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    TL;WR: I have between now and about November to make my US application worthy of the likes of UCLA or (in my furthest dreams) Yale. Is there any chance of making this possible? What can I do?

    I have always wanted to apply to the USA for university, but it has literally only become a possibility for me this week! It's a bittersweet dream come true because at the start of the year I thought it was impossible so I gave up all my extra curricular's and things i was doing to be an "all rounder" and tried to focus on just grades, and then I was unwell during exam time so I don't think I did too well. Basically, the odds are stacked against me.

    I've been in touch with a private tutoring company who are going to attempt to get me ready for the ACT in time. Besides that, I've got:

    8 A's, 3B's in GCSEs
    taking english, geography, govpol and economics at A Level
    also taking an EPQ

    grade 6 piano
    grade 4 singing
    painting classes for 3 years
    drama classes for 6 years
    MUN leader
    school prefect, all the relevant helping out at school stuff that goes with it
    3 work experiences
    Tutored younger students
    helped at animal care centre for a year

    theres a fair bit of stuff here but i feel like non of it is substantial. any advice will be so, so, so appreciated. x
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    (Original post by abcdeffy)
    8 A's, 3B's in GCSEs
    taking english, geography, govpol and economics at A Level
    also taking an EPQ
    Ace the A level and ACT. The odds are stacked against you as an international applicant.
    grade 6 piano
    grade 4 singing
    painting classes for 3 years
    drama classes for 6 years
    Only useful if you are going into performing arts. Then again, I would expect more from someone aiming for performing arts, and for them not to apply to Yale/UCLA performing arts.

    MUN leader
    school prefect, all the relevant helping out at school stuff that goes with it
    3 work experiences
    Tutored younger students
    helped at animal care centre for a year
    Very useful. Should keep up with these. Leadership and volunteering are key to any North American university application.
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    (Original post by abcdeffy)
    TL;WR: I have between now and about November to make my US application worthy of the likes of UCLA or (in my furthest dreams) Yale. Is there any chance of making this possible? What can I do?
    Hi there,

    I echo much of what zombiejon wrote. Acing the ACT will vastly improve your chances (is the SAT not needed? - I'm not too familiar with it).

    Definitely look around more US specific forums. US universities love all types of volunteering and a diverse background. The more volunteering you do, the better of an applicant you'll be. Also enhance your skills in leadership or project roles. Starting a group project is an ideal and typical example.

    Be mindful that, whilst Yale is notoriously difficult to get into, UCLA is no walk in the park. It's one of the best public universities and many of my friends who were/are there have stellar grades.

    There are so many factors to the application and no one "perfect" recipe. Come across as an individual and as yourself, they want to see you, not the person you think you should be.

    Hope this helps,

    Scott
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    School of Engineering
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    (Original post by Glasgow Uni)
    Acing the ACT will vastly improve your chances (is the SAT not needed? - I'm not too familiar with it).
    Most schools accept grades from the ACT and SAT. Traditionally, the ACT was written in the mid-west, and the SATs were on either coasts.
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    (Original post by abcdeffy)
    TL;WR: I have between now and about November to make my US application worthy of the likes of UCLA or (in my furthest dreams) Yale. Is there any chance of making this possible? What can I do?

    I have always wanted to apply to the USA for university, but it has literally only become a possibility for me this week! It's a bittersweet dream come true because at the start of the year I thought it was impossible so I gave up all my extra curricular's and things i was doing to be an "all rounder" and tried to focus on just grades, and then I was unwell during exam time so I don't think I did too well. Basically, the odds are stacked against me.

    I've been in touch with a private tutoring company who are going to attempt to get me ready for the ACT in time. Besides that, I've got:

    8 A's, 3B's in GCSEs
    taking english, geography, govpol and economics at A Level
    also taking an EPQ

    grade 6 piano
    grade 4 singing
    painting classes for 3 years
    drama classes for 6 years
    MUN leader
    school prefect, all the relevant helping out at school stuff that goes with it
    3 work experiences
    Tutored younger students
    helped at animal care centre for a year

    theres a fair bit of stuff here but i feel like non of it is substantial. any advice will be so, so, so appreciated. x
    Seems very laundry list-y. Have you learnt anything from any of the activities you've done? Can you structure a story about how these things link up and why you're doing them? Are you able to talk at length in an introspective way to get across who YOU are to the adcoms? Have you made a significant impact in any of the activities you've done?

    These are all key questions because the essays you'll write on your applications will be far more important than the laundry list of ECs - particularly if you're applying to any top private schools.

    As for now, pray you get decent AS and smash your ACT. Keep building up responsibility in your ECs to the point where you can talk at length about trials and issues you've faced.

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