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    I've still got a few years yet (in Year 10 currently) so I'm not too worried but I'm curious just how hard it is. I mean, some people say it's very hard and you've gotta be a genius, but I've seen others say they got in with a 3.0 and a ton of extra curricular. Others say it's character combined with scholarly interest.
    Wondering just what requirements, both of character and grades, and necessary? I'll be taking the new SATs too prob if I decide to go for it at all, so no help for comparison there.
    Would be also helpful to compare AP level highschool courses to A levels... How much more difficult are they, and is it worth paying money to attend a UK center which offers tests for them (after taking tuition/ online courses) in order to boost eligibility for Ivy or is it really not a problem considering most international students can't get access to AP classes?
    But say if someone had, on average, two or three extra curricular activities in which they do exceptionally well in, plus a mostly A*/ A GCSE/ A level profile and a well-written (*well-bs'd) personal statement, as well as demonstrated profound interest in the field they were to study, as a guesstimate, how much more likely are they to get accepted to any Ivy in comparison to the average student?
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    (Original post by lostpenny)
    I've still got a few years yet (in Year 10 currently) so I'm not too worried but I'm curious just how hard it is. I mean, some people say it's very hard and you've gotta be a genius, but I've seen others say they got in with a 3.0 and a ton of extra curricular. Others say it's character combined with scholarly interest.
    Wondering just what requirements, both of character and grades, and necessary? I'll be taking the new SATs too prob if I decide to go for it at all, so no help for comparison there.
    Would be also helpful to compare AP level highschool courses to A levels... How much more difficult are they, and is it worth paying money to attend a UK center which offers tests for them (after taking tuition/ online courses) in order to boost eligibility for Ivy or is it really not a problem considering most international students can't get access to AP classes?
    But say if someone had, on average, two or three extra curricular activities in which they do exceptionally well in, plus a mostly A*/ A GCSE/ A level profile and a well-written (*well-bs'd) personal statement, as well as demonstrated profound interest in the field they were to study, as a guesstimate, how much more likely are they to get accepted to any Ivy in comparison to the average student?
    Whilst it's never too early to be thinking about university, you have absolutely no academic records to go off at this moment in time so it's virtually impossible to say. I can't comment on SAT scores and so will leave that to others (a google search will probably yield what an average SAT score for the Ivies are).

    But I will say the following:

    Academics: The Ivies are amongst the most prestigious and most competitive schools to gain admission to in the US, with acceptance rates often being below 10% of the entire applicant pool (as low as 5% for Harvard). The acceptance rates for internationals are even less as you make up a smaller proportion of the cohort and more often than not you will be considered in comparison to other internationals/students from your own country. Put it this way if you think you would be a strong candidate for Oxbridge, then you are pretty much on that level academically for the Ivies i.e. Strong GCSEs mostly A*s and As, AAA-A*A*A* predictions at A-level. Obviously the stronger your academic profile the better. I'm not sure how likely it would have been for someone with a 3.0 GPA to be accepted into an Ivy would be so would take that with a pinch of salt.

    Extra-curricular activities: this is very important and more so for US colleges over the UK. You don't necessarily need to be doing loads so a handful of activities which you excel at looks great e.g. play regional/national level youth sport, music for a cultural group, volunteering and received awards etc. At the same though don't worry too much if you are not an national level athlete not everybody is. However the key there is to take your ECs and think about how you can go "the extra mile" with them. So for example you might play football at school, have you played in any tournaments? Have you tried out for a local town team too? Why not get involved with teaching football to disadvantaged kids at home and abroad (at home especially if done on a regular basis). So basically look at your ECs and see how you can get the most out of them. Even if your not a national level football player, playing for your team and then using your skills to teach kids in your spare time is impressive, more so than simply just playing for the team.
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    (Original post by lostpenny)
    I've still got a few years yet (in Year 10 currently) so I'm not too worried but I'm curious just how hard it is. I mean, some people say it's very hard and you've gotta be a genius, but I've seen others say they got in with a 3.0 and a ton of extra curricular.
    The average GPA at Ivies and the other elite institutions (MIT, Stanford, Chicago, CalTech, etc.) out of 4.0 are over 4.0. Usually it's something like 4.03 to 4.10 out of 4.0. A 3.0 GPA simply is not competitive at any of the elite schools in the US, ivy league, top public, or top research.

    Wondering just what requirements, both of character and grades, and necessary? I'll be taking the new SATs too prob if I decide to go for it at all, so no help for comparison there.
    Currently, students accepted at Ivies and peer schools have a score of 700-800 to each section of the current SAT. The composite score (all three sections combined) should be at least 2100.

    A composite score of 2100 is the 96th percentile - meaning that a 2100 is better than 95% of other people who took the test.

    You can see composite data here.

    As such, whatever the new scoring system, you should score within the 96th percentile or higher (meaning you have to do better than 95% of other test takers).


    Would be also helpful to compare AP level highschool courses to A levels... How much more difficult are they, and is it worth paying money to attend a UK center which offers tests for them (after taking tuition/ online courses) in order to boost eligibility for Ivy or is it really not a problem considering most international students can't get access to AP classes?
    There's no point in you taking AP tests.

    But say if someone had, on average, two or three extra curricular activities in which they do exceptionally well in, plus a mostly A*/ A GCSE/ A level profile and a well-written (*well-bs'd) personal statement, as well as demonstrated profound interest in the field they were to study, as a guesstimate, how much more likely are they to get accepted to any Ivy in comparison to the average student?
    Average students don't apply to the ivy league. The 'average applicant' to the ivy league will have exceptionally good grades, a very well-written (and read by people offering editorial advice, and revised numerous times) statement, a demonstrated interest in their area of study, at least two or three ECs in which they do exceptionally well.

    What you've described here is the average applicant to these schools, not an exceptional or special one.
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    The average GPA at Ivies and the other elite institutions (MIT, Stanford, Chicago, CalTech, etc.) out of 4.0 are over 4.0. Usually it's something like 4.03 to 4.10 out of 4.0. A 3.0 GPA simply is not competitive at any of the elite schools in the US, ivy league, top public, or top research.


    Currently, students accepted at Ivies and peer schools have a score of 700-800 to each section of the current SAT. The composite score (all three sections combined) should be at least 2100.

    A composite score of 2100 is the 96th percentile - meaning that a 2100 is better than 95% of other people who took the test.

    You can see composite data here.

    As such, whatever the new scoring system, you should score within the 96th percentile or higher (meaning you have to do better than 95% of other test takers).



    There's no point in you taking AP tests.


    Average students don't apply to the ivy league. The 'average applicant' to the ivy league will have exceptionally good grades, a very well-written (and read by people offering editorial advice, and revised numerous times) statement, a demonstrated interest in their area of study, at least two or three ECs in which they do exceptionally well.

    What you've described here is the average applicant to these schools, not an exceptional or special one.
    I've always seen many people talk about "mostly A/A* GCSEs" and "AAA predictions", but are As @ GCSE and As at A level good enough for Ivies? Because many of the top universities in the UK will have most strong candidates showing all/most A* predictions, so I would have thought that as international applicants, many of these guys should really be on all A*s with the exception of a couple at GCSE, and close to if not all A* predictions at A levels. Nothing less.

    Idk, just when I first read the grades many people on here talk about, they seemed a bit low for an Ivy standard (or my perception of it)
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    (Original post by Student403)
    I've always seen many people talk about "mostly A/A* GCSEs" and "AAA predictions", but are As @ GCSE and As at A level good enough for Ivies? Because many of the top universities in the UK will have most strong candidates showing all/most A* predictions
    I don't think that this is true. Law, a competitive course, has A*AA offers from Cambridge, Durham, etc. but only AAA from e.g. Oxford. Competitive courses tend to require usually A*AA.

    Idk, just when I first read the grades many people on here talk about, they seemed a bit low for an Ivy standard (or my perception of it)
    The difference between A* and A is not large. Moreover, whereas UK universities concentrate on standardized testing, US universities are looking for more than your ability to perform well on a single test. They want to see consistent good performance, good test scores, good ECs, good writing ability, etc.

    AAA would be sufficient to be considered for ivy league, but remember, ivy league admissions is more competitive than Oxbridge - 5%-10% admission rate is relatively standard.
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    I don't think that this is true. Law, a competitive course, has A*AA offers from Cambridge, Durham, etc. but only AAA from e.g. Oxford. Competitive courses tend to require usually A*AA.


    The difference between A* and A is not large. Moreover, whereas UK universities concentrate on standardized testing, US universities are looking for more than your ability to perform well on a single test. They want to see consistent good performance, good test scores, good ECs, good writing ability, etc.

    AAA would be sufficient to be considered for ivy league, but remember, ivy league admissions is more competitive than Oxbridge - 5%-10% admission rate is relatively standard.
    Ah fair enough. Thanks.

    I'm still now sure how I feel with the "more competitive" thing. While the acceptance rates are obviously lower, isn't that simply because UCAS places a limit of 5 on how many universities you can apply to? I was under the impression that many strong American applicants apply to many more (>10) in the US
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Ah fair enough. Thanks.

    I'm still now sure how I feel with the "more competitive" thing. While the acceptance rates are obviously lower, isn't that simply because UCAS places a limit of 5 on how many universities you can apply to? I was under the impression that many strong American applicants apply to many more (>10) in the US
    Assume the UCAS allowed every student who wanted to, to apply to Oxford and Cambridge, but that their number of accepted students remained the same. Oxford currently accepts 9,598 students per year and has 51,951 applications per year (Source). Even if we were to double the number of applicants to 103,902; the acceptance rate would still be 9.2%. Which is still above Harvard (5.9%), Yale (6.3%), Stanford (5.1%), Princeton (7.4%), Columbia (7%), MIT (7.9%), Brown (8.7%), CalTech (8.8%), University of Chicago (8.8%).

    Additionally, Oxford and Cambridge have HUGE undergraduate populations compared to the US elites.
    Oxford: 11,722 undergraduates; Cambridge: 11,820.
    Harvard: 6,700; Yale: 4,410; Columbia: 8,410; UChicago: 5,134, etc.

    Proportionally, a smaller number of students can attend each of these schools, thereby driving selectivity up.

    However, acceptance rates aren't the only concern and they shouldn't be used as indicators of absolute selectivity.

    Whereas Oxford and Cambridge concern themselves with test scores (grades), simply having good grades is not enough to make one a good applicant to any of the elite universities in the US. You need to meet the same standard of achievement, as well as have strongs ECs and strong essays (which is very different from the UCAS 'personal statement').
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    Assume the UCAS allowed every student who wanted to, to apply to Oxford and Cambridge, but that their number of accepted students remained the same. Oxford currently accepts 9,598 students per year and has 51,951 applications per year (Source). Even if we were to double the number of applicants to 103,902; the acceptance rate would still be 9.2%. Which is still above Harvard (5.9%), Yale (6.3%), Stanford (5.1%), Princeton (7.4%), Columbia (7%), MIT (7.9%), Brown (8.7%), CalTech (8.8%), University of Chicago (8.8%).

    However, acceptance rates aren't the only concern and they shouldn't be used as indicators of absolute selectivity.

    Whereas Oxford and Cambridge concern themselves with test scores (grades), simply having good grades is not enough to make one a good applicant to any of the elite universities in the US. You need to meet the same standard of achievement, as well as have strongs ECs and strong essays (which is very different from the UCAS 'personal statement'.
    Okay, that's a fair point. But it is in a similar magnitude.

    This part I definitely agree with! I've found it so annoying to compare myself to the kids on College Confidential who seem to have cured cancer in two different ways, and I'm just here studying for A levels

    It's a shame ECAs aren't as encouraged in the British system. I feel so outperformed applying to the US
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    Assume the UCAS allowed every student who wanted to, to apply to Oxford and Cambridge, but that their number of accepted students remained the same. Oxford currently accepts 9,598 students per year and has 51,951 applications per year (Source). Even if we were to double the number of applicants to 103,902; the acceptance rate would still be 9.2%. Which is still above Harvard (5.9%), Yale (6.3%), Stanford (5.1%), Princeton (7.4%), Columbia (7%), MIT (7.9%), Brown (8.7%), CalTech (8.8%), University of Chicago (8.8%).

    Additionally, Oxford and Cambridge have HUGE undergraduate populations compared to the US elites.
    Oxford: 11,722 undergraduates; Cambridge: 11,820.
    Harvard: 6,700; Yale: 4,410; Columbia: 8,410; UChicago: 5,134, etc.

    Proportionally, a smaller number of students can attend each of these schools, thereby driving selectivity up.

    However, acceptance rates aren't the only concern and they shouldn't be used as indicators of absolute selectivity.

    Whereas Oxford and Cambridge concern themselves with test scores (grades), simply having good grades is not enough to make one a good applicant to any of the elite universities in the US. You need to meet the same standard of achievement, as well as have strongs ECs and strong essays (which is very different from the UCAS 'personal statement'.
    After reading the statistics for each of the Ivys, (I did have a suspicion that the average acceptance rate is higher for Oxbridge by a lot) I was wondering... if you were to allow each student to apply to Oxford and Cambridge, and the number of universities which a student could apply for wasn't limited, would the application rate in the UK not go down too for Oxbridge because everyone would apply to it because they don't lose anything from trying?
    I might be wrong but I think the statistics aren't low because it's harder than Oxbridge - they're low because more people apply?
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    (Original post by Student403)
    I've always seen many people talk about "mostly A/A* GCSEs" and "AAA predictions", but are As @ GCSE and As at A level good enough for Ivies? Because many of the top universities in the UK will have most strong candidates showing all/most A* predictions, so I would have thought that as international applicants, many of these guys should really be on all A*s with the exception of a couple at GCSE, and close to if not all A* predictions at A levels. Nothing less.

    Idk, just when I first read the grades many people on here talk about, they seemed a bit low for an Ivy standard (or my perception of it)
    Not sure about others, but my own ethos is that A* is the only grade worthy of getting... I'm aiming for all A* at GCSE and chose my subjects based on affinity (non of that bull**** about enjoying the subject, considering the British education system butchers all love for any subject and tosses it out of the window - *art student blankly holds paintbrush and stabs page with mild suppressed frustration*).
    So far in my essays and tests administered by the school for end-of-topic, I've had A* in biology, history and art, and 8 in Eng lit (gah I did want a 9 by the time I had attempted my second essay...). Obviously these don't mean I'll be certain to get an A* at the end of the course, and I'm also worried that this won't produce anything in the end (almost all A* but still rejected by college because of bad PD or just not good enough ECs)
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    (Original post by lostpenny)
    After reading the statistics for each of the Ivys, (I did have a suspicion that the average acceptance rate is higher for Oxbridge by a lot) I was wondering... if you were to allow each student to apply to Oxford and Cambridge, and the number of universities which a student could apply for wasn't limited, would the application rate in the UK not go down too for Oxbridge because everyone would apply to it because they don't lose anything from trying?
    I might be wrong but I think the statistics aren't low because it's harder than Oxbridge - they're low because more people apply?
    No. Assuming that every student that applied to Oxbridge also applied to the other Oxbridge, the acceptance rates would still be higher than American counterparts. Doubling the application rate to both universities by allowing students to apply to both still wouldn't bring the application rate lower. However, this statistical assumption is unrealistic, as not every student would apply to both. Sometimes the schools have different programs, different structures of their programs, a particular student prefers Oxford over Cambridge or vice versa for [plethora of reasons here].

    Removing the limit on UCAS of 5 universities also would not likely tip the scales. University admission/application is a self-selecting process. I'm not going to apply if I don't meet the minimum standard offer; I'm not going to apply if I feel I am not that caliber of student; etc.

    Moreover, as I stated previously, acceptance rates are not a good indicator of selectivity. Admission to the elite American universities expects the same grade performance, but also expects extensive out-of-school work to be done - e.g. ECs and volunteer work. It's making more of a demand on the student than Oxbridge admissions is.
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    No. Assuming that every student that applied to Oxbridge also applied to the other Oxbridge, the acceptance rates would still be higher than American counterparts. Doubling the application rate to both universities by allowing students to apply to both still wouldn't bring the application rate lower. However, this statistical assumption is unrealistic, as not every student would apply to both. Sometimes the schools have different programs, different structures of their programs, a particular student prefers Oxford over Cambridge or vice versa for [plethora of reasons here].

    Removing the limit on UCAS of 5 universities also would not likely tip the scales. University admission/application is a self-selecting process. I'm not going to apply if I don't meet the minimum standard offer; I'm not going to apply if I feel I am not that caliber of student; etc.

    Moreover, as I stated previously, acceptance rates are not a good indicator of selectivity. Admission to the elite American universities expects the same grade performance, but also expects extensive out-of-school work to be done - e.g. ECs and volunteer work. It's making more of a demand on the student than Oxbridge admissions is.
    But the entrance exam for Oxbridge makes it much more difficult for students academically. I doubt that if you give a regular US Ivy student entering , for example, Physics, the PAT or STEP, as a freshmen that they would do as well as the Oxbridge counterpart of the same year.
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    (Original post by lostpenny)
    Not sure about others, but my own ethos is that A* is the only grade worthy of getting... I'm aiming for all A* at GCSE and chose my subjects based on affinity (non of that bull**** about enjoying the subject, considering the British education system butchers all love for any subject and tosses it out of the window - *art student blankly holds paintbrush and stabs page with mild suppressed frustration*).
    Ain't that the truth. :moon: Repped.
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    (Original post by FutureOxford3)
    But the entrance exam for Oxbridge makes it much more difficult for students academically. I doubt that if you give a regular US Ivy student entering , for example, Physics, the PAT or STEP, as a freshmen that they would do as well as the Oxbridge counterpart of the same year.
    I doubt that. It's not as though more intelligent or educated students are going to Oxbridge as compared to HYPSM CalTech.
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    The UK system forces self-selection, UCAS limits people to applying to just 5 universities and you can't apply to both Oxford and Cambridge. Students have to meet a certain academic benchmark set by a university/department before they can even be considered for a place, if you don't think you're likely to meet those requirements then you don't apply. Indeed many teachers refuse to write references for pupils if they think they won't meet the entry requirements, so even if you wanted to take a gamble, you can't. The self-selected pool of Oxford applicants is much lower than Harvard so it's hardly surprising their admission rates are higher.

    Anyone can apply to Harvard, even complete dunces who've never opened a book in their life. I've heard that whole classes of students apply to Harvard/other ivies just to see what happens. These schools' admission statistics can't reliably be compared with Oxbridge. Simply doubling Oxford's applicants still does not make for a fair comparison.
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    Probably some tasty business connections via family is a good one, making donations to the universities or being one smart, all around cookie. You can get into Ivy league but the competition is fierce. If you get in and study the right course, you'll probably be part of the elite
 
 
 
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