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    Hey, my application is pretty mixed at best so I need feedback.

    A Levels - not so good
    History A (damn my C in coursework)
    English Literature A
    Politics A

    GCSE's 1A* 6A 3B (mortifyingly bad basically)

    EC's:

    At 16 I set up an online music service (www.psonar.com)
    our full scale launch has been since September of this year (although the site has been active for a year prior to that) and we have 10,000 members. I have a feeling it is this that may be my hook. We grew by over 2000 members in the last month alone so the scale of sign ups is rising. I've been immersed in every stage from product development to business strategy and am now marketing based primarily. This project was partly the reason my A levels didn't go as well as they could've - I skipped a lot to go to meetings, conferences, demonstrations etc.

    I've been involved in scouts for 10 years. I had technically completed the adult qualification before I turned 18 but could only be awarded it once I'd turned 18.

    Every holiday I volunteer at the Churchill College Archives Centre helping preserve and organise the archives and ensuring they are used correctly by visiting readers.

    I write a political blog and have been doing so for 2 years. I set up the politics, photography and Model United Nations societies at my college. With MUN at our first conference we were a commended delegation. I was also on the events committee and ran a freshers fair.

    I've rowed with college as part of the women's VIII in multiple races (all local - I'm from Cambridge local rowing is like the best you can get!) I orienteer for my county and was the silver medalist for the season within the junior squad two years running.

    I play the Oboe and sing.

    Basically I have like 10 billion EC's some strong, some not so much.


    Gap Year


    In my gap year I have worked at John Lewis. However, I also have an internship with a charity launching their new online website building platform targeted at other charities. I make up the whole marketing team on that! In the second half of the year I'm going to South Africa to do political and legal work primarily based around prisoner's human rights but also ensuring polls are fair.

    Here's the crunchline: SATs

    I only got 2080 on my SAT (CR 700 W 710 M 670)
    and I don't know my subject test scores yet.

    I basically think my SAT is gonna get me outright rejected.

    Apologies for this being such a ridiculously long post. Any feedback would be great.
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    Your SAT scores are fine - trust me from personal experience on that.

    Your A-level and GCSE grades on the other hand, aren't. I think people like to downplay how important your academic grades are when applying to the US, b/c universities there also take into account EC's etc - these people who say such misinformed nonsense, often have no direct experience with applying to the US which is what really gets me. Yes US universities consider EC's, but they do so ON TOP of your academic grades - it is expected, when applying to the top schools (Ivy's) only I should add, that you will have top grades. EC's are then looked at, alongside other factors such as references etc, to then try and help distinguish you from the other million or so applicants applying with the same top grades etc (remember, acceptance rates are about 5%-7% at most top universities) - so basically, you need a baseline level of top grades (to show you can academically get by at the university etc).

    Can I ask what school you went to (i.e. was it public, state etc)? People often don't realise this, but US universities do take this into account. Also saying your A-levels went badly b/c you were involved in your EC's is not a wise thing (and reflects poorly in my view)- you're not going to US universities (or university in general) primarily to do EC's at the expense of your education, you are going there to primarily learn and then supplement this learning through EC's etc. You should be able to strike a balance and do very well in both (if your looking to apply to the top universities). The only exception to this general rule is if you're a top level athlete in a sport (i.e. say national/olympic level), as that is usually forgiven by universities.

    - Yale Class of 15' Student
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    To where are you interested in applying?
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    I went to an exceptional school so that isn't going to save me! It was regarded by the Times Higher Education Supplement as the best IB school this year in it's first year of doing it to give you an impression. May I ask is it the GCSE's that you think are letting me down? It's just the counselor at my college puts many many people through the American application process each year (successfully) and she believes 3 A's are strong enough.

    I'm applying all over the place. My primary two are Georgetown and Vassar.

    Also, I really wouldn't justify my grade's with my EC. It's more that to have created a company that is gaining massive investment and every stage is kind of not an EC and shows something more than just (to give one of my other ones) I got an award at an MUN conference. And I think that it is just as strong (and have heard from a number of American admissions officers that it is - inc stanford) as a strong athletic portfolio. Thanks for the help it's great to hear.
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    This isn't by any means a game of one-upmanship, but I go to perhaps the best regarded (if not in the league table, then by reputation) boys school in the country - I'm willing to bet we get more applicants into the US then any other school in the country, bar US specific colleges. My point with this statement is that, I've been one of the people who has been guided through this process by my school, a process which starts in Year 9, so I myself am very familiar with the process - and hence my successful offers from US colleges.

    Unless you're talking about a VERY successful company, case in point being a friend of mine from school who actually LISTED a company on the LSE AIM and indeed was turning over £millions in revenue annually, I don't think it would in any way be justifiable to excuse for poor grades (though in his case, he also had the grades so didn't need to annoyingly ha!). Only if this successful or poignant, would it be considered on-par with athletic commitments. If you're applying for Georgetown and Vassar however (which you didn't mention in your OP), then most likely your grades won't be an issue as they are good enough, but for the top schools in the country, they most definitely are not.
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      Since when did AAA become bad grades? :curious:
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      (Original post by RamocitoMorales)
      Since when did AAA become bad grades? :curious:
      I know right?!

      And I'm pretty sure manchild's college and mine are similar (manchild - mine was an all-girls school so probably competition) - it's bizarre that such a high performing school would be so intent on the US when UK degrees are considered better.

      I'm going to disregard your advice - with appreciation of you going to the effort to give it and congratulation on your Yale offer which is awesome (and encouraging, I'm sure, for many in this forum)! You didn't tell me anything I didn't know but certainly had an interesting attitude and tone.

      And no fear Ivies aren't my thing - my father went to Harvard, my mother Oxford so I fancied something a bit different! So I'm not blindly thinking that they're in my league.

      I would love to hear anymore opinions.
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      Oh and manchild?

      I said in my second post I wasn't justifying my grades with my EC. I don't believe that your friend set his company up himself - daddy probably did it - or I would have heard of him and you would be willing to name him. I don't think it's necessary to cut down my achievement. It's a shame you're attitude is like that when you've so far been so good to people in this forum.

      I know my chances aren't great (my OP suggested this) so there isn't any need to cut me down.
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      (Original post by RamocitoMorales)
      Since when did AAA become bad grades? :curious:
      We are talking about admissions into the TOP US UNIVERSITIES, not British. AAA might be very good here, but when your looking at acceptance rates of less than 5%-6%, the very minimim is that your grades need to be the best (as will everyone elses).
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      (Original post by jatp-blog)
      I know right?!

      And I'm pretty sure manchild's college and mine are similar (manchild - mine was an all-girls school so probably competition) - it's bizarre that such a high performing school would be so intent on the US when UK degrees are considered better.
      Based on what metric or indeed who are these "people" who say UK degrees are 'better than' US degrees? League tables, however flawed, being the only quasi-objective measure in this debate, all favour US universities over UK ones.

      I find your response to this hilarious - you didn't get the gleaming "you're definitely going to get a place" response and so you disregard any opinion going against you. It doesn't matter to me, afterall I'm already on my way to the States, but Lord help you when you discover the reality of applying to the States and how you woefully underestimated the competitiveness.

      Best of Luck
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      (Original post by jatp-blog)
      I said in my second post I wasn't justifying my grades with my EC. I don't believe that your friend set his company up himself - daddy probably did it - or I would have heard of him and you would be willing to name him. I don't think it's necessary to cut down my achievement. It's a shame you're attitude is like that when you've so far been so good to people in this forum.
      What a horribly moronic and trite thing to say - you accuse me of diminishing your achievements, and yet you do the same with the achievements of another. No his 'daddy' didn't pay for his company to start-up and as for finding him, it would be tactless no, just outing the guy. A simple Google and some research shall easily procure a name if you're so interested, but why you are, is beyond me.

      Finally, I'm not trying to diminish your achievements in any manner - you have made a "chance me" thread, where you wish to have honest opinions. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the thread is not "say nice things about my chances of getting into university" - thus if you find it hard to face up to facts, next time I suggest you opt for the latter, as opposed to the former.
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      (Original post by manchild007)
      What a horribly moronic and trite thing to say - you accuse me of diminishing your achievements, and yet you do the same with the achievements of another. No his 'daddy' didn't pay for his company to start-up and as for finding him, it would be tactless no, just outing the guy. A simple Google and some research shall easily procure a name if you're so interested, but why you are, is beyond me.

      Finally, I'm not trying to diminish your achievements in any manner - you have made a "chance me" thread, where you wish to have honest opinions. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the thread is not "say nice things about my chances of getting into university" - thus if you find it hard to face up to facts, next time I suggest you opt for the latter, as opposed to the former.
      What results did you get on SATs, A-levels, and GCSEs?
      Just out of interest, as I'm applying to the US to.
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      (Original post by manchild007)
      Based on what metric or indeed who are these "people" who say UK degrees are 'better than' US degrees? League tables, however flawed, being the only quasi-objective measure in this debate, all favour US universities over UK ones.

      Ehhh, I don't think the argument was UK unis are better than US unis. Rather the argument was on the degree. A UK degree is very narrow vs. US degree is very broad. Personally I prefer the UK style of education, which is why I'm getting out of the US for uni.

      My biggest complaint with American education, aside from a ridiculous emphasis on liberal arts, is that I don't feel like you gain any specialization. Let me give you a quick example....A major in economics at an avg American uni would consist of only about 4 modules DIRECTLY related to economics. You would take macro and micro, then intermediate macro and micro. You would then take an additional 6-8 modules in business, finance, or something along those lines. The rest is then spent on taking arts, sciences, maths, etc. If you calculate everything out, only 1 and 1/2 to 2 yrs is spent directly on the major. The other 2 or so yrs is just spent on random, irrelevant subjects.

      I personally don't like the US style of education. To some it clicks. To me its a waste of time bc I have no interest in studying some of the required classes. This doesn't mean that US education is bad, nor does it mean that UK education is any better. It just means that you have to find the style that works best for you.

      Essentially, neither the US or UK has better degrees. They're just different.
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      (Original post by manchild007)
      We are talking about admissions into the TOP US UNIVERSITIES, not British. AAA might be very good here, but when your looking at acceptance rates of less than 5%-6%, the very minimim is that your grades need to be the best (as will everyone elses).
      Just to add on to that--Your average state school kid is not applying to HYPS. Most applicants are going to be coming from Eton, Winchester, etc. So the bar is already set high.
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      (Original post by manchild007)
      I find your response to this hilarious - you didn't get the gleaming "you're definitely going to get a place" response and so you disregard any opinion gongi against you. It doesn't matter to me, afterall I'm already on my way to the States, but Lord help you when you discover the reality of applying to the States and how you woefully underestimated the competitiveness.

      Best of Luck
      Darling I said from the very beginning my chances weren't great. I didn't disagree with your opinion, rather I disagreed with your tone and that was the precise phrase I used. Alongside the phrase degree rather than university. I think some establishment of comprehension skills is needed on your part - it might just help you out at Yale or wherever you end up.

      Oh and thanks for the 'constructive' criticism?! Because it was that that I was after. If any one would be willing to provide that I'd be more than grateful!
     
     
     
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