The preparations for F1 visa interview must begin well in advance of going to the US consulate in your designated city in India. Preferably, 2 weeks before your interview date. You are required to carry all necessary documents for verification and issuing of the F1 visa. Every documentation should be carried in a decent folder and arranged in a proper order so as to avoid confusion at the visa counter. This is the first step for a successful visa process.
To carry your passport or old passports (if any) is compulsory, including phtocopies of the first, last and remarks pages of the current passport. A color photograph (2 by 2 inches, not more than 6 months old). You may carry 2 or 3 as well. Next, a copy of the print out confirming the submission of Form DS-160, generated online with CEAC bar code. Moreover, Visa Fees to paid in advance before the appointment date. Original appointment letter of interview and one extra copy. An original copy of SEVIS Fee receipt along with one copy of Form I-20.
You must carry a proof of the financial assessment or assets, which should be in liquid form. It is to make fee payment for the full first year of education as per the fee structure of the school or college, where you are getting enrolled. This includes boarding and lodging expenses. You must must also show proof of evidence of assests that will bear the remaining year(s) of education in the university. A scholarship granted by the college you are getting enrolled is denoted on I-20 form. This is considered favourably by the Visa granting official. Besides this a loan granted by a bank must have all related documentation. Form I-134 ( Affidavit or Legal document of support), provided an individual in US supporting you in finances.
(P.S. Granting of Visa is in the hands of the official not because you have all the documentation required.)
Now, coming to educational documents. Original graduation certificates, including mark sheets. Provisionals if available. Test scores of GRE, GMAT, SAT and TOEFL as according to the course you are getting enrolled for higher education. Keep a black pen handy. Do not carry any sealed documents before entering the US consulate.
Manhattan Review, India offers guidance on how to take the visa interview for those who avail of our Admission Counseling Services. Mock interviews are conducted. Importance of dress tips and approach to the visa counter, speech modulation and how to answer to the point is given a complete reconstruction. This will ensure a smooth passage to get your passport stamped for a gainful entry into US for higher education.