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United States

European students who have studied the IB and achieved successful grades, or completed their A-Levels, can apply to universities in the US without taking further exams. Those who have not are required to take selective admissions tests, either SATs (Scholastic Assessment Tests) or the ACT (American College Test).

The second stage of making a US application is filling out the online Common Application or a college-specific application. Unlike UCAS, US universities have individualised applications for students to fill out with several personalised sections that place a greater emphasis on extracurricular commitments rather than academia, due to the multidisciplinary nature of US education.


Application to universities in Europe differs according to country. The traditional route of entry in Germany for international students is to study a one-year long Studienkolleg course, which prepares them for studying in a German institution. Certain international qualifications, such as the American SATs, are also sufficient for entry to German universities.

In France, there are two types of higher education institutions. Public universities accept students who have studied the French Bacculauréat, which is unrelated to the International Baccalaureate (IB). Grandes écoles are selective entry institutions that require an additional two years of study following the Bacculauréat for admissions.

United Kingdom

Students applying for universities in the UK go through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The same UCAS application is sent to all of a student’s prospective UK universities. The application is entirely online and is divided into straightforward sections, including academic qualifications and a personal statement.

Interviews are also an important aspect of university applications in the UK.