Is it possible to apply for US colleges without Pre-U?

Q:

Is it possible to apply for colleges in US without taking A-Levels,form6 or any other Pre-U(Grade 12)? Can I be admitted into colleges in US by just using SAT scores,TOEFL/IELTS & SPM grades?

A:

In short: it is possible to get into US colleges without completing Grade 12; I personally know people that have gotten into college after Form 5.

However, bear in mind that you will be in the same pool with applicants that have gone through Grade 12 (hence more material and rigor in their education). So in order to not let your lack of Grade 12 education be a disadvantage to your admission chances, you have to put together a strong overall application taking into account your extra-curriculars, essays, outside study, personality, etc. (read “holistic admissions”). In other words, you have to be a really strong applicant, “better” than the people that have done Grade 12.

How much it affects your admission chances also depends on the kind of schools you are looking at. Community colleges are a good option. If you don’t already know, community colleges are 2-year institutions, meaning after spending their 1st and 2nd years there, students transfer to a normal 4-year college to do their 3rd and 4th years. The reasons why they are a good option are (1) they are less selective than normal 4-year colleges so more likely to take students graduating with Grade 11, (2) they save time (after SPM: 2 years @ community college + 2 years @ 4-year college). On the other hand, if you’re looking at prestigious, highly-selective Ivy Leagues (for instance), it might not be such a good idea to apply with just Grade 11.

Answered by: Yeong Wern Yeen, a JPA scholar who is studying in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). 

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