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Preparation for Standardized Tests

International students are sometimes quite anxious about taking standardized tests such as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), SAT (Scholastic Assessment Tests), or GRE (Graduate Record Examinations). You may be considering taking a test preparation class or purchasing a test preparation book in order to improve your scores. These classes or books contain sample tests and test-taking strategies which you may find useful, particularly if you have not had much experience taking these types of tests.

However, be cautious about investing a great deal of money in such classes or books, since such preparation will probably increase your scores only marginally. The tests are designed to measure your aptitude and potential for success in a university setting. Solid academic preparation over the years should yield good scores, whereas test-taking strategies can only help marginally or help you feel more comfortable in taking the tests. Inquire at the advising office for more information on varieties of test preparation products. U.S. educational advisers have seen a wide variety of students who have tried all kinds of preparation tactics. They are in the best position to give you sound and practical advice.

Find out more from the InternationalStudent.com Test Prep Center

The Educational Advisor

Educational advisors, based at U.S. educational advising centers around the world, offer information and advice, as well as services such as workshops on application and selection procedures, pre-departure orientation programs, and test preparation services. Basic advising services are often free of charge. It can be very helpful to discuss your academic background and goals with an experienced advisor who knows the U.S. educational system well.

Your Current Institution and Faculty

If you are currently enrolled at a university, you may be able to consult an expert there. Many institutions have career advisors, counselors, or international exchange coordinators who may be able to assist you. In addition you may wish to talk with a faculty member in your area of interest. He or she may  know which U.S. colleges or universities specialize in your field of interest.

Family, Friends, and Alumni

Recent graduates of U.S. universities who have returned home are excellent sources of advice about the benefits and costs of study in the United States. Check with your local university for visiting American professors, lecturers, or other visiting staff members and for students from the United States who may be willing to talk to you. Local organizations of former students of U.S. universities may exist in your city. Often the "alumni office" of U.S. universities can refer you to such an organization close to you

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