SAT II vs A2's or full A-levels Watch

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usa1981
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#1
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How does anyone have an opion SAT II's compare to the either the A2's or the full A-levels?
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Lottie
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From Oxford University's web site:

Though there are no formal requirements, successful candidates would generally have an excellent High School record, supplemented by:

- Scores of at least 700 in Verbal and 700 in Math in SAT I (or 1400+ combined)(Or ACT with a score of at least 32 out of 36)

We would also expect:

- SAT II in a good spread of three or four subjects at 700 or better;
- Or, preferably, grades 4 or 5 in two or more Advanced Placement tests in appropriate subjects
- Alternatively, a mixture of SAT II and Advanced Placement scores; both should be at the levels indicated above.


To compare, Oxford University (to the best of my knowledge) expects A Level grades in the AAA range for most subjects, probably with a further A in a subject studied only at AS Level.
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usa1981
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(Original post by Lottie)
From Oxford University's web site:

Though there are no formal requirements, successful candidates would generally have an excellent High School record, supplemented by:

- Scores of at least 700 in Verbal and 700 in Math in SAT I (or 1400+ combined)(Or ACT with a score of at least 32 out of 36)

We would also expect:

- SAT II in a good spread of three or four subjects at 700 or better;
- Or, preferably, grades 4 or 5 in two or more Advanced Placement tests in appropriate subjects
- Alternatively, a mixture of SAT II and Advanced Placement scores; both should be at the levels indicated above.


To compare, Oxford University (to the best of my knowledge) expects A Level grades in the AAA range for most subjects, probably with a further A in a subject studied only at AS Level.

A 700 would be a high B in our system but in yours it would an A so would they consider 700 or better as AAA(A) or BBB(B).
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Happy1
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I think you need to email or phone the universities you are thinking of applying to. They will tell you.... they answer questions like taht every day
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usa1981
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Someone post an AS question, an A2 question, an old A-level, an AP (essay)question, and a SAT II (essay) question.
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Nima
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That won't work becaue grade boundaries and so on would needed to be taken into account. i.e.) A-Level paper difficulty fluctuates year on year but this is accommodated by the UMS procedure.
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usa1981
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(Original post by Nima)
That won't work becaue grade boundaries and so on would needed to be taken into account. i.e.) A-Level paper difficulty fluctuates year on year but this is accommodated by the UMS procedure.

Why are you referring to the grade boundries for?
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isabella19
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because someone might say the A2 question is much easier than the SAT question, but on the A2 question the grade boundary might be higher and on the SAT question the grade boundary might be lower. So it would be pointless unless you had a proper markscheme as well.
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bleeper
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I personally would like to see a SAT question.
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amie
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I think its a pretty pointless comparison. The exam systems are very different to one another, and so it'll be very difficult to compare them in any meaningful way.
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Hash
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amie is right. SAT II are not America's version of A levels (as is the fairly common misconception). The SAT IIs are multiple choice aptitude tests. In my opinion they are not even comparaable to A levels.

If you want to make a comparison, compare A Levels to the American "AP" (Advanced Placement) system.
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Moloko
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I am not positive about this (having never taken any sort of A level), but I would venture a guess that SAT IIs are easier. The reason for this is SAT IIs are all an hour in length and completely multiple choice, no essay questions. I think this is much easier. Here is a sample Biology question, of course the questions will vary in difficulty:


Blood flows from the heart to the lungs in the pulmonary artery and returns from the lungs to the heart in the pulmonary vein. The blood in the pulmonary artery is

(A) higher in O2 and lower in CO2 content than the blood in the pulmonary vein
(B) higher in both O2 and CO2 content than the blood in the pulmonary vein
(C) lower in O2 and higher in CO2 content than the blood in the pulmonary vein
(D) lower in both O2 and CO2 content than the blood in the pulmonary vein
(E) higher in O2 content, but about the same in CO2 content as the blood in the pulmonary vein

(Answer: C)

To find more sample questions go to the college board website, find a subject a click sample questions.

APs seem more equivilent to A levels, as they are longer and have essay questions that account for a half or a third of your score.
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amie
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If my A-Level Biology exams were made up of questions like that, I would probably cry with happiness right there in the exam room. Is there an average age at which people take SAT IIs?
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Moloko
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People can take SAT IIs at any age, from 14 to 18. Generally just after they have taken the class. I suppose most of the questions are like that, in terms of difficulty
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amie
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Have you taken any SAT II's, Moloko?
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Moloko
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Actually, no

Before I had not considered going to the UK for university, and as US schools generally don't require them, I never bothered. However, now I want to go to the UK I will be taking Biology, US History, World History and Literature. Even though it seems like many universities prefer APs, SAT IIs are so much easier (I may have to take another AP anyway, but hopfully doing well on SAT IIs will count for something)
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amie
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Ah, I see! Good luck with them, and your university application Where are you thinking of applying?

I asked because I was curious to see at what age you took them. I'm curious as to whether there's more recognition for taking them at 14 than there is for taking them at 18, seeing as most people appear to mature a lot intellectually throughout their teens.
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Moloko
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Thanks very much Good luck to you too, unless you're already at university :confused:

I'm thinking of applying to

York
Bristol
St Andrews
Edinburgh
KCL

though this list keeps on changing! What about you?

About there being more recognition for taking SAT IIs at 14, there isn't but maybe there should be...but it might get a little confusing. Honestly, I think the education system in the US is very confusing as it is! From what I've heard GCSEs and A levels seem to work better because everyone has to take them at a certain time. Also, you can be fairly confident about what universities you'll get into based on your grades. In the US, everything seems a bit random.
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Featherflare
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In terms on content and question style, SAT IIs are easier. However, the threshold for 'doing well' is a lot higher in the SAT IIs because making only a few 'stupid' mistakes can dramatically reduce your score. In A levels, you can get most of a paper wrong and stil get 80% UMS from some of the stories i hear. Still, A levels rock!!!
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bleeper
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If my A-Level Biology exams were made up of questions like that, I would probably cry with happiness right there in the exam room. Is there an average age at which people take SAT IIs?
So true. Multiple choice makes exams so easy. I once saw an old biology paper and it had multiple choice and was piss. Then ********s say exams are getting easier.
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