Help us student applying to uk!!!

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aakro
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Hi there! I'm a student from the US interested in studying law at either KCL, Queen Mary London, SOAS, City, or Westminster (this is in order of desire to study at particular school and, consequently, difficulty of acceptance). I was wondering what these schools prioritize from their applicants. Test scores? Job experience? Extracurriculars? UCAS doesn't ask for a transcript upload or send-in and it seems like GPA and class grades are all self-reporting. Do individual schools ask for transcripts once they've made an offer or do they not check at all??

I know a lot of upper echelon UK schools look at AP scores for US applicants. I've been in the AP program since freshman year and have scored consecutive 3s (attributed largely to an extracurricular/academic overload) and one 4 in AP Language and Composition. I don't know whether I should even send my scores since 3s are considered quite low on the scoring spectrum. Maybe 3s for the City and Westminster are ok but I'm afraid it may be discouraging to the better schools. Advice?

Stats:
GPA:
4.0/4.0
ACT:
composite: 29
English: 34
Mathematics: 28
Reading: 28
Science: 27
SAT SUBJECT TESTS:
U.S. History: 670
Biology M: 650
Literature: 620
World History: 590
Spanish: 530
PSAT:
180 (placing me in the 88th percentile)
AP EXAMS:
Lang: 4
US History: 3
World History: 3
US Government: 3
Psychology: 3
Biology: 3
CLASS RANK:
Top 14%-20% (my school only gives range)
EXTRACURRICULARS:
Debate: 4 years (won multiple awards, qualified/competed state twice, captain junior year)
Model UN: 3 years (won multiple awards, won awards at Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkely, UChicago, Northwestern competitions, held executive position all 3 years)
School Newspaper: 3 years (editor-in-chief second and third years, section editor first year)
Band: 2 years (won two 1st place medals at soloist competitions outside of school as well, selected to play exclusive concerts at state level, played instrument for 6 years including the 2 years in highschool)
Marching Band: 2 years
Scholastic Bowl: 2 years
Literary Magazine: 1 year
RECOMMENDATION:
Got an amazing recommendation from my AP Lang. teacher.
JOB EXPERIENCE:
Tutor: 8 years
Babysitter: 6 years
Instrument Instructor: 3 years

Alright! That's about it. I'm getting pretty nervous at this point since the deadline is fast approaching. I'd really appreciate any information and advice concerning my chances in applying to the schools listed, applying for law, and applying as an American student in general. (:
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Vikingninja
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You need to contact these institutes about what scores they want from your tests or try and find on their websites.

With a transcript if you are referring to something like a personal statement where you talk about yourself and things you've done then there is something for that on UCAS.

Universities obviously require the grades to get in but you do sort of need to do extracurricular stuff in an application. Work experience and extracurricular activities show more about yourself and give you skills. In the personal statement you need to talk about the skills you have gained from your activities that are important in your course.
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aakro
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(Original post by Vikingninja)
You need to contact these institutes about what scores they want from your tests or try and find on their websites.

With a transcript if you are referring to something like a personal statement where you talk about yourself and things you've done then there is something for that on UCAS.

Universities obviously require the grades to get in but you do sort of need to do extracurricular stuff in an application. Work experience and extracurricular activities show more about yourself and give you skills. In the personal statement you need to talk about the skills you have gained from your activities that are important in your course.
Thanks for your response! Yeah, I'm conflicted between sending them bad AP scores and showing the universities I tried a college level examination- with passing scores- ever since I was a freshman or sending them bad scores and having that cloud the good in my application to the point of them refusing an offer. Decisions, decisions...
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aakro
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bump bump bump
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Free_Icecream_Yo
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For UK applicants, UCAS requires you to included all grades so I imagine it would be the same for International applicants also. But don't feel panicky about a couple bad grades. Explain them on your personal statement briefly by mentioning you were swamped with extracurricular and school work and say you've learned from that experience and will not allow that to happen at university. Trust me on this, I had quite low grades at AS due to personal reasons. I explained this in my statement (just in a sentence) and have been given offers by 2 Russel Group Unis and have an interview at Manchester, based off my previous academic achievement and predicted grades.

None of the Universities I've been given offers by have asked for proof of my grades.

Universities will largely look for the same things in applicants: a strong academic record (your SAT scores will be the most important), good references and the personal statement.

With your personal statement, keep it relevant to your course and don't feel the need to talk about absolutely every activity or hobby you have done. Focus on the ones directly related to law and explain those in a bit of detail. Talk about hobbies/activities unrelated to law much more briefly, just to show you have an actual life. But don't waste too much space on these.

If you ever feel unsure about your application, I suggest just contacting the Admissions Office of the Universities directly.

All the best of luck and Merry Christmas!
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aakro
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(Original post by Free_Icecream_Yo)
For UK applicants, UCAS requires you to included all grades so I imagine it would be the same for International applicants also. But don't feel panicky about a couple bad grades. Explain them on your personal statement briefly by mentioning you were swamped with extracurricular and school work and say you've learned from that experience and will not allow that to happen at university. Trust me on this, I had quite low grades at AS due to personal reasons. I explained this in my statement (just in a sentence) and have been given offers by 2 Russel Group Unis and have an interview at Manchester, based off my previous academic achievement and predicted grades.

None of the Universities I've been given offers by have asked for proof of my grades.

Universities will largely look for the same things in applicants: a strong academic record (your SAT scores will be the most important), good references and the personal statement.

With your personal statement, keep it relevant to your course and don't feel the need to talk about absolutely every activity or hobby you have done. Focus on the ones directly related to law and explain those in a bit of detail. Talk about hobbies/activities unrelated to law much more briefly, just to show you have an actual life. But don't waste too much space on these.

If you ever feel unsure about your application, I suggest just contacting the Admissions Office of the Universities directly.

All the best of luck and Merry Christmas!
Thank you! That was so helpful. So do you think it's better to not send the AP scores at all?
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Duke Glacia
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(Original post by aakro)
Thank you! That was so helpful. So do you think it's better to not send the AP scores at all?
i assume u havent looked at their website. On the KCL website heres what is written

For 2015 entry King’s will ask applicants from US high schools to meet two requirements:1) Applicants must study three subjects in-depth, including any subjects stated in our online prospectus as ‘compulsory’ for your course. We will therefore ask for three subjects atAdvanced Placement , or three subjects at SAT- S (or a combination of any three different subjects). Comparable requirements: UK A-level Comparable AP Comparable SAT-S A*AA 555 650+ in each subject AAA 555 650+ in each subject AAB 554 650+ in each subject ABB 554 600+ in each subject
2) In addition, all applicants must achieve strong scores in either the SAT-R or ACT. Comparable requirements: UK A-level Comparable ACT Comparable SAT-RA*AA 29 1950 (with minimum 600 in each section)AAA 28 1950 (with minimum 580 in each section)AAB 28 1900 (with minimum 580 in each section)ABB 27 1850

Advanced placements are acceptable ,but only in combination with other assesments.

Tbh AP is A level equivalent so not including it would hugely disadvantage you
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aakro
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(Original post by Duke Glacia)
i assume u havent looked at their website. On the KCL website heres what is written

For 2015 entry King’s will ask applicants from US high schools to meet two requirements:1) Applicants must study three subjects in-depth, including any subjects stated in our online prospectus as ‘compulsory’ for your course. We will therefore ask for three subjects atAdvanced Placement , or three subjects at SAT- S (or a combination of any three different subjects). Comparable requirements: UK A-level Comparable AP Comparable SAT-S A*AA 555 650+ in each subject AAA 555 650+ in each subject AAB 554 650+ in each subject ABB 554 600+ in each subject
2) In addition, all applicants must achieve strong scores in either the SAT-R or ACT. Comparable requirements: UK A-level Comparable ACT Comparable SAT-RA*AA 29 1950 (with minimum 600 in each section)AAA 28 1950 (with minimum 580 in each section)AAB 28 1900 (with minimum 580 in each section)ABB 27 1850

Advanced placements are acceptable ,but only in combination with other assesments.

Tbh AP is A level equivalent so not including it would hugely disadvantage you
Yep, I've looked at it before. Since it doesn't require both AP and SAT-S, I know I could technically get away with just SAT-S but I know that with a course as competitive as law maybe it's better to include both. Then again, the APs aren't great to begin with...but they're not horrible either, it's passing. So, to include the APs or not to include the APs? That is the question.
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AmazingArry
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(Original post by aakro)
Thank you! That was so helpful. So do you think it's better to not send the AP scores at all?
I think they will probably as if you have taken any AP s and ask you to provide scores in them. They want to see that you have studied significant content in that subject which a normal GED without AP probably doesn't reach the same amount of content and advanced study as A levels (rest of UK) or Advanced Highers (Scotland only) which they want you to demonstrate so you're on an equal or higher standing when you start the course. They'll also take into consideration what APs you took. You're probably going to have to email around to the law department for the respective universities that you want to apply for and ask for specific scores. Send them your transcript, just the academic info at first and if they ask for more, give them more. Also ask if you can make a direct application than through ucas as you're an international student. Some universities will let you do this, others won't as is the same with most things but if don't ask you won't find out. Make sure you meet the deadline for international students for Sept 2016 entry; they might be earlier or later than the UK and EU deadline. Different unis will have different deadlines for international students. So research, research, research. Try to get things done as quick as possible.

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aakro
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(Original post by AmazingArry)
I think they will probably as if you have taken any AP s and ask you to provide scores in them. They want to see that you have studied significant content in that subject which a normal GED without AP probably doesn't reach the same amount of content and advanced study as A levels (rest of UK) or Advanced Highers (Scotland only) which they want you to demonstrate so you're on an equal or higher standing when you start the course. They'll also take into consideration what APs you took. You're probably going to have to email around to the law department for the respective universities that you want to apply for and ask for specific scores. Send them your transcript, just the academic info at first and if they ask for more, give them more. Also ask if you can make a direct application than through ucas as you're an international student. Some universities will let you do this, others won't as is the same with most things but if don't ask you won't find out. Make sure you meet the deadline for international students for Sept 2016 entry; they might be earlier or later than the UK and EU deadline. Different unis will have different deadlines for international students. So research, research, research. Try to get things done as quick as possible.

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I wonder if giving them my grade (A for 90% of them) in the AP class would suffice, not the scores on the AP exam.
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Duke Glacia
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(Original post by aakro)
Yep, I've looked at it before. Since it doesn't require both AP and SAT-S, I know I could technically get away with just SAT-S but I know that with a course as competitive as law maybe it's better to include both. Then again, the APs aren't great to begin with...but they're not horrible either, it's passing. So, to include the APs or not to include the APs? That is the question.
call the UNI and ask them. Thats all i can say
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AmazingArry
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(Original post by aakro)
I wonder if giving them my grade (A for 90% of them) in the AP class would suffice, not the scores on the AP exam.
Get your AP lecturers to write references per exam taken and the most recent semester grades prior to the exams for internal assessment (pop quizzes, lab reports, any work that was under exam conditions)/ copy of your most recent report card. Get them to also verify that your heavy scholastic extracurricular activities schedule started to unbalance your academic schedule causing a drop in grades at the exam. Get them to suggest it first or it would look like you made it all up and you're making excuses it would look like you're teachers were being slightly biased to get the class average up. Still send in your grade s from the exam. APs ACT and SAT are externally marked so more appreciated that GPA. All UK Students have been taking externally marked exams for 4 years before they leave for University so having a somewhat more reliable testing method.

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aakro
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(Original post by AmazingArry)
Get your AP lecturers to write references per exam taken and the most recent semester grades prior to the exams for internal assessment (pop quizzes, lab reports, any work that was under exam conditions)/ copy of your most recent report card. Get them to also verify that your heavy scholastic extracurricular activities schedule started to unbalance your academic schedule causing a drop in grades at the exam. Get them to suggest it first or it would look like you made it all up and you're making excuses it would look like you're teachers were being slightly biased to get the class average up. Still send in your grade s from the exam. APs ACT and SAT are externally marked so more appreciated that GPA. All UK Students have been taking externally marked exams for 4 years before they leave for University so having a somewhat more reliable testing method.

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I thought you can only get one reference from a lecturer?!?!
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AmazingArry
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(Original post by aakro)
I thought you can only get one reference from a lecturer?!?!
If you took the direct application I'm not sure how many you're supposed to give but certainly for ucas you have only one. For the ucas, still get your one lecturer to mention the situation and your average semester grades.

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Vikingninja
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Gonna add my structure for the personal statement:
Introduction
Why I want to do a course (the largest)
Academic section with skills gained
Extracurricular and work experience section with skills gained
Conclusion section noting at the end my goals
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aakro
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(Original post by Vikingninja)
Gonna add my structure for the personal statement:
Introduction
Why I want to do a course (the largest)
Academic section with skills gained
Extracurricular and work experience section with skills gained
Conclusion section noting at the end my goals
Thanks!!
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mechanicsonejune
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZnLdrAvb4w
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