Royale
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Stanford University doesn't seem to have anything to do with A Levels on their website so is it okay if I just do SATS or not?
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H011y94
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You should probably contact them (on the phone is best as you can explain your personal situation and ask questions if you don't understand their response fully) and ask - they may want the GCSE & A-Level equivalents of a high American GPA as well as the SATs
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avash27
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Yep, you'll definitely need to take the SATs, but as Holly's suggested, you should call them up and ask about A-Level requirements. You won't be able to get in on SATs alone, because American applicants submit all their high school grades, which is another part of how they make admissions.
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Descartesz
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http://www.stanford.edu/dept/uga/app...nal/index.html
Non-U.S. Educational Systems
You should consult the application instructions for information about which transcripts and school reports will be required as part of your application. However, if you attend a school that does not teach an American curriculum, please be aware that your school will need to also submit the International Supplement to the Secondary School Report as part of your application. This form can be found in the "School Forms" section of the Common Application website.

There is no need to have your marks converted into an American GPA. We require that official documents from your school which note your grades, marks, or any predictions, be sent directly from your school as part of your application.
Sorry, nothing specifically about A-levels. As suggested, call or e-mail the Stanford admissions office. According to the Stanford site, this is the contact information for the current UK-applicant reader at Stanford

http://stanfordwho.stanford.edu/SWAp...=Kate%20Shreve

You will probably get your answers most efficiently by contacting her directly. There is some likelihood that they will accept A-level results in lieu of the otherwise required Subject tests.

Some possibly relevant threads on College Confidential
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/...e#post10346712
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/...92-enough.html
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Royale
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(Original post by H011y94)
You should probably contact them (on the phone is best as you can explain your personal situation and ask questions if you don't understand their response fully) and ask - they may want the GCSE & A-Level equivalents of a high American GPA as well as the SATs
Thanks, another question, will they accept me if I only got 2 A*s, 4 A's, 2B's, 1C and 1D for my GCSE's?
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MirandaPanda
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(Original post by Royale)
Thanks, another question, will they accept me if I only got 2 A*s, 4 A's, 2B's, 1C and 1D for my GCSE's?
As someone from the UK who applied this year and got accepted to Stanford (and a few other of the top universities in America), and indeed goes to a school which sends the most number of students from the UK to the US, whilst your admission is not down to one factor in particular, those GCSE certainly won't help your case.

They're very poor results, particularly when you compare it with the herds of students who shall be applying with nothing but A*'s. Thus it won't help your application at all.
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Royale
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(Original post by MirandaPanda)
As someone from the UK who applied this year and got accepted to Stanford (and a few other of the top universities in America), and indeed goes to a school which sends the most number of students from the UK to the US, whilst your admission is not down to one factor in particular, those GCSE certainly won't help your case.

They're very poor results, particularly when you compare it with the herds of students who shall be applying with nothing but A*'s. Thus it won't help your application at all.
I figured it won't help my application too much but do I still have a chance if I ace my A Levels and SAT's, and I also went to a pretty bad school where I got one of the highest grades so will it help if I mention that. I'm not trying to blame it on my school but I think I'm smart enough to have got much better grades.
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MirandaPanda
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(Original post by Royale)
I figured it won't help my application too much but do I still have a chance if I ace my A Levels and SAT's, and I also went to a pretty bad school where I got one of the highest grades so will it help if I mention that. I'm not trying to blame it on my school but I think I'm smart enough to have got much better grades.
It won't help if you mention it; it won't be taken into account. You'll need to ask your school to mention this in their references, and provide the universities with data which backs this up (i.e. the average pass rate of schools in the country vs the average pass rate at your school). US universities aren't as familiar with the workings of the UK school system (beyond the qualification stage that is), so won't take what school you go to into account much.
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tooosh
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On the contrary, US unis take context into account more than UK unis. At the UK your GCSEs are only contextualised if your school turns up a red flag in their database for being particularly bad, but US unis always take school into context. It's true they probably won't have heard of your school though, or have a database of schools like UK unis have access to. I wouldn't mention it in the application though, it is something best left for the reference.
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MirandaPanda
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(Original post by tooosh)
On the contrary, US unis take context into account more than UK unis.
That's not strictly true; whilst it wasn't a Stanford representative directly, we had the admissions officer from Harvard attend our school for a talk at the end April this year, and she made it clear that the most competitive US universities (so Stanford included one would assume) do not take school history into account as say a UK university would.

In terms of your grades OP, if you were the top student in your school (and scored the best results someone has at your school over a very long time period), clearly you worked hard and thus they will factor this in if your (as I said in my previous post) reference mentions it. It still won't put you ahead of say students with straight A*'s, some of whom have also likely attended a poor school, but may make the gap smaller. More importantly however, you'll still be expected to be proactive (regardless of your school background) when it comes to extracurricular activities; in other words, regardless of what school you attended, you should have been involved within a depth of EC's during your GCSE years and prior to be a competitive applicant.
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username839699
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(Original post by MirandaPanda)
That's not strictly true; whilst it wasn't a Stanford representative directly, we had the admissions officer from Harvard attend our school for a talk at the end April this year, and she made it clear that the most competitive US universities (so Stanford included one would assume) do not take school history into account as say a UK university would.

In terms of your grades OP, if you were the top student in your school (and scored the best results someone has at your school over a very long time period), clearly you worked hard and thus they will factor this in if your (as I said in my previous post) reference mentions it. It still won't put you ahead of say students with straight A*'s, some of whom have also likely attended a poor school, but may make the gap smaller. More importantly however, you'll still be expected to be proactive (regardless of your school background) when it comes to extracurricular activities; in other words, regardless of what school you attended, you should have been involved within a depth of EC's during your GCSE years and prior to be a competitive applicant.
Hmm.

Have you, then, heard of any applicant who had sub-par grades (I'm guessing anything below AAAa) getting accepted?

I've only *heard* of such things happening but I've never actually talked to anyone like that. Everyone I know who got in somewhere had good grades. I wonder how "holistic" the process is for non-US citizens.
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MirandaPanda
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(Original post by Lilium)
I've only *heard* of such things happening but I've never actually talked to anyone like that. Everyone I know who got in somewhere had good grades. I wonder how "holistic" the process is for non-US citizens.
Its the same with me too.

I've only ever 'heard' on forums like this of sub-par grade candidates getting in, but never actually seen such a student; and this coming from someone who goes to a school which likely sends the largest number of British students to the US in the first place.

As for international students, I think many people don't realise that its actually harder for us to get into US universities than it is for domestic students; and when you consider that the acceptance rate at most top US universities is around 5-6%, and around 3-4% for international students, having solid grades are a certified must frankly.
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username839699
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(Original post by MirandaPanda)
As for international students, I think many people don't realise that its actually harder for us to get into US universities than it is for domestic students; and when you consider that the acceptance rate at most top US universities is around 5-6%, and around 3-4% for international students, having solid grades are a certified must frankly.
In my experience, everyone knows the odds are against them. Even more so if they're not American. (or have a PR/whatever qualifies them as non-international)

Then again, this may perhaps be due to the people I know, who tend to know about how things work. Or at least, they have an idea. At any rate, the only way to know how things work is to be in the admissions office and see. Also, in all likelihood, every college will be doing things differently.

The issue with the proposition of "high grades being a certified must", in my opinion, is that it really contradicts the whole blabber about the "holistic" process. My theory is that some people with sub-par grades get in, but only very few of them. Either because they are inherently interesting or desirable (by the standards of whatever college they got into). There's also bound to be very few of those because:
a) less international applicants are accepted
b) "good-excellent grades" are a definite tick in the box - by that, I mean that it's highly unlikely that a stellar academic record will be frowned upon!
c) there's probably very few persons who've done unusually interesting things who have applied
d) what X college finds awesome in applicant with below average grades, colleges A, B, C, D, E, and F, may well not be very impressed with!

I could be wrong but this looks sound enough to me.
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MedicalMaureen
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(Original post by MirandaPanda)
As someone from the UK who applied this year and got accepted to Stanford (and a few other of the top universities in America), and indeed goes to a school which sends the most number of students from the UK to the US, whilst your admission is not down to one factor in particular, those GCSE certainly won't help your case.

They're very poor results, particularly when you compare it with the herds of students who shall be applying with nothing but A*'s. Thus it won't help your application at all.
What about 4A*s 5As and 1C in IGCSE?
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Lencias
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Stanford is one of those universities where basically everyone who applies has perfect/near-perfect grades. Yes, they take a verryyyyy limited number of people with less than amazing-tacular stats, but the further from tip-top shape, the lower your chances. 2012 Stanford freshman profile: http://admission.stanford.edu/basics...n/profile.html .
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Prospective88
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Hi, do you think I would have a chance if I get 7 A*s in my IGCSEs, 3 A*S in A Levels and being the top of my school throughout all of secondary school?
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meislure
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(Original post by MirandaPanda)
As someone from the UK who applied this year and got accepted to Stanford (and a few other of the top universities in America), and indeed goes to a school which sends the most number of students from the UK to the US, whilst your admission is not down to one factor in particular, those GCSE certainly won't help your case.

They're very poor results, particularly when you compare it with the herds of students who shall be applying with nothing but A*'s. Thus it won't help your application at all.
Wow, congratulations! May I ask if you took the Subject Tests (SAT II), or what your score was in the SAT I? I'm also an IGCSE/A Level student who desperately wants to get admitted into Stanford...
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Rosie.E.N
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Do not let this mean dude discourage you. Follow your dreams kid!!
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mathplustutornj
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They look at the school in a different way. They look at grades from US students' high schools and adjust based on the difficultly of the school.

For Stanford, you should have pretty much all A*s. Generally, you need 4 projected A*s in solid subjects. However, it isn't a cut and dried decision based on numbers. I wouldn't be applying to that level school though if you aren't at least a strong candidate for Oxbridge.
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EmilyKat
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Is it possible if you can give me general advise on how to strengthen my application into universities like Stanford and other top American universities ?Do you just need good grades or do you have to have something extra to have a strong application ?Also do these universities look at the school you came from as well as you as an individual or just you?
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