Difficulty of Harvard Watch

Swayum
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Looking at Harvard's admission criteria, they want you to pass SAT or ACT and 3 SAT II subjects. I just tried some SAT II Biology and Maths questions (first time) and I only got 1 wrong in each - they're much easier than A-levels. So as far as the academic requirement goes (on the basis of exams), it doesn't seem very hard.

So what exactly is hard about getting into Harvard? How does it compare with Oxbridge? I would say that with Oxford, the difficulty is the interview + admission test + tough competition against students with straight As at AS and lots of A*s at GCSE. Do all Harvard applicants tend to have very good SAT scores, much like most successful people applying to Oxbridge have at least 4 As at AS? What is the difficult part of the admission process?

I ask out of ignorance, not out of arrogance.

Let's assume money is not an issue here (for any applicant).
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nk9230
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I wouldnt compare Harvard to Oxbridge. Even tho its at the top of the list, Oxbridge holds there applicants to I think a higher standard. Applying to Harvard is highly competitive, and they have one of the lowest accpetance rates in the U.S ( the lowest being The Juilliard School at 7%) Most of the Harvard applicants have excellent SATS, higher than a 2100 I believe, as well as the the 3 SAT II's if not more. Moreover, class rank and GPA is a HUGE consideration.

They do look at IB and AP. I would check other Foreign Requirements tho.
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Teofilo
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I think they take into account extra-curricular activities and all that as well as just academics. You also probably have to virtually perfect scores since you were in secondary and SAT scores need to be really high.. I have a friend who tried and failed to get in from the UK..

It is the greatest university in the world and all..
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Teofilo
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(Original post by nk9230)
I wouldnt compare Harvard to Oxbridge. Even tho its at the top of the list, Oxbridge holds there applicants to I think a higher standard. Applying to Harvard is highly competitive, and they have one of the lowest accpetance rates in the U.S ( the lowest being The Juilliard School at 7%) Most of the Harvard applicants have excellent SATS, higher than a 2100 I believe, as well as the the 3 SAT II's if not more. Moreover, class rank and GPA is a HUGE consideration.

They do look at IB and AP. I would check other Foreign Requirements tho.
What's the highest your SAT can be? I thought it was 1600..
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strawberry
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they've changed from 1600 to 2400
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nk9230
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(Original post by Teofilo)
What's the highest your SAT can be? I thought it was 1600..
nope.
a new writing section was added, and now its 2400- each section is 800 pts.

This change causes many of the smaller colleges to only look at the 2 original portions, or not weigh the SATS as much.
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Jean-Paul Sartre
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they want an all around amazing applicant, there was an article in the NY Times, I believe, that had some of the stellar applicants who got rejected from harvard. Some had 2200+ SATs, published in scientific journals, won awards, etc. it's tough to get in.

And on some of the SAT IIs getting one wrong can drop your score from 800 to 770. I got one wrong in the math section of the SAT and got a 750, harsh curve that testing day.
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εїз pinga εїз
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(Original post by Jean-Paul Sartre)
they want an all around amazing applicant, there was an article in the NY Times, I believe, that had some of the stellar applicants who got rejected from harvard. Some had 2200+ SATs, published in scientific journals, won awards, etc. it's tough to get in.

And on some of the SAT IIs getting one wrong can drop your score from 800 to 770. I got one wrong in the math section of the SAT and got a 750, harsh curve that testing day.
:eek:

How how how would a person our age manage that

Am I completely out of the loop here? Should I have had something published?



OP I'm also considering Harvard (as I'm taking a gap year due to illness that disrupted my a-levels) and am very confused about everything

Don't bother e-mailing them, I tried and was given an automated response not even related to the question I was asking :mad:

What other US colleges are you considering?
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Teofilo
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(Original post by Jean-Paul Sartre)
they want an all around amazing applicant, there was an article in the NY Times, I believe, that had some of the stellar applicants who got rejected from harvard. Some had 2200+ SATs, published in scientific journals, won awards, etc. it's tough to get in.

And on some of the SAT IIs getting one wrong can drop your score from 800 to 770. I got one wrong in the math section of the SAT and got a 750, harsh curve that testing day.
That's madness. What was your SAT score?

Georgetown is the business as well...
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Swayum
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I'm not really sure I even want to apply yet, to be honest. In fact, I don't really want to go to America. I'm just curious, really. I was sort of just hoping I could be like "Yeah, hey, I got 4 As at A-level, I got a distinction in the AEA, I've passed STEP I and STEP II; when can I start?". Chances are though, I'm not getting those grades anyway :p:.
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Lothar Warlock
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(Original post by Swayum)
Looking at Harvard's admission criteria, they want you to pass SAT or ACT and 3 SAT II subjects. I just tried some SAT II Biology and Maths questions (first time) and I only got 1 wrong in each - they're much easier than A-levels. So as far as the academic requirement goes (on the basis of exams), it doesn't seem very hard.

So what exactly is hard about getting into Harvard? How does it compare with Oxbridge? I would say that with Oxford, the difficulty is the interview + admission test + tough competition against students with straight As at AS and lots of A*s at GCSE. Do all Harvard applicants tend to have very good SAT scores, much like most successful people applying to Oxbridge have at least 4 As at AS? What is the difficult part of the admission process?

I ask out of ignorance, not out of arrogance.

Let's assume money is not an issue here (for any applicant).
For the SAT, i've been told that you need to score more than 2300 to be a realistic applicant. And that isn't easy at all. Most A-level students who score AAA can't surpass this benchmark. Harvard is actually A LOT harder to gain entry to than you think. Definitely as hard to get into as Oxbridge, possibly even harder.

But first: which major are you considering?
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Lothar Warlock
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And yes, as Jean-Paul said, Harvard (in fact all American universities) want all-rounded students. My HE officer describes UK universities as academically demanding, but US are both academic AND extra-curricular demanding. So if you're lacking in sports, creativity, service (charity work), then.... all I have to say is good luck. You'll need it.
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Teofilo
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You don't have to declare a major for the first two years (or this rule not apply with harvard)

That fact alone nearly convinced me go to America (Georgetown)..
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Lothar Warlock
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(Original post by Teofilo)
You don't have to declare a major for the first two years (or this rule not apply with harvard)

That fact alone nearly convinced me go to America (Georgetown)..
First year only, actually. I'm just 'wondering' what major he wants to do, as he'll need to mention it in his application essay.
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Swayum
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I want to do Maths at university. On top of Further Maths A-level, I've taken 3 harder-than-A-level Maths exams. You would think that that'd count for something but apparently not.
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Lothar Warlock
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(Original post by Swayum)
I want to do Maths at university. On top of Further Maths A-level, I've taken 3 harder-than-A-level Maths exams. You would think that that'd count for something but apparently not.
Actually, I don't think it would count for something. It's not about the subjects you took, it's about how good you were with them. One further thing I need to add: *expect* to be rejected. Like you would at Oxbridge.
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Lothar Warlock
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OH ONE FURTHER IMPORTANT THING: American Universities dislike the UK A-level system. They prefer IB and AP a lot more.
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Swayum
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As far as extra curriculars go, do they just want a long list or do they want you to really excel at what you do (like being a world champion rower or some really good rugby player)?
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Lothar Warlock
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(Original post by Swayum)
As far as extra curriculars go, do they just want a long list or do they want you to really excel at what you do (like being a world champion rower or some really good rugby player)?
They want a wide range of activities and strong evidence of dedication and commitment.
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jew unit
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They seem to go for a number of intabgible qualities. Getting into Oxbridge is much harder academically, but Harvard seems to pick an interesting range of candiadates so guys who are academically gifted (sometimes published) may not get in.
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