences when you took of of those tests.


Thank you for your time.

I would like to apply for the fall 2016 I know I am goint to waste one year, that is why I am kinda afraid what i am goind to do because for me it is really important.

First, you must have a back-up plan in Spain. Don’t put yourself in the position of not being able to get into a university there.

As for the gap year, only you can decide whether waiting a year to prepare for SAT/ACT is a “waste” of time. If you’re serious about applying to an American college, then that may be a smart move. You can devote the time to building your ECs, and studying for the SATs. Remember, you can take them more than once. This gap year won’t be counted against you in the application process: lots of students do it.

That said, keep in mind that getting into a US college with significant financial aid IS VERY DIFFICULT. The odds are against you. Every year, hundreds if not thousands of very qualified international students who need FA are turned down. So be smart with your applications: increase your chances by applying to lesser-known (but still very good) schools, and also target parts of the US where fewer international students apply: the central/southern states, for example.

And, as I said, have a back-up plan at home or in the EU.

If you want to attend college in the US, your results in the final “board”/national exam and entrance exams will count; spend your gap year working for your parents or friends of theirs, and ALSO do something you’re really good at and enjoy (can be karaoke competitions, soccer, rubik’s cube, hackathon… Anything! As long as you’re good at it.) Register for “question of the day” with both ACT and SAT. As for the SAT/ACT, European students tend to like the ACT better, so see where the June exam is offered and register (you must register in April) and study very hard with special study books. You can buy used ones from 2010+, such as Princeton Review’s Cracking the ACT, or Kaplan’s. Have you taken the TOEFL? You also need to take that test.
Start reading novels and magazine articles in English.
Once you have your first ACT results, use the summer to work very hard at increasing your scores, using real tests to practice on, reviewing every mistake and taking every possible question on the same topic. The next test is in September (registration in August). You can’t “fail” it. You get a score on a scale. Typically, your September score can be +1, +2, even perhaps +3 compared to your June score. Then there are SAT Subjects, which you take in your 2-3 best subjects, to show subject mastery. You can take any test you wish except Spanish (:p) and I don’t recommend US history. Schedule those for October (registration in September).
You must talk with your parents and ascertain what budget they have for your college studies. Run Net Price Calculators to get an idea of what contribution would be expected from your parents (the results are only accurate for Americans, but it still gives you an idea.)
Read the entire International section of this website, read the “college selection” and “college admission” threads regularly, especially results and decision threads.
And come back to post questions as they arise.

As @MYOS1634 suggested, reading books in English can be really helpful.

If your reading skill isn’t good enough, you can start from books like Number the Star, Johnny Tremain, or Matilda

Sorry @katliamom @MYOS1634 and @paul2752 for not answering before but I was quite busy with all high school stuff. I wanted to let you know that as I thought my grades were not really good but English which is the subject where I got my best grade it would be an B+ I think. In spite of all that, I have just applied for a TOEFL course in my country. in order to prepare to take the TOEFL. At the same time, I have seen these days that there are Sports scholarships so I would like to get them but I was wondering if I could prepare myself to get these sport scholarships only in few month bc I would like to send my grades in December so what do you think? do you I’ll be able to get scholarships? When i was little i used to take swimming classes but so I would like to train myself to be good at swimming in order to get scholarships well moreover it is a sport that I’ve always loved it. Another thing that I love to do is dancing so do you think colleges offer dance scholarships for international students?

Thank you for all the help!

Sorry, @Lucia79 your chances of getting sports scholarships are, well, zero. Swimmers good enough to be given scholarships have been competing for years on the state, national and international level. And many of those scholarships are only partial - the student still has to pay often tens of thousands of dollars to attend her/his school. Dance scholarships are extremely rare and only awarded to extremely accomplished dancers at very few schools.

Sports committment is harder than high school.

  1. Recruitment is for top athletes.
  2. You may have little to no time to study
  3. If you get injured irrevocably, you may get kicked out.

Yes, you can take the SAT in your country…look for International Schools.