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Anyone who has already decided to apply for an American university knows the level of effort required to succeed in applying. It is a long process, with a long list of required documents and certificates, as well as a constant exercise in self-knowledge. To guide this path, one way is to appeal to the literature on the subject. There are many books that will help in its application, whether for undergraduate or postgraduate studies abroad.
Discover some of the featured books, which cover writing aspects of essays, standardized tests and examples of successful applications.
8 books that will help in your application
The elements of style, by William Strunk Jr. and EB White
This is a true style manual, suitable for students at prestigious universities like Harvard. Prepared by Cornell University professor of English William Strunk, still in 1918, the book was first published in 1920. In 1957, it was revised by EB White, a former student of Strunk.
The principle of the book, as Strunk explained decades ago, is “to make every word speak” or, in other words, “to omit unnecessary terms”. For this, the author lists grammar rules, common mistakes in the English language, and style tips to guide the reader to write better. Not for nothing, the publication remains a classic in introductory classes and joins the list of books that Ivy League students read.
College Essays That Made a Difference, by Princeton Review
Prepared by the Princeton Review, this book brings together several essays that “made a difference”, as the title suggests. One of the interesting aspects of the selection is to present the candidates to which each text belongs, a summary of their life trajectory, and also the essay sent to the universities, in full. In addition, the book includes analyzes made by those responsible for admissions from institutions such as Dartmouth College, Stanford, and Harvard.
For those who want to know if the essay is, in fact, so important in the application, just check the profile of the students who participate in this selection – since data such as academic performance and standardized tests (such as SAT) are available.
On Writing the College Application Essay, by Harry Bauld
Another book that deals with essays, the heart of the application for American universities. This time, the tips are in the hands of Harry Bauld, who worked in the admissions section of schools like Brown University and Columbia University – both members of the Ivy League and competing.
In this book, he not only gives advice on the text presented to universities, but also highlights common mistakes he has seen students make. For example, presenting yourself directly (with “Hello, my name is…”) or endeavoring to narrate a journey “towards success”.
100 Successful College Application Essays, by The Harvard Independent
A third option that is very attractive for those who want to learn more about essays and improve the text itself comes from this book, edited and compiled by members of The Harvard Independent. As the title suggests, there are 100 essays commented on by admission professionals, separated according to common themes.
For example, family backgrounds, sports, and professional experience, as well as a specific section for essays written on the experience of immigrant students.
Those applying for foreign universities must, as a rule, prove their proficiency in another language. In many cases, the required language is English, which can be assessed by exams such as TOEFL and IELTS. In this case, there are several manuals available, such as Longman’s, as well as books on grammar and its practical application, such as “ Understanding and Using English Grammar “.
Cracking the GRE with 4 Practice Tests, by the Princeton Review
For those interested in doing postgraduate studies abroad, the GRE and the GMAT are well-known names. The standardized tests are part of the list of documents and certificates required from those who intend to take Master’s and MBA courses abroad. This Princeton Review book focuses on one of the exams and separates, in addition to practical tips, official simulations.
5 practical tools to promote self-knowledge, by Na Prática
Self-knowledge is one of the essential points of a good application. After all, it is necessary to tell the story itself, including academic and personal achievements, to the evaluators – and, for that, the student needs to know himself well. Discover the self-knowledge guide created by the Na Prática portal and understand how to use simple tools to guide this process of reflection.
The Decision Book: 50 Models for Strategic Thinking, by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler
Another one of the books that will help in your application that explore aspects of self-knowledge. It is a quick guide to understanding yourself and making the right choices, as we have to make decisions every day.
The book is illustrated and features 50 models and strategies for better structuring and, later, understanding many of life’s constant challenges, as well as tools and even an unusual exercise inspired by Warren Buffet.