Possibility of studying in the USA (Hopefully Harvard)

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GB1999
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Hey.

I'm only in my first year in my sixth-form college but I'm seriously interested in going to study abroad once I finish my A-Levels, hopefully America. The main college I've been looking at is Harvard and the main thing what got me was that, on their website, they needed their GCSE results to be on average of an A.

My GCSE results are terrible in my opinion due to me picking the wrong subjects and also me slacking off (Art and Music specifically). I believe I average on a mid-C. However, I'm currently re-doing my GCSE Maths since during the exams I was unable to attend it. I'm on the right track to get an A in my maths.

GCSE Results:
Maths: X (Hopefully an A after I take them in November)
English Language: C
English Lit: C
Core Science: C
Additional Science: B
Graphic Design: D
Art and Music: E

I also took the Cambridge Nationals for Computer Science, where I got a P2 in. I believe that's an equivalent to a C but I'm not entirely sure.

For my A-Levels, I've taken Applied Business, Media Studies and Religious Studies. I've also taken BTEC Applied Law. (Something I really couldn't find what the grades in this would be worth in UCAS points)

I've also looked at a few resources in my college's site about studying in the USA and checked a few SAT example questions on the PDF document. Am I right that the English portion of the SATs are mainly grammar checking based?

The main point of this thread is to answer this question: Is there any hope in hell I would be able to get into a good college in America?
Note: My heart is set on the USA in general, not specifically Harvard. I just want to know if it's possible at all for me to get in this.
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Docjones1
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No chance in hell. Even if you're classed as an 'under-represented minority' you'd be extremely lucky to get into any ivy league or other prestigeous american university
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GB1999
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I do feel confident currently about my A-Levels. I'm getting B's and A's on my current marked works. It's a shame about being unable to get into Harvard though, but I wasn't expecting anything great with my GCSE grades. It's still entirely possible for me to wind up in a decent university though in the US, right?

By decent, I don't mean world renowned. Just something what's not viewed that's terrible where I can do my studies.
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Docjones1
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(Original post by GB1999)
I do feel confident currently about my A-Levels. I'm getting B's and A's on my current marked works. It's a shame about being unable to get into Harvard though, but I wasn't expecting anything great with my GCSE grades. It's still entirely possible for me to wind up in a decent university though in the US, right?
It depends what you mean by decent. If you mean internationally prestigeous then maybe but they focus highly on your last 3 years of school, including your GCSEs.
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Blobfish13
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How do you go about applying to US universities? I have 10A*s at GCSE and 4As at AS. What US average would that be?
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Docjones1
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(Original post by Blobfish13)
How do you go about applying to US universities? I have 10A*s at GCSE and 4As at AS. What US average would that be?
Good but they don't compare it directly by converting it to GPA or anything. It would depend highly on your SAT score/ACT score (I'm pretty sure the deadline for signing up for these has passed for 2016 entry) and your extra-curriculars which US unis go nuts for for some reason.
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Blobfish13
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(Original post by Docjones1)
Good but they don't compare it directly by converting it to GPA or anything. It would depend highly on your SAT score/ACT score (I'm pretty sure the deadline for signing up for these has passed for 2016 entry) and your extra-curriculars which US unis go nuts for for some reason.
Ok thanks, I was just wondering
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troubadour.
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(Original post by Docjones1)
It would depend highly on your SAT score/ACT score (I'm pretty sure the deadline for signing up for these has passed for 2016 entry)
I believe the SATs at least run all the way until December. Unlike admission tests for UK universities, it's possible to sit your SATs/ACT more than once and then have only the highest score considered. There might be a shortage of places, sure, but there's at least one more sitting in December for which the deadline hasn't passed, I don't think.
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Okorange
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I don' think you'll be getting into any uni that anyone outside the US will have heard of.
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username738914
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Sod the whole thing bro, those GCSE grades just aren't good enough. Focus on getting the grades you need for a university here.

I mean, sure, if you end up with AAAA at AS, and a 2200 + have top notch ECs you could give it a bash because of the idea of 'upward trends' but I wouldn't hold my breath bro.
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troubadour.
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(Original post by Princepieman)
Sod the whole thing bro, those GCSE grades just aren't good enough. Focus on getting the grades you need for a university here.

I mean, sure, if you end up with AAAA at AS, and a 2200 + have top notch ECs you could give it a bash because of the idea of 'upward trends' but I wouldn't hold my breath bro.
I'm pretty confused about how good grades really need to be in order to make a competitive application. There was one person who did an AMA who got into Harvard with A*A*B at A Level, which kinda makes you wonder that the whole 'anything less than As won't do' philosophy is correct or not.

But yeah, I agree that the OP should focus on universities here since they actually appreciate an upward trajectory here.
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mathplustutornj
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You are dead in the water for top US schools. They view GSCEs as like your 9th and 10th grade grades, which are important. If you somehow get A/A*s on A-levels, you have a shot at good UK schools.
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Student403
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(Original post by Hydeman)
I'm pretty confused about how good grades really need to be in order to make a competitive application. There was one person who did an AMA who got into Harvard with A*A*B at A Level, which kinda makes you wonder that the whole 'anything less than As won't do' philosophy is correct or not.

But yeah, I agree that the OP should focus on universities here since they actually appreciate an upward trajectory here.
Not sure I'd trust them. A*A*B is very doable for the typical Harvard applicant, so there must have been a significant other factor
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username738914
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(Original post by Hydeman)
I'm pretty confused about how good grades really need to be in order to make a competitive application. There was one person who did an AMA who got into Harvard with A*A*B at A Level, which kinda makes you wonder that the whole 'anything less than As won't do' philosophy is correct or not.

But yeah, I agree that the OP should focus on universities here since they actually appreciate an upward trajectory here.
I was exaggerating somewhat, you could still get a place with AABB at AS for example, but it really is a packaged deal. The overall profile needs to be top notch, if they fall down in the grades arena they coild always show their worth through SAT scores, extracurriculars etc but it's not guaranteed.

That guy probably had solid grades at AS and GCSE for him to have been admitted in the first place - US acceptances are pretty much unconditional.
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Skill Twix
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(Original post by Princepieman)
I was exaggerating somewhat, you could still get a place with AABB at AS for example, but it really is a packaged deal. The overall profile needs to be top notch, if they fall down in the grades arena they coild always show their worth through SAT scores, extracurriculars etc but it's not guaranteed.

That guy probably had solid grades at AS and GCSE for him to have been admitted in the first place - US acceptances are pretty much unconditional.
US unis(the prestigious ones)require SAT 2 subject tests as well
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Student403
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(Original post by Skill Twix)
US unis(the prestigious ones)require SAT 2 subject tests as well
Nope not all. UCB for example
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mackemforever
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(Original post by GB1999)
Hey.

I'm only in my first year in my sixth-form college but I'm seriously interested in going to study abroad once I finish my A-Levels, hopefully America. The main college I've been looking at is Harvard and the main thing what got me was that, on their website, they needed their GCSE results to be on average of an A.

My GCSE results are terrible in my opinion due to me picking the wrong subjects and also me slacking off (Art and Music specifically). I believe I average on a mid-C. However, I'm currently re-doing my GCSE Maths since during the exams I was unable to attend it. I'm on the right track to get an A in my maths.

GCSE Results:
Maths: X (Hopefully an A after I take them in November)
English Language: C
English Lit: C
Core Science: C
Additional Science: B
Graphic Design: D
Art and Music: E

I also took the Cambridge Nationals for Computer Science, where I got a P2 in. I believe that's an equivalent to a C but I'm not entirely sure.

For my A-Levels, I've taken Applied Business, Media Studies and Religious Studies. I've also taken BTEC Applied Law. (Something I really couldn't find what the grades in this would be worth in UCAS points)

I've also looked at a few resources in my college's site about studying in the USA and checked a few SAT example questions on the PDF document. Am I right that the English portion of the SATs are mainly grammar checking based?

The main point of this thread is to answer this question: Is there any hope in hell I would be able to get into a good college in America?
Note: My heart is set on the USA in general, not specifically Harvard. I just want to know if it's possible at all for me to get in this.
Realistically you've already blown it with your GCSEs, however let's assume that you do somehow not get rejected because of those.

Are you capable of achieving A*A*A* in your A levels?

If so then do you have any outstanding extra-curricular activities that you can add? For example ,do you play a musical instrument or two to grade 8 level? Have you represented your country or at the very least your county at a sport over the last couple of years? Have you run your own business alongside your studies? If you're looking to do a technical degree, so anything along the lines of computer science, engineering, or anything design based such as architecture or art, and if you are then do you have a portfolio of high quality work that you've done outside of school to show?

Are you able to get 2300+ on SAT practice papers?

If the answer to any of those questions is no then you don't stand a chance, even if they somehow ignored your GCSE results.

Honestly, not trying to be mean, studying in America would be pointless for you. With your GCSE grades you're not realistically going to get into any University anywhere near the top of the rankings in the USA. Then add in the fact that getting a scholarship as a foreign student is incredibly difficult, and that University is expensive over there, means you'll be looking at a total cost for your degree of at least £70,000 all having to be paid out of your own pocket, or most likely by your family, for an education which will be no better than what you'd receive over here.

Seriously, give up on the idea. Not being mean, just being honest.
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Skill Twix
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(Original post by Student403)
Nope not all. UCB for example
My friend applied to MIT,UCB,UCLA last year and did SAT 2 subject tests but that was just to improve the grade's profile
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Student403
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(Original post by Skill Twix)
My friend applied to MIT,UCB,UCLA last year and did SAT 2 subject tests but that was just to improve the grade's profile
Yup. MIT requires 2 SATIIs. The UCs only use it to enhance your profile
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Skill Twix
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(Original post by Student403)
Yup. MIT requires 2 SATIIs. The UCs only use it to enhance your profile
Oh!I think OP should do SAT 2 subjects tests as well.I didn't apply to the US but got 2270 and 3 700s in SAT 2 subject tests
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