The Blog of Knowledge

Read our blog full of handy tips regarding the US university landscape and application process.

We take great pride in providing free, up-to-date resources.

UK vs US Personal Statement Differences

Learn about the differences between the personal statements. In the UK personal statement, you should talk about what you know, in a US personal statement you should talk about how you are informed about what you do.

Read More »

How to score a high ACT score

The most competitive US universities seek ACT scores in the 95th – 99th percentiles (30-36). Learn the best ACT tips and techniques, including how to score above a 30 on the ACT.

Read More »

Summer Preparation

US university application deadlines are sooner than you think (less than four months if you are applying early). Summer is ideal to prepare your application.

Read More »

What is a Tier 1 US university?

Top US universities have shifted towards using the term ‘Top Tier’ or ‘Tier 1’ universities to prevent over-reliance on the Ivy League to represent academic excellence.

Read More »

Academic Integrated Mentoring (AIM)

Staying organised and managing time for the exam results you need has never been harder: students are playing catch-up after blended learning and fractured coursework from an unprecedented two years, and the balance and pressures of extracurriculars on top of homework can be debilitating. We’ve always provided informal mentoring services to our students, so we’ve

Read More »

Sitting the SAT Twice: Why it’s a Good Idea

Many elements need to come together optimally in order to earn a good SAT score: test-taking techniques, pace through the sections, and nimble responses to trickier questions. However, no matter how ardently you have strived to ensure your practice SAT tests replicated the exam scenario, there are always going to be new variables during this

Read More »

US University Admissions Timeline

Students who are interested in attending a US university should start planning during Year 10. The breadth and depth required for a successful US application does require thinking carefully about curricular choices, extracurricular activities, and how best to use summer breaks to create a compelling CV. At A-List, we are here to help manage the

Read More »

How to Achieve Top A-Level Predicted Grades

Having experienced a tumultuous academic landscape with the challenged remote group learning presented for comprehension, a private tutor, with a background in mentoring and coaching, is a valuable tool to guide students to GCSE and A-Level success. As university admissions becomes even more competitive, consistent academic excellence is even more crucial to compose successful applications.

Read More »

SAT Going Digital From March 2023

On the 25th January 2022, College Board (finally!) announced that they will offer the SAT digitally internationally from March 2023 and within the domestic US from March 2024. This announcement comes almost two years after the College Board announced their intent to launch their digital test, following their competitor-rival ACT’s announcement in 2018, and a

Read More »

Course Selection for IB and A-Levels: Strategies for Top US Schools

This month, students in their final GCSE year will select their future A-Level or IB diploma programme courses. For students who are considering selective universities in the US, the A-List advising team recommends choosing courses with the US liberal arts ethos in mind. This is one way to become an ideal applicant and the best

Read More »

Extended Essay and EPQ: How a Private Tutor Can Help

It’s January and that means question and project summaries are likely due for your Extended Essays. Whether you take A-Levels or working towards an IB diploma, you will likely have to choose, plan, and write your question and the beginning of your outline. The Extended Essay and Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are the type of

Read More »

Submitting Regular Decision Applications

During the holiday period, we know that many students will be finalising their university applications. And though students deserve a break after a stressful term, the A-List Advising Team does recommend that students submit their applications before the deadline. Why You Should Submit Early: Submitting early prevents technological glitches! As you may have noticed, the Common

Read More »

How to Plan for Academic Success

You may want to do some strategic planning during this flexible time: Reflect First, you want to honestly review your academic trajectory and achievements. How do your marks look? In what academic competitions or projects have you distinguished yourself? What subject areas enthuse you particularly? Even if you are not met all your goals, it

Read More »

Letters of Continued Interest: What to Write

Many US universities send out their early-round decisions in December. This is an exciting time. Many of you will be accepted to their first-choice school and some may be denied. However, a portion of early applicants will be deferred to the regular decision pool. Though this may be initially disappointing, being deferred is a positive

Read More »

Academic Mentoring and Meeting Your Goals

At US universities, your final graduation grade is assessed from your first assignment. The vesting system in the UK does not exist and every assignment affects your overall grade. That means you need to begin university with strong academic organisation, time management, and reading and research skills. Preparing to meet these challenges before you begin

Read More »

Early Decision and Early Action Results: What They Mean

If you applied Early Action, Restrictive Early Action, or Early Decision 1, then you can expect to hear from schools beginning in the middle of December. Precise dates are determined by individual institutions. Below, A-List has outlined the possible outcomes and what they mean. Acceptance Success! You have been offered a place. In most instances,

Read More »

SAT Tutoring Benefits

Preparing for the SAT is a long journey, but it has multiple benefits! At A-List, the skills our students develop as they prepare for the SAT also help them excel at university.

Read More »

Test Prep Plan What to Do and When

Whether you are taking the SAT next month or next year, a test prep plan is crucial for good SAT/ACT scores! Designing your academic planning to incorporate SAT and ACT revision with your schoolwork will help you succeed in both.

Read More »

How to use your final week of SAT/ACT prep

The December SAT and ACT are both in approximately one month. While previous blogs have focused on what to do for this final month of preparation, we are going to skip ahead and tell you what you need to plan for that final week before test day.

Read More »

Under Pressure: Time-Saving Techniques for the ACT

To avoid the pressure pushing down on you as you prepare for the ACT, our A-List Academic Team have put together our top time-saving techniques to help you achieve good ACT scores. The ACT comprises English, Maths, Reading and Science sections, the scores of which merge to form a composite score. Therefore, a strong composite

Read More »

Common App Tips: Activities Section

The majority of US unis use the Common Application, a centralised application where the majority of the work is completed and sent directly to US universities. The Common App is much more extensive than the UCAS application. In particular, the Activities Section is carefully reviewed by admissions committees and plays a significant role in the

Read More »

Early Application Strategy and Selective US Unis

The US University system has some of the best, and most selective, schools in the world. With 58 out of 100 of the best schools in the world, competition for spots at universities in the US is fierce. To get accepted, students should consider an application strategy that maximises their chance of securing an offer.

Read More »

Half Term Prep: Raise Your SAT/ACT Scores

Half-term is an excellent time push your standardised test preparation forwards ahead of the December SAT and ACT tests. To take full advantage of half-term, use these top three tips to raise your score in this short time scale: Know Your Level going into the half-term If you have not taken a diagnostic SAT or

Read More »

Conquer Test Anxiety: Top Tips

Tests often provoke feelings of nerves, and the SAT/ACT tests aren’t meant to be fun. They are designed as long marathons covering lots of ground in a limited time. Their very natures are anxiety-producing. There are several ways in which we can harness our test-related anxiety: Have a Methodical, Practiced Approach On tests, students often

Read More »

 Starting Year 12? Start Prepping for the SAT or ACT

As summer holidays wind down, it is the ideal time to get start prepping for either the SAT or ACT. This may not sound appealing at first but earning a good SAT/ACT scores takes time. And they are critical for your US university applications. Key Next Steps Take a diagnostic test. Contact our Client Service

Read More »

Tips for balancing SAT prep with a heavy school load

As the term gears begin to roll and swiftly gather momentum with preparation for exams, EPQs as well as the SAT, academic planning and organisation are crucial to maintaining both top grades and sanity. Here are A-List’s Top Three Steps to Academic Planning: Create clear goals Developing a clear idea of what you want to

Read More »

University Fairs: Where and Why

This autumn, universities and international organisations will host fairs that bring together a range of schools. This autumn, many of these fairs will be virtual as they were last year. Yet, even in a virtual realm, these are great opportunities to learn more about a wide range of schools and also ensure that schools are

Read More »

Suddenly Interested in US Unis: Steps to Take Now

As students fill out their UCAS applications and have to choose a course, many become concerned that they are not ready to commit to a subject and subsequent career trajectory. Hoping for more flexibility and time to make these important decisions, students often turn their attention to the US university system. US universities allow students

Read More »

Prestigious US Scholarships: Requirements and Deadlines

A-List UK appreciates that the cost of US unis is often shocking for international students! Seeking out scholarship and funding is often a necessary part of the application process. If you are interested in school scholarships for international students, there are organisations that sponsor scholarships. A-List UK recommend this resource geared towards international students as well

Read More »

Supplemental Essays: Why They Matter and What to Do

Many students are already familiar with the US Personal Statement. This is the 650-word essay submitted to the Common Application that every school reads. The Personal Statement is an important part of the US university application, but it is not the only essay you will write! Most US schools, especially the most selective US unis,

Read More »

How to Plan for A Level Maths Success

A-Level revision can be stressful if you are unprepared. A-Level Maths is best approached with the mantra ‘keep up, don’t catch up!’ You should keep up with the course as it progresses so that revision is not learning from scratch. Here is how to do this: Organisation: Keep a clearly organised notebook in which you

Read More »

How to Succeed at a US Uni

At A-List UK, we are delighted to help students get accepted to selective US unis. However, we also appreciate that adjusting to university-level course work as well as adjusting to a new culture is a challenge! We are here to help you make the transition so you can succeed at a US uni.   Many students are excited

Read More »

How to use what you learned in GCSE Maths for SAT success

Success on SAT Maths is critical to earning good SAT scores. Starting to prepare for the SATs after your GCSEs is an excellent idea for two reasons: 1. It allows you plenty of time to prepare: remember, standardised exam preparation is a marathon, not a sprint! 2. It allows you to capitalise upon the work you have just

Read More »

The Common App: Overview

The Common Application, which is accepted by more than 900 schools, including some colleges located outside the U.S., helps streamline one essential part of the admissions process for students. Through the platform, first-time and transfer applicants alike can apply to multiple colleges at once. So, students only need to fill out details that most schools require, including

Read More »

 Summer Reading Plan to Improve Your SAT Reading Score

Good SAT scores require a strong SAT Reading score. Covering fictional, social science, historical, and scientific texts, the SAT Reading section necessitates a developed critical reading ability. The best way to develop this skill is to read a wide variety of challenging texts in the months and years leading up to your SAT. Reading such

Read More »

US Universities and International Students: Is it Right for You?

International students are interested in the attending US universities because they offer an excellent education with unparalleled student resources. In the top 100 universities in the world, the US has 58 schools, and the UK has 8. Also, with over 4,000 schools to choose from, students can choose a school that best fits their needs.

Read More »

2021 ACT trends and how to prepare for the September test

There are just under two months before the September 2021 ACT, which means this is the time to ramp up your ACT preparation in earnest! To help you prepare, here are our top observations from recent ACTs combined with our 15-year experience of helping students score good ACT scores: English: Grammar rules continue to be

Read More »

US University Ethos: Schools that Match your Values

At A-List UK, we believe students thrive in educational communities that share their values! Important lessons are often learned outside of the classroom. Universities in the US are often an integral part of cultural debates and social change. A-List UK professional college advisors recommend that students who want to advocate for issues that are important

Read More »

Extra Time and Standardised Tests: Apply for Accommodations 

For good SAT scores and good ACT scores, you want to harness your learning style. Both SAT and ACT exam board offer accommodations for students with learning differences. Accommodations might include extra time, extra breaks, a scribe, larger font, a computer/paper-based test, or being able to sit the sections on different days. First, you need

Read More »

US University Campus Life: How to Find your Fit

Students from all over the world are interested in US universities because of their international prestige, flexible curriculums, and first-rate student resources. However, students are also interested in the US college campus experience! Many US unis and colleges have wonderful campuses where students live and learn together. Each school cultivates its campus culture. Thus, even

Read More »

ACT  Tips for a Top Score 

Getting good ACT scores is hard work. It takes diligence, drive, and organisation in order to learn the content needed. These skills are also need when students analyse their performance on practice tests. Private tutoring can help students develop these skills and tailor their revision in the best way for their learning style. A-List UK

Read More »

Charity Work and US Uni Applications

Students who want to get accepted to selective US universities know they need to invest in their extracurricular profile. Many students are keen to do charity work so they can give back to their communities and also learn valuable skills university communities need. At A-List UK, we always encourage out students to invest in activities

Read More »

Correct Mistakes and Increase Your SAT Scores

Correcting your mistakes is one of the keys to earning a good SAT score. The SAT design makes getting to grips with the question styles strategically savvy and reflecting upon the causes of error is the most important way to ensure you do not repeat the error! When you are completing your practice sections, ensure

Read More »

What are Ivy League Schools Looking For?

At A-List UK, we believe in ambition. Our students want to attend some of the most prestigious and selective universities in the world. However, understanding what Ivy League schools, and other equally competitive and rigorous universities, look for in their applicants can be confusing. A-List UK expert college consultants want to dispel myths and help

Read More »
Scroll to top