American Students - What did it take to get in?

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MJ_Alexander
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Hello, I am an American student who will begin his senior year of high school in August.

I would like to apply to Balliol College for Politics, Philosophy and Economics.


My academic resume is:

AP European History - 5
AP American History - 5
AP English Language and Composition - 5

ACT: 33

4 years of Spanish

Senior year I will be taking:
AP Statistics
AP Themes in World Literature
AP US Government
AP Comparative Government
AP Macroeconomics
AP Psychology
Honors Philosophy
Accelerated Human Anatomy
-----

If you are an American student currently studying at Oxford (no matter what college or major), could you please share some information about your ACT/SAT and AP scores at the time of application? I would at least like to know if my attempts are realistic for Balliol, and if not for there, then perhaps another college? I've always dreamed of attending Oxford, and am really excited now that I've met the minimal requirements.

Thank you in advance.
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ily_em
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Admission criteria will be the same across the whole university. Applying to different colleges does not give you any advantages. It seems like you have a good chance though, because you've got the best results you can (5 is the highest isn't it?). Seeing as you've met the minimum requirements that's all they need really; minimum requirements for Oxford are very high anyway. I say go for it
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MJ_Alexander
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(Original post by ily_em)
Admission criteria will be the same across the whole university. Applying to different colleges does not give you any advantages. It seems like you have a good chance though, because you've got the best results you can (5 is the highest isn't it?). Seeing as you've met the minimum requirements that's all they need really; minimum requirements for Oxford are very high anyway. I say go for it
Thank you so much. My whole academic life, people have been telling me "no, no, no" and I have been saying "yes, yes, yes". I already got to a point where I've achieved higher marks than anyone ever expected and took on workloads that people told me I wouldn't be able to manage. Your post indeed gives me hope!

I'd like to hear some more from Americans at the university too!

Edit: Oh, and yes, 5 is the highest.
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MJ_Alexander
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(Original post by MJ_Alexander)
Hello, I am an American student who will begin his senior year of high school in August.

I would like to apply to Balliol College for Politics, Philosophy and Economics.


My academic resume is:

AP European History - 5
AP American History - 5
AP English Language and Composition - 5

ACT: 33

4 years of Spanish

Senior year I will be taking:
AP Statistics
AP Themes in World Literature
AP US Government
AP Comparative Government
AP Macroeconomics
AP Psychology
Honors Philosophy
Accelerated Human Anatomy
-----

If you are an American student currently studying at Oxford (no matter what college or major), could you please share some information about your ACT/SAT and AP scores at the time of application? I would at least like to know if my attempts are realistic for Balliol, and if not for there, then perhaps another college? I've always dreamed of attending Oxford, and am really excited now that I've met the minimal requirements.

Thank you in advance.
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention in addition to my academic resume is that I speak 5 languages (3 fluently) and have been playing the violin for 11 years.
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ily_em
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(Original post by MJ_Alexander)
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention in addition to my academic resume is that I speak 5 languages (3 fluently) and have been playing the violin for 11 years.
Not sure if the violin will help (Applying to university in the UK isn't like applying to uni in the US. Much less importance is placed on the extra curricular stuff) but having the languages can't hurt
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MJ_Alexander
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(Original post by ily_em)
Not sure if the violin will help (Applying to university in the UK isn't like applying to uni in the US. Much less importance is placed on the extra curricular stuff) but having the languages can't hurt
I'm actually very glad that less importance is placed on extra-curricular activities. I've often found my high school's extra-curricular activities to be boring and sometimes even obnoxious. But I still will most likely join Law Club in August to learn more and to be able to use it on my application.
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ily_em
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(Original post by MJ_Alexander)
I'm actually very glad that less importance is placed on extra-curricular activities. I've often found my high school's extra-curricular activities to be boring and sometimes even obnoxious. But I still will most likely join Law Club in August to learn more and to be able to use it on my application.
That's good The only extra curricular stuff worth mentioning on your personal statement is what is related to your subject so I guess law club would be good. Reserve no more than a line or two for other stuff (or just leave it out).
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MJ_Alexander
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I just looked at most recent admission statistics and saw that only 14% of American applicants generally get an offer. Oof. Now I feel like I can't compete with all the geniuses applying at Oxford! Discouraging, indeed. Makes me want to hear more from Americans studying at the university at the moment (their high school exam scores and such).
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icn06
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I don't know anything about getting into Oxford, but out of curiousity, do you plan on also applying to other top schools (Cambridge, UCL, and so on) in the UK? It's always good to have options, even if Oxford is the dream! From what I've heard even students who would get in one year don't on another...once you've got all those fantastic qualifications it can still be a bit of a lottery due to interview and the lack of spaces.
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MJ_Alexander
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(Original post by icn06)
I don't know anything about getting into Oxford, but out of curiousity, do you plan on also applying to other top schools (Cambridge, UCL, and so on) in the UK? It's always good to have options, even if Oxford is the dream! From what I've heard even students who would get in one year don't on another...once you've got all those fantastic qualifications it can still be a bit of a lottery due to interview and the lack of spaces.
One can't apply to Oxford and Cambridge at the same time.

However, I am applying to UCL and Edinburgh.

I'm pretty much in in Edinburgh since I highly exceed their minimal requirements, and if I don't make it into Oxford, Princeton, or Georgetown I will most likely go to Edinburgh.
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username202682
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(Original post by MJ_Alexander)
Hello, I am an American student who will begin his senior year of high school in August.

I would like to apply to Balliol College for Politics, Philosophy and Economics.


My academic resume is:

AP European History - 5
AP American History - 5
AP English Language and Composition - 5

ACT: 33

4 years of Spanish

Senior year I will be taking:
AP Statistics
AP Themes in World Literature
AP US Government
AP Comparative Government
AP Macroeconomics
AP Psychology
Honors Philosophy
Accelerated Human Anatomy
-----

If you are an American student currently studying at Oxford (no matter what college or major), could you please share some information about your ACT/SAT and AP scores at the time of application? I would at least like to know if my attempts are realistic for Balliol, and if not for there, then perhaps another college? I've always dreamed of attending Oxford, and am really excited now that I've met the minimal requirements.

Thank you in advance.
Yes, 5's in appropriate subjects that may fulfil the requirements for a course in Oxford is necessary as well as at least 700 in the SAT reasoning tests + 32-36 score in ACT
Of course such a score doesn't guarantee entry but its always worth a shot.
Furthermore, people shouldn't be giving you advice here if they don't understand the American system.
You'll find more information here and US qualifications are at the bottom.
it might also be worth emailing the college you are interested and discuss your academic resume with them

A further link
(Original post by International guideline for Oxford)
SAT Reasoning Test with at least 1,400 in Critical Reading and Mathematics and preferably also 700 or more in Writing, giving a combined score of at least 2,100
OR
ACT with a score of at least 32 out of 36.

AND

Grade 5 in three or more Advanced Placement Tests in appropriate subjects OR SAT Subject Tests in three appropriate subjects at 700 or better.
Good luck and don't fret
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chux
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(Original post by MJ_Alexander)
One can't apply to Oxford and Cambridge at the same time.

However, I am applying to UCL and Edinburgh.

I'm pretty much in in Edinburgh since I highly exceed their minimal requirements, and if I don't make it into Oxford, Princeton, or Georgetown I will most likely go to Edinburgh.
Uh, I wouldn't be so sure. I know several people (including myself) who received offers from cambridge/oxford/durham etc but were rejected from edinburgh. Their entrance is notoriously difficult if you aren't Scottish/ from NE England (not just me being bitter, the guardian published an article about it).
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icn06
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(Original post by MJ_Alexander)
One can't apply to Oxford and Cambridge at the same time.

However, I am applying to UCL and Edinburgh.

I'm pretty much in in Edinburgh since I highly exceed their minimal requirements, and if I don't make it into Oxford, Princeton, or Georgetown I will most likely go to Edinburgh.
I thought that only applied to UK students? Along with all that "firm" and "insurance" stuff they do. They can't really monitor American applications. At least in my postgrad experience.
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thatwhichiam
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(Original post by icn06)
I thought that only applied to UK students? Along with all that "firm" and "insurance" stuff they do. They can't really monitor American applications. At least in my postgrad experience.
Americans apply through UCAs too I believe, therefore he's got all the same restrictions as a Brit
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ily_em
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(Original post by MJ_Alexander)
One can't apply to Oxford and Cambridge at the same time.

However, I am applying to UCL and Edinburgh.

I'm pretty much in in Edinburgh since I highly exceed their minimal requirements
, and if I don't make it into Oxford, Princeton, or Georgetown I will most likely go to Edinburgh.
I wouldn't be too confident about that. For UK entrants their minimum requirements are BBB in three A Levels, although realistically for most courses they only take AAA students. Their low entry requirements are often quite misleading.
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ily_em
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(Original post by (You))
:rolleyes:
Sorry :P
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icn06
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(Original post by thatwhichiam)
Americans apply through UCAs too I believe, therefore he's got all the same restrictions as a Brit
I guess that's only for undergraduate study :confused:
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sweetnesspink
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I exceeded Edinburgh's entrance requirements by a whole degree (e.g. I have the school qualifications that they require AND an undergraduate degree) and I got rejected. It is very difficult to get in to Edinburgh.
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thatwhichiam
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(Original post by icn06)
I guess that's only for undergraduate study :confused:
Yeah, UCAs for undergraduate, all postgrad applications pretty much are done through the uni itself.
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chux
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(Original post by (You))
What a bunch of lies. Someone's got a chip on their shoulder. :rolleyes:

Ignore this person OP, Edinburgh love Americans. :yep:
*shrugs* all I know is that of the many people at my school who applied to Edinburgh with AAA or higher predicted grades, exactly one of them got an offer. They say their requirements for courses are low grades like BBB or ABB, but then in the small print it says that those grades only apply if a)you're from the north of england/scotland, b)you went to a bad school, c)your education has been significantly disrupted. Otherwise you have to get at least three As.

The guardian article I'm talking about: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...plication-bias

similar story in the times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle7069718.ece
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