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    Hey

    I want to study in the US, so I'm taking my SAT exams later this year. I wanted to know if anybody had taken them or had any advice. I've done practice papers, which generally give me a score of around 2100.
    I'd also like to know a bit more about scores and what is a good score for a top US university.

    Thanks
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    Hi Though I haven't done the SAT reasoning (I did the ACT instead) I have done the SAT subject tests so am fairly familiar with the way it's assessed. A score of 2100 is excellent, and will make you competitive for any top US university. If you want a more accurate view of where you stand, you can visit the university's admissions website where they should have a page on the typical scores of people who get admitted. For example, here's one from Princeton - http://www.princeton.edu/admission/a...on_statistics/. If you want to compare your score against everyone else in the world who took the test, you can do it here - http://professionals.collegeboard.co...at-data-tables - and just scroll down to the link 'Composite Percentile Ranks'.

    But since you're applying to the US, you probably know that getting a high SAT score is more of a prerequisite for admission - the main challenge is showing the unis how special/talented/generally awesome of a person you are through essays, extra-curriculars, internships, references etc. It'd probably be more beneficial to try to write to nail the admissions essay or get an interesting internship/work experience than to try and push your SAT score up 100 points (though of course if you can do both that'd be best). Here's a post on MIT's admissions blog about it - http://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry...deal_about_402 - it was published in 2004 back when the SAT was out of 1600, but the point still stands. Of course, try to do as best as you can in the SATs and definitely don't think that you can take it lightly now, but realise that it's not the most important part of the application. US universities (especially the top ones) focus on you as a whole, unlike UK ones which are pretty much only after the grades.

    Wish you the best in applying
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    (Original post by alexb1908)
    Hey

    I want to study in the US, so I'm taking my SAT exams later this year. I wanted to know if anybody had taken them or had any advice. I've done practice papers, which generally give me a score of around 2100.
    I'd also like to know a bit more about scores and what is a good score for a top US university.

    Thanks
    Hi, I know nothing about SATs so I guess I'm posting this more as inspiration than actual help :P A girl in my year applied to Harvard, MIT and Stanford for Physics, but her SAT score was like 0.1 or something too low for Harvard. She got (an equivalent of) an unconditional to MIT and Stanford, and she's going to MIT this year. Good luck!
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    Hello,
    im an American student, and although I didn't take SATs for university entrance( I took another test, the ACT instead) I have taken the SAT twice when I was 12 as I was in a gifted child program. You will probably find it easy, as I have heard it is much more simple than your A levels in England. The only part to worry about s the essay, don't try and write anything spectacular as you only get 25 minutes. Make sure the language is good. In the US artsy and flowery writing is considered top notch over practical writing.
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    (Original post by alexb1908)
    Hey

    I want to study in the US, so I'm taking my SAT exams later this year. I wanted to know if anybody had taken them or had any advice. I've done practice papers, which generally give me a score of around 2100.
    I'd also like to know a bit more about scores and what is a good score for a top US university.

    Thanks
    If you are talking about the Ivies + Stanford and MIT you are looking at a score of 2300+ to be competitive

    Top liberal arts colleges like Williams, Amherst and Swarthmore care less about SAT scores but still 2200+ would be competitive

    If you are talking about the 2nd tier schools like UNC, NYU, Berkeley, Michigan you are probably looking at 2100+

    If you have something extraordinary or US citizenship or some sort of "hook" then this would of course lower your scores needed. Don't forget that its all very random sometimes you might get an offer from an Ivy with a 2100 or nothing with a 2400.
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    (Original post by ukmed108)
    If you are talking about the Ivies + Stanford and MIT you are looking at a score of 2300+ to be competitive

    Top liberal arts colleges like Williams, Amherst and Swarthmore care less about SAT scores but still 2200+ would be competitive

    If you are talking about the 2nd tier schools like UNC, NYU, Berkeley, Michigan you are probably looking at 2100+

    If you have something extraordinary or US citizenship or some sort of "hook" then this would of course lower your scores needed. Don't forget that its all very random sometimes you might get an offer from an Ivy with a 2100 or nothing with a 2400.
    SAT scores aren't that important especially from international students. It's more important to wow them with your essay and references etc.
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    (Original post by alexb1908)
    Hey

    I want to study in the US, so I'm taking my SAT exams later this year. I wanted to know if anybody had taken them or had any advice. I've done practice papers, which generally give me a score of around 2100.
    I'd also like to know a bit more about scores and what is a good score for a top US university.

    Thanks
    Yup, I've done SATs (got a 2200); my advice would be to just make sure you do practice papers regularly before your you sit them. I only prepared for about a week before I did the SATs, but I did one full practice paper a day; I'd say the content itself is actually really easy - you just need to get used to sitting down for four hours and filling in little circles. :p: Good luck, and ask if you have any more questions.
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    (Original post by feyy)
    SAT scores aren't that important especially from international students. It's more important to wow them with your essay and references etc.
    No they are quite important. Admissions officers say confidentially (i read in a book) only about 20% of essays actually change their opinion on the applicant. The majority 80% don't do anything. Unless you essay is in that 20% it probably won't count.

    Whereas SATs are 33% of your app for research schools and 25% for LACs. These are all well known statistics. SAT is very important especially for international applicants. References are probably similar. How can they trust an applicant's references too much? They don't know who you got it from, what your true relationship with them is.

    SATs are standardized which means they are completely trustable. Thats the main difference.
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    (Original post by ukmed108)
    No they are quite important. Admissions officers say confidentially (i read in a book) only about 20% of essays actually change their opinion on the applicant. The majority 80% don't do anything. Unless you essay is in that 20% it probably won't count.

    Whereas SATs are 33% of your app for research schools and 25% for LACs. These are all well known statistics. SAT is very important especially for international applicants. References are probably similar. How can they trust an applicant's references too much? They don't know who you got it from, what your true relationship with them is.

    SATs are standardized which means they are completely trustable. Thats the main difference.
    It's never this straightforward. Not only does it differ from applicant to applicant (you might have great grades and that might alleviate the effect of average SAT scores; you might have great extracurriculars that edge you in past someone with better grades - and so on. Basically, each component hold its own weight) it also differs from college to college (a place like Middlebury will be pretty grade-focussed, while places like Reed and Sarah Lawrence will accept and take into account SAT scores but look more at other factors).
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    (Original post by ukmed108)
    No they are quite important. Admissions officers say confidentially (i read in a book) only about 20% of essays actually change their opinion on the applicant. The majority 80% don't do anything. Unless you essay is in that 20% it probably won't count.

    Whereas SATs are 33% of your app for research schools and 25% for LACs. These are all well known statistics. SAT is very important especially for international applicants. References are probably similar. How can they trust an applicant's references too much? They don't know who you got it from, what your true relationship with them is.

    SATs are standardized which means they are completely trustable. Thats the main difference.
    The fact is, that colleges will take into account the fact that international students are not as used to standardised testing as American students. So, they look at other aspects of your application more, like your essay, your references, your grades (most important) your extracurriculars, etc. I've emailed multiple admissions officers at Ivies and they have confirmed this.

    So SAT scores are important, but not that important. OP's practice scores should be fine as long as their other materials are up to scratch.
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    Well yeah we would know better if OP released some of his ECs/grades. I'm just saying that if you do have a 2100 flat, I wouldn't get your hopes up for the Ivies unless you back it up with some good ECs. I'm pretty sure Ivies require higher grades for internationals than domestic students.
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    (Original post by ukmed108)
    Well yeah we would know better if OP released some of his ECs/grades. I'm just saying that if you do have a 2100 flat, I wouldn't get your hopes up for the Ivies unless you back it up with some good ECs. I'm pretty sure Ivies require higher grades for internationals than domestic students.
    In my experience, this tends to depend on how much you're prepared to pay (not with Ivies in particular - I don't know if Ivies are any different in this regard - but with colleges and universities in general). But yeah, a 2100 in your SATs without fairly exceptional standards in your other components would make admission a bit of a struggle for the top-end.
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    2100 is by no means a bad score - I myself got high 2100s several years ago - but it won't do you squat for "tier 1A" schools/Ivies like HYP, Stanford, and MIT. I've had friends with high 2200s and low 2300s get shot down by Ivies; it's a crapshoot even with near-impeccable stats, lower SAT scores don't help. 2100 doesn't bode well for the top "tier 1B" schools - Northwestern, UChicago, Duke, Cornell - these days either. (these 'tiers' are based on my own observations)

    Yes, applications are generally holistic, and a good GPA can balance out a meh SAT and vice versa and ECs are important, but the fact of the matter is that you can get a good 'gut' feel for things based on the median accepted SAT scores you find in applicant profiles.
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    Thanks for your help guys
 
 
 
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