blake77529
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Hi guys,
I'm in Year 10 (going to Year 11) and I am doing 9 GCSEs (some are iGCSE); English lit, English Lang, maths, science (double award, Greek, Spanish, RE and PE. I hope to study four or three A levels; Biology, ICT, Classic Civilisation and possibly PE.
I really want to study palaeontology in a university in California. I have looked at University of California LA and San Diego University. Could anyone who is studying in America, particularly in California, share what it's like there for them, the standards to get in, etc.
Thanks!


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Heekim
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(Original post by blake77529)
Hi guys,
I'm in Year 10 (going to Year 11) and I am doing 9 GCSEs (some are iGCSE); English lit, English Lang, maths, science (double award, Greek, Spanish, RE and PE. I hope to study four or three A levels; Biology, ICT, Classic Civilisation and possibly PE.
I really want to study palaeontology in a university in California. I have looked at University of California LA and San Diego University. Could anyone who is studying in America, particularly in California, share what it's like there for them, the standards to get in, etc.
Thanks!


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I am currently attending UC Irvine for a BS (on my last year). I've been accepted to all the UCs I've applied to (Berkeley, LA, SD, Davis, Riverside), so you can ask me any questions you have of them!
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feyy
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As a note you will not get financial aid as an international at any of the UC schools. I'm unsure if you are aware of that.
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blake77529
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Heekim, what GCSE and a levels did you get? Did they look for anything in particular? Would you say universities there are worth moving there for?


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ForlornUnicorn
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(Original post by Heekim)
I am currently attending UC Irvine for a BS (on my last year). I've been accepted to all the UCs I've applied to (Berkeley, LA, SD, Davis, Riverside), so you can ask me any questions you have of them!
Sorry to hijack this thread, just a quick question. Heekim, how come you picked UC Irvine? Very few people who've gotten into either UCLA or Cal would do that.
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ckotool
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Have you considered the Pomona colleges (they are the same level as UCLA)? They are all located in SoCal! Are you interested in UCLA and SDU due to their paleontology program or do you just like SoCal?

While in the UK uni's admit solely on academics most if not all American colleges look at an application holistically. Here in the US, students have to take every single subject (english, history, math, science) all four years of high school. For areas a student is interested/strong in, he or she can elect to take H/AP course (ie. AP Literature instead of Regular Literature). So I would suggest maybe taking a broader range of subjects if that is possible?

I am a high school senior in Northern California so I can tell you a few things they assess American students by to give you an idea:
- GPA
-Standarized Tests (SAT, ACT, SAT II, AP's)
- Extra-Curriculars * (EC's are HUGE in the American system! If you have a kickass EC it can make up for mediocre grades/test scores)
- 'cool' personal statement (In the UK, I know that there is a very strict format for the personal statement. In the US the more unique and personal your statement is in demonstrating who you are the better!)

Feel free to message me if you have any more questions about American schools or California in general! I have lived here my entire life!
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devil09
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(Original post by ckotool)
If you have a kickass EC it can make up for mediocre grades/test scores
Unless you're a recruited athlete or another unique case, that's unlikely to be the case.

Grades and test scores are the most important factors at a lot of American colleges. In fact, many colleges only consider grades (and/or class rank) and test scores. As grades and test scores go up, admit rates increase, and some colleges guarantee admission and/or merit scholarships if you meet their cut-off criteria. How many extracurricular activities can do the same? Yes, valedictorians or perfect scorers on the SAT still get routinely rejected at Harvard, but far, far fewer of them than people only in the top 20% of their class or with SAT scores in the 600s.

Good extracurriculars should supplement grades and test scores, not replace them. The best American colleges are able to select applicants who have it all.
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blake77529
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Thanks for all the replies guys!! I already take a very broad range of subjects and I am an athlete as well so hopefully that will help!


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Viceroy
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(Original post by blake77529)
Hi guys,
I'm in Year 10 (going to Year 11) and I am doing 9 GCSEs (some are iGCSE); English lit, English Lang, maths, science (double award, Greek, Spanish, RE and PE. I hope to study four or three A levels; Biology, ICT, Classic Civilisation and possibly PE.
I really want to study palaeontology in a university in California. I have looked at University of California LA and San Diego University. Could anyone who is studying in America, particularly in California, share what it's like there for them, the standards to get in, etc.
Thanks!


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Have a look at others, too, like UC Berkeley and Stanford.
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