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  • College Applications
  • IBDP-MYP
  • IGCSE-A-AS Levels
  • ACT-SAT-PSAT


  Click on a topic below for FAQs


> College Applications

When should I start planning for college abroad?
This depends on your destination of choice. While many countries evaluate criteria beyond academics, USA, in particular has a different admissions process. If you're aiming for a top university, then college planning must start as early as in 8th or 9th grade. Many parents make the mistake of waiting until 11th or 12th grade thus hurting their chances of being admitted to a good university. You may be interested in Uwezo's unique College Prep:Peace of Mind™ offering that is a comprehensive approach to college admissions.

Can Uwezo help me prepare for ACT or SAT?
Absolutely! Not only that, but Uwezo has a well-defined process for helping you understand whether ACT or SAT is a better fit for you. We have dedicated instructors who really know what they're doing. Many students have trouble with Reading Comprehension or Grammar. Uwezo has specialists to work with you in deciphering your weaknesses and helping you overcome them. We have several independent modules in Math, English and Science (ACT only) before you move on to the 10-15 mocks tests that we recommend for practice.

What are universities looking for in an application?
Admissions Officers want a consistent track record of performance. Top universities in the US have criteria beyond just academics or SAT/ACT score. They would like to know that the applicant has demonstrated leadership skills, community service, soft skills, etc. While colleges in all countries value extracurricular aspect of your resume, in the USA it can make or break your chances. There the admissions officers apply a different measurement to gauge whether a student is ready for the challenges in college. These "other" traits are as important as getting a high GPA (Grade Point Average) or a top score in SAT or ACT. To know more about what top colleges really need, see our College Prep:Peace of Mind™ offering.

Should I take subject SATs?
That depends. If a student is looking to get admission into a very sought-after program, it is recommended that the student take subject SATs, even if the college doesn't ask for it. This will definitely strengthen their application. Most top colleges ask for at least 2 subject SATs to be taken. Some colleges will accept the ACT in lieu of subject SATs, but it's best to check with an Uwezo counsellor before drawing any conclusions.

How can Uwezo help me in gaining admission to my dream college in the USA?
Uwezo can optimize your portfolio in several ways. For instance, if you are a forward-thinker and aiming for a top university, then planning must start as early as 8th or 9th grade. Our College Prep:Peace of Mind™ program is for someone just like you. It's a comprehensive service that includes all aspects of building an outstanding resume: ACT-SAT training, Subject SATs, Vocabulary Building, Writing Skills, Internships, Leadership Development, college counselling and college applications. Please click here to understand more about this one-of-a-kind service only from Uwezo Learning. What if you're already in 11th or even 12th grade? No problem. Uwezo can still maximize your chances of college admission. While we might not be able to enhance all aspects of your resume, we can still do a lot. Also, remember that quality essays that articulate who you are and what you care about are important components of a college application. Similarly, teacher recommendations have an impact on your application. Depending on how soon you approach us, we might be able to assign you a leadership project and/or find you a short internship to boost your resume further.

Can Uwezo help with admissions to countries other than US: UK, Canada, Singapore and Australia?
Yes, yes, yes and yes! Each country follows a slightly different process of evaluating applications. Various universities have their own criteria for IB, IGCSE or CBSE; experts at Uwezo will help guide you in the right direction. A few colleges in some of these countries will require or appreciate SAT or ACT or Subject SATs. Some will offer you only conditional admission until the board exam results are published. Uwezo's advice is to start the application process early and avoid last-minute emergencies. Almost all these countries, including the USA, will want evidence of English proficiency via TOEFL or IELTS.

> ACT-SAT-PSAT: Aptitude Tests

What are the aptitude tests and why do they matter?
Not just in the US where most universities require either ACT or SAT, but some colleges in Canada, Singapore, Korea and even India - SAT-1 and SAT-2 - use aptitude tests as a part of the evaluation criteria. While ACT and SAT both serve the same purpose during admission, there is no reason - or time - for someone to train in both. They are similar in some ways yet different in many others. Uwezo can help you decide which one is a better fit for you.

In addition to aptitude tests (ACT and SAT) colleges might ask for Subject SATs or SAT-2. Typically, a student is encouraged to take this test in two subjects of their choice. Even when SAT-2 is not a requirement, there might be good reasons to submit them anyway. Ask Uwezo to know more. PSAT (preliminary SAT) has two different levels: for students in grades 8 and 9, and for those in 10th or 11th. For US citizens that take the test in 11th grade there is an opportunity to qualify for college scholarships. Most others should attempt the PSAT in 8th, 9th and 10th just for practice for the SAT or the ACT. You will get used to the timed tests, as well, as the pattern of questions in aptitude tests. PSAT is generally administered by schools although a few non-school entities also provide this service. Uwezo offers PSAT training; contact us for details.

Can Uwezo help me prepare for ACT or SAT?
Absolutely! Not only that, but Uwezo has a well-defined process for helping you understand whether ACT or SAT is a better fit for you. We have dedicated instructors who really know what they're doing. Many students have trouble with Reading Comprehension or Grammar. Uwezo has specialists to work with you in deciphering your weaknesses and helping you overcome them. We have several independent modules in Math, English and Science (ACT only) before you move on to the 10-15 mocks tests that we recommend for practice.

Which test should I take SAT or ACT? And what does each contain?
That depends on each individual. While the differences between the ACT and SAT are narrowing, there are still significant components in one that are missing in the other. The newly designed SAT (available starting May 2016 in India) has made the essay optional, removed negative marking and looks a little more like the ACT. Still, the science portion is unique to ACT while the Reading and Writing are far from being too similar. The essay question is very different in both tests. While it's optional in the two exams, nevertheless is a key score used by universities during the application process. Hence, Uwezo recommends that you do the essay as well. Uwezo has a well-defined process to help you determine whether ACT or SAT is a good fit for you. There is no reason to train for both because of the differences between them. Additionally, if one has to practice 10-15 mock tests, one doesn't really have an extra 60 hours to spend (each mock is roughly four hours long).

Should I take subject SATs?
That depends. If a student is looking to get admission into a very sought-after program, it is recommended that the student take subject SATs, even if the college doesn't ask for it. This will definitely strengthen their application. Most top colleges ask for at least 2 subject SATs to be taken. Some colleges will accept the ACT in lieu of subject SATs, but it's best to check with an Uwezo counsellor before drawing any conclusions.

Does Uwezo provide coaching in Subject SATs?
Yes, we do. This is done in one-on-one format or small class sizes. Please contact us for details.

How can I register for SAT or the ACT exam? And how often are these conducted?
Students can register for the SAT athttp://www.collegeboard.organd for the ACT athttp://www.act.org. They publish schedules as well on the site, but be sure to look for India, as the dates here are not the same as in the US. Uwezo advises to book a seat early to avoid the last-minute mayhem.

Will it help if student takes both SAT and ACT?
No. Do you really have the time? Let Uwezo help you determine which one is a better fit, and then help you achieve the highest score possible. Use the time that is left to enhance your resume. Ask Uwezo how.

What are AP Courses? How will they help in college admission?
AP (Advance Placement) courses are offered by College Board. Depending on the rest of your profile, it may be advised to take two or three AP classes. However, if you should take AP and how many of them, depends on your academic curriculum among other factors. If you get a score of 4 or 5 (out of 5), some colleges will waive a few academic requirements. Still, it's best to check with an Uwezo counsellor first.

Does Uwezo provide help in AP courses?
Of course we do. This is done as a full course or you can also avail of this service in selected topics. Contact Uwezo for more details.
> IB-IGCSE-MYP

I hear a lot about both IB and IGCSE. What's the difference?
Both are international syllabuses that have a full curriculum starting in 1st grade, much like CBSE does in India. IB has just one board exam at the end of 12th grade while IGCSE does this in grades 10, 11 and 12. Since both are rooted in the western philosophy of education, they encourage a critical thinking approach as opposed to rote learning. IB, in addition to academic rigor, has other components which are required for obtaining the diploma: community service, essays, theory of knowledge (ToK), extended essay (EE) and internal assessments, among others. Also, IB has a strict requirement of enrolling in at least six subjects in their Diploma program, three of them at a higher level, depending on your chosen stream. IGCSE 11th and 12th grades are referred to as AS and A levels, and will allow you to take fewer than six courses which may present a challenge when applying to sought-after universities abroad. If you're in the process of deciding in favour of pursuing one or the other curriculum, Uwezo can guide you in the right direction, taking your future goals and other factors into consideration.

What is MYP?
MYP stands for Middle Years Program of the International Baccalaureate curriculum. It generally spans grades 6 through 10, although some countries have figured out how to do this in a shorter period. While a student is free to move on to IGCSE (AS and A levels) after MYP, or to another curriculum, generally most continue into the IB Diploma Program (grades 11 and 12 together). The MYP- and IB - is more about philosophy of teaching than the subject matter itself. MYP gives a broad flexibility to schools on how they implement the program as long as they adhere to IB's goal of all-around development. The scoring in MYP is similar to the one used in IB (scale of 1 to 7) and does include internal assessments as well. It's a more natural transition - not the only one - to the IBDP program. Should you choose MYP or IGCSE? Contact the experts at Uwezo to help guide you.

Some of my friends have switched to IBDP after their children completed 10th grade of CBSE or ICSE. Is that the right move? Am I to follow suit?
Not necessary that you have to switch your child to IB. While there is a significant difference between these two curricula, universities accept both diplomas. Further, academics are only one component of admissions criteria, so the rest of the student's profile also matters. Our experts at Uwezo can help you determine the best curriculum for your son or daughter. Please contact us for an appointment.

My daughter will be completing IGCSE Boards (10th grade) soon. What are her next options?
You have several options depending on what your future plans are for her. If you want your daughter to go abroad to study after 12th grade, then you can continue with IGCSE AS and A levels or enrol her into the IB Diploma Program. You even have an option of changing track to an Indian curriculum if you believe that is a better choice. This is an important juncture and a thorough, informed decision is needed since it will affect the rest of your child's life. We recommend that you contact Uwezo and understand all the paths fully before embarking your daughter on a journey to her future.

My friends and other parents are discouraging me from IB, saying it's too tough. What is your advice?
If IB is tough, then college will be twice that! Any curriculum, as you move up in the grades, is bound to present more challenges. IB, as mentioned earlier, does have a rigorous program that includes activities beyond just academics. Some students might find this difficult but many do adjust. More than anything it needs strict discipline and diligence. IB has several advantages for students who will pursue undergraduate studies abroad. The high level courses that are taken in IB will provide you with college credit; English and Math are mandatory as opposed to CBSE - many universities in the US require four years of Math and English before allowing you to apply. The extended essay is a 4000-word document on a yet-unexplored topic in the subject of your choice. This and other non-academic requirements contribute toward an all-around development that is missing in other curricula. This type of resume can make you more attractive to top universities. If you would like more details or are at the crossroads, call the experts at Uwezo for guidance.

Can my child study in an Indian syllabus, like CBSE, and still study abroad after high school?
From purely an eligibility perspective, universities around the globe recognize CBSE, IB, IGCSE and other diplomas. They will all need to provide ACT or SAT score (depending on country) as well as TOEFL or IELTS to demonstrate English proficiency. However, most colleges around the world, and the USA in particular, have criteria that go beyond academics and SAT or ACT score. They call it a holistic admissions process and value a child's contribution to their community, leadership qualities, and internships among other criteria. To understand this process better, please see our College Prep:Peace of Mind™ service description.

My son is just finishing CBSE 10th. How can I keep both India and abroad options open?
While there is a more involved answer, the simple answer is: keep him in CBSE or another Indian curriculum. Generally, foreign universities recognize most high school diplomas from various countries. IB or IGCSE does not rule out an India option, however. Whatever you do, you must have a proper plan and quality counselling. There are ways to ensure that your child can maximize his opportunities both in India and abroad. You should speak to an expert counsellor at Uwezo Learning to get the details. You may also want to read about Uwezo's unique College Prep:Peace of Mind™ offering.

In your view, which curriculum best prepares a child for study abroad? CBSE, IB, IGCSE, ISC?
This is difficult to answer without knowing more details about your child and your goals. However, in general, none of the Indian curricula adequately prepares a student for study abroad. Having said that, parents should look beyond academics when considering a university. The systems in each country do vary, with US being unique. Their application process is more involved and a student's character in terms of demonstrated leadership, empathy, community service along with world-class college essays and recommendation letters count as much as the grades and ACT or SAT score. These "soft skills" are life skills that are useful beyond college. So, if you want your son or daughter to have the best chance of succeeding in college, impart these skills now, while they're still in high school. While the IB curriculum is better at developing some of these skills, it's still short of what's needed to thrive in college and beyond. You might also be interested in learning about Uwezo's unique College Prep:Peace of Mind™ offering.

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