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BeBeyond留学申请九步第一步:思考,思考,再思考! [复制链接]

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发表于 2006-8-18 10:06:23 |显示全部楼层
The 9-Step Guide to Successful Applications to US Schools
[size=xx-large]1. Think, Think, and Think Again

For most of you who are planning on applying to American universities, if we could offer you only one recommendation, it would be a simple one-word suggestion: Think. In fact, we think it is so important to your success in getting into an American school and obtaining an America visa, we want to emphasize its importance by saying: Think, think, and think again!

"Wow! Really?" You are probably a little surprised at our suggestion, wondering why "thinking" is so important to applying to American universities and what is there for you to really think about.

Before we answer your question, let's examine the following situations and ask ourselves a few questions based on them.

Situation A: If you are a great test score taker, don't you wish that American universities would be just like the Chinese universities, which set clear standards for admissions and awarding scholarships? (For example, "600 in TOEFL and 2,000 in GRE will secure you an admission and 620 in TOEFL and 2,200 in GRE will get you a full scholarship.") Wouldn't life be much simpler if the Americans could simply adopt the Chinese approach? Think: Why don't they?

Situation B: If you always have had some problems with English or perhaps simply any kind of exams, don't you wish that you would only need a minimal TOEFL score -- say, 550 -- to get an admission and a visa? In fact, American schools do admit low score students! For example, Stanford University's Business School has taken students with GMAT scores below 500 and University of Chicago, possibly the most academically demanding school, takes many students with B or C averages. Think: Why not you? How can you do it?

Situation C: If you have ever been refused by the US visa officers, don't you feel annoyed every time they ask you why you want to go to America and why that specific university? Aren't the answers so obvious? ("We go to the States because it is the most advanced country and I choose that university because it is the one that admits me or the only one that gives me financial aid.") Believe it or not, they might actually have refused your visa based on your answers to those dumb questions! Think: Why do the visa officers keep asking similar questions? Why do they often refuse you, saying that you have immigration tendencies, even though you have partial or even full financial aid?

Believe it or not, all the above situations illustrate the key difference between the American and Chinese educational systems. You'd better know the difference, or you will have hard time with your applications. And the word "think" conveniently summarizes this key difference.

In China, you don't have to think when it comes to education because there is only one route to your higher education. The route is the test scores. How good a university you can get in depends on and only on how high scores you can get in exams. Your major in college is also determined by your test scores, especially when it comes to the "hot" majors. In China, it is generally the case that your scores determine your choices of college and college major and in turn, they determine your job and career. There is really nothing to "think" about except getting as good scores as you can.

Generally, the ways Americans decide their education choices are completely the opposite. For Americans, what determines your choice of school and major is (1) what you like to do, (2) what you want to do in the future, and/or (3) what kind of job you want after graduation. First you think about that. Then, and only then, you think about how you can get in your chosen schools.

In other words, you have a "dream" first. You have figured out (by thinking) why you want to pursue that dream, why you will be good at what you will be doing, why this specific university will help you realize your dream, and so on and so forth.

Because Americans have to do a lot of thinking in selecting their schools -- and because in general, how well students think about their future helps determine how successful they will be in their future endeavors -- American universities want to hear about your thinking process. Thus test scores are no longer the sole factor in determining one's admission and scholarship. It is within this kind of educational system that one student with low scores can convince the admissions officer to get into a university, sometimes even the best ones. Basically, American universities are looking for individuals with thinking abilities while the Chinese system looks for scoring machines.

This American way of thinking -- having a goal first and then having that goal determine your subsequent actions (school choices, etc.) -- permeates the American society and will have significant implication for your application and your success in the States.

For example, American visa officers like to ask the previously mentioned questions precisely because they want to see whether you have thought through your studying-abroad plan. (In a typical American phrase, "Do you know what you are doing?"

Like university admission officers, the visa officials believe that students with clear ideas of what they want to do will be more likely to be successful in the future.

Unfortunately, Chinese students are so used to not thinking and not making decisions for themselves that it takes a long time for many of them to adapt to the American way of thinking. And in many cases, there is a huge difference in terms of success between those who adapt quickly and those who change slowly.

The American system poses several major problems for Chinese applicants:

First, Chinese students lack training in thinking and making decisions for themselves. For most students, decisions are made by their parents or teachers or their fellow students. For example, many students want to go study abroad because their parents expect them to; many others go because their classmates are going.

Second, for one to think and make decisions, one needs information. In our case, that means information about US schools, America's or China's future job markets, economic and social trends, American culture and customs, and so on. Obviously, it is hard for Chinese students to obtain such information adequately and accurately.

Finally, when applying to American schools, most Chinese students are limited by their English communication skills (note that this is very different from English testing skills!). It makes it difficult for the Chinese students to articulate their thinking even if they have thought through everything. This limits their ability to express themselves to US admission officers, much less be convincing to them.
So how can we overcome these three difficulties?

To address the first one, you should probably do what we suggest: Think, think, and think more! It might be difficult at very beginning to come up even one topic to think about and think about it thoroughly. In this case, BeBeyond's 9-step Guide is designed to systematically help you think about your school application and visa obtainment plan.

Also, you should share your thinking with your friends and classmates because most likely their ways of thinking will help you think and vice versa. (Note that you can also exchange your ideas at in the "Forum" section!)

To overcome the second difficulty, you probably should read more news, articles, books and magazines about America. It's better if they are in English and written by Americans because the Chinese media is too selective in reporting America. You also should know American education system and admission process as much as possible.

In both areas, offers information in a systematic fashion selected specifically with you, our members, in mind and provides research resources on schools. To make learning more interesting, you should probably also watch more American movies -- although we have to warn you that movies are movies and often are not very realistic.

Finally, your English communication skills (as opposed to your English testing skills that are only good for TOEFL, GRE, or GMAT but not for the real world) can only improve through actual communicating!

No matter how difficult it is at very beginning, and no matter how poor your initial English writing is, keep doing it in English. And start now! Your communication skills will not only help you get an admission and even a scholarship, but also will help you enormously after you arrive in the States. encourages you to do so by providing the only forum in the world for Chinese to communicate only in English. Let's get started!

Today, it has become even more important for Chinese students to think, think, and think more because more and more Chinese are getting such high scores that scores don't differentiate Chinese students as much as before. For example, in choosing between a student with 710 in GMAT and another with 730 in GMAT, the scores are not the determining factor at all because there is really not much difference between those two scores. What is important to Americans is who can articulate better what he or she want to do with an MBA degree. To do that well, you need thinking, information, and communication skills.

Since your ambition is to go into the American system and succeed in the States, you'd be better off if you start thinking just like the Americans do.

Let's remember this: Think, think, and think again!

(Author: Jinbo Xie,

Rank: 2

发表于 2008-2-8 11:17:00 |显示全部楼层
Thank u very much for your useful tips! It is obvious that Chinese lack the thinking abilities and infos

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发表于 2008-2-18 20:48:58 |显示全部楼层
:) :) what   you  said   is  very  useful! Thank  you  a lot,

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发表于 2008-5-13 17:39:42 |显示全部楼层
good advice

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发表于 2008-5-17 23:25:24 |显示全部楼层



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发表于 2008-5-21 22:37:08 |显示全部楼层
看了很有感触,有一个问题,他们是不希望留学的学生有移民倾向吗?  如果问及毕业后的打算,他们最期待的是怎么样的回答呢?

Rank: 5Rank: 5

发表于 2008-5-21 22:41:09 |显示全部楼层
原帖由 yiqitouxigua 于 2008-5-21 22:37 发表
看了很有感触,有一个问题,他们是不希望留学的学生有移民倾向吗?  如果问及毕业后的打算,他们最期待的是怎么样的回答呢?


Rank: 4

发表于 2009-3-24 00:04:59 |显示全部楼层

Rank: 4

发表于 2009-7-10 14:21:02 |显示全部楼层

Rank: 2

发表于 2009-8-17 22:06:23 |显示全部楼层
Thank you very much.
I will use English to communicate with others in this forum from now on.
I have thought a lot about my future and have made a decision that I would further my study in USA, but now I have an inner horror towards my choice. I hope the following articles in this series will get me out of this dilemma.
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