surferdude2911
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I am currently going into year 12 and i have decided to take maths, further maths, physics and economics. I am planning to do engineering at University. I wanted to take the SAT and SAT subject tests as well as my 4 a levels. How should i go about Taking these tests because i know you cant do both the SAT and sat subject tests on the same day. Should i take the SAT subject tests before or after the SAT? Or should i do the ACT instead of the SAT. If i take the SAT subject tests i am planning to take Maths 2 and Physics. Can someone help?
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Humairazaman
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(Original post by surferdude2911)
I am currently going into year 12 and i have decided to take maths, further maths, physics and economics. I am planning to do engineering at University. I wanted to take the SAT and SAT subject tests as well as my 4 a levels. How should i go about Taking these tests because i know you cant do both the SAT and sat subject tests on the same day. Should i take the SAT subject tests before or after the SAT? Or should i do the ACT instead of the SAT. If i take the SAT subject tests i am planning to take Maths 2 and Physics. Can someone help?
Hi, I'm in the exact same situation as you apart from the fact that i'm gonna do bio or chem instead of econ. Have you started preparing for SATs yet? After the research I have done, I've found out that the best time to do the SATs and subject tests would be the towards the end of year 12 or even before december this year. This way you'll know your strengths and weaknesses and you can retake whichever ones you want to improve on. this is also helpful as if you have your ideal scores before summer you can apply for early action. I haven't really started prepping for the SATs as I'm more concerned about my Alevels and GCSEs right now however I'll start hardcore after results day in August. Which unis are you thinking of? My top one is MIT as it's known for engineering. Have you got any relevant work experience/ECs? Have you considered Oxbridge?

Feel free to PM!
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artful_lounger
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It doesn't really matter what order you do the SAT/subject tests in. The SAT vs ACT thing is a matter of preference; try both practice tests on their respective websites and see how you feel about them. Neither requires subject specific knowledge except for maths, however it may be worth noting the ACT math section requires some topics only covered in A-level FM normally (some basic complex numbers and matrices topics), so that may be worth bearing in mind in terms of timing.

I would probably recommend that you aim to take the main SAT towards the end of year 12/over the summer before year 13, then that leaves you time to take the subject tests and/or resit the main SAT and/or take the ACT. If you've covered some basic material on complex numbers and matrices by the end of year 12 you could look at taking the ACT as well as the SAT around the same time.
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surferdude2911
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(Original post by Humairazaman)
Hi, I'm in the exact same situation as you apart from the fact that i'm gonna do bio or chem instead of econ. Have you started preparing for SATs yet? After the research I have done, I've found out that the best time to do the SATs and subject tests would be the towards the end of year 12 or even before december this year. This way you'll know your strengths and weaknesses and you can retake whichever ones you want to improve on. this is also helpful as if you have your ideal scores before summer you can apply for early action. I haven't really started prepping for the SATs as I'm more concerned about my Alevels and GCSEs right now however I'll start hardcore after results day in August. Which unis are you thinking of? My top one is MIT as it's known for engineering. Have you got any relevant work experience/ECs? Have you considered Oxbridge?

Feel free to PM!
Thanks for the reply! I have looked at Top Unis like MIT too, im considering Stanford, California Berkeley and other such prestigious Universities. I am going to apply to both UK Universities and US Universities, theres no downside to that. So i have considered Oxbridge too, I am planning on joining my schools engineering societies and other super curricular activities in year 12 because from my research ive found getting work experience for engineering is quite difficult to come by. I think im going to take my SAT in spring next year now and the Subject tests closer to next summer. Keep me posted if you find any useful information for us, thanks.
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surferdude2911
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
It doesn't really matter what order you do the SAT/subject tests in. The SAT vs ACT thing is a matter of preference; try both practice tests on their respective websites and see how you feel about them. Neither requires subject specific knowledge except for maths, however it may be worth noting the ACT math section requires some topics only covered in A-level FM normally (some basic complex numbers and matrices topics), so that may be worth bearing in mind in terms of timing.

I would probably recommend that you aim to take the main SAT towards the end of year 12/over the summer before year 13, then that leaves you time to take the subject tests and/or resit the main SAT and/or take the ACT. If you've covered some basic material on complex numbers and matrices by the end of year 12 you could look at taking the ACT as well as the SAT around the same time.
Thanks for the ideas, I think ill take the SAT, and im planning to do the SAT during spring and the subject tests closer to summer, then if i need to retake any of them I will have enough time to. Im going to try and do early action too. Do you know any Prestigious Universities that dont use common app? I know that all of them will include extra questions in addition to common app but do you know any that dont use Common App at all? Also do you know where i actually need to request the application and submit it? Thanks
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by surferdude2911)
Thanks for the ideas, I think ill take the SAT, and im planning to do the SAT during spring and the subject tests closer to summer, then if i need to retake any of them I will have enough time to. Im going to try and do early action too. Do you know any Prestigious Universities that dont use common app? I know that all of them will include extra questions in addition to common app but do you know any that dont use Common App at all? Also do you know where i actually need to request the application and submit it? Thanks
I believe a lot of them don't use the common app...it's typical that you have to apply directly to colleges in the US. Normally the application information (and forms, typically online) are available on the individual admissions pages of the colleges in question.
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pet973
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(Original post by surferdude2911)
Thanks for the ideas, I think ill take the SAT, and im planning to do the SAT during spring and the subject tests closer to summer, then if i need to retake any of them I will have enough time to. Im going to try and do early action too. Do you know any Prestigious Universities that dont use common app? I know that all of them will include extra questions in addition to common app but do you know any that dont use Common App at all? Also do you know where i actually need to request the application and submit it? Thanks
Please note that because of COVID a lot (over 1500 at last count, including most Ivies) of US schools have gone test optional, so depending on your targets, you might not even have to take the main SAT/ACT. Make sure to check on each school website though.
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by pet973)
Please note that because of COVID a lot (over 1500 at last count, including most Ivies) of US schools have gone test optional, so depending on your targets, you might not even have to take the main SAT/ACT. Make sure to check on each school website though.
I think this is only for people applying this year, it won't apply for OP unless the US in still in the current state of mess a year from now, in which case OP should seriously reconsider whether they still want to go there.

Also OP, don't forget to consider financial aid when applying. As an international student you won't get much or anything from Berkeley, MIT require you to fund a few thousand dollars of your studies each year even if you receive full financial aid, and Stanford is technically need-based admission though my understanding is that in practice it's closer to need-blind.
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pet973
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
I think this is only for people applying this year, it won't apply for OP unless the US in still in the current state of mess a year from now, in which case OP should seriously reconsider whether they still want to go there.

Also OP, don't forget to consider financial aid when applying. As an international student you won't get much or anything from Berkeley, MIT require you to fund a few thousand dollars of your studies each year even if you receive full financial aid, and Stanford is technically need-based admission though my understanding is that in practice it's closer to need-blind.
A lot of schools (like the California Unis, Caltech etc, many LACs) seem to be moving towards test optional even beyond 2021, adding to the large list of schools that have moved that way over the past few years. I'm sure many will not go back, there seems to be a growing consesus that SAT/ACT are not great predictors for anything, and contribute to racial/socioeconomic bias.

Re the fin aid: true for Berkeley, almost impossible to get aid, and not substantial anyway (same is true for all state unis- UCLA, UCSD etc etc.
MIT and Stanford, though super-hard to get in, can be very generous (and can easily end up being cheaper than UK unis if your family's income is sub 100k), as can many other private Unis, from Ivies to LACs, literally hundreds of them.
The need-blind/need aware debate is a false problem- need-aware schools can easily be as generous as need-blind, they just stick to a fixed budget for Internationals. That's ALL it means- but if accepted, they will offer you similar money to Harvard/Yale (if they offer to cover full need of course, which many, many do). I know, because I, and almost half of my graduating class, got need-based scholarships from dozens of different PRIVATE schools. (stay away from State Unis like Berkeley, they can't fund Internationals). You of course have to build a good list of candidate schools, and work hard on the applications, but it's doable.
If you search through my old posts on different threads, I shared a list of schools (not including Ivies) that offer generous aid to International students. GL
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ry7xsfa
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(Original post by surferdude2911)
Thanks for the ideas, I think ill take the SAT, and im planning to do the SAT during spring and the subject tests closer to summer, then if i need to retake any of them I will have enough time to. Im going to try and do early action too. Do you know any Prestigious Universities that dont use common app? I know that all of them will include extra questions in addition to common app but do you know any that dont use Common App at all? Also do you know where i actually need to request the application and submit it? Thanks
MIT isn't on CommonApp. But quite a lot are. For MIT, you can get their application at my.mit.edu

For CommonApp colleges, you can use apply.commonapp.org

Restating what a lot of other people have said here, state schools generally don't offer financial aid to international students. If you're going into year 12 and meet the requirements, I would definitely recommend the Sutton Trust US Programme. They're really helpful with your applications and knowing which colleges to apply to.

A note regarding testing: most colleges are going test-optional for the next few years because of COVID-19. With that said, I took the ACT in June 2019, and had time to resit it in September 2019 (at the start of year 13). I don't recommend re-taking the exams if you can avoid it. it put me under a lot of pressure with the added work I was getting in Year 13. Retake if you have to, but don't put off studying for your first attempt with the logic that you can retake if needed. I took my SAT Subject Tests (Math II and Physics) in November 2019. This didn't give me time to resit if I needed, but I actually found myself to be unprepared for these even having taken a few months of year 13. Keep in mind that this is the latest acceptable test date for applying early action/decision in most cases, but most colleges will look at January test scores for regular decision. If you feel you can get yourself prepared in year 12, by all means, go for it.

(Original post by pet973)
The need-blind/need aware debate is a false problem- need-aware schools can easily be as generous as need-blind, they just stick to a fixed budget for Internationals. That's ALL it means- but if accepted, they will offer you similar money to Harvard/Yale (if they offer to cover full need of course, which many, many do).
I don't know if I would say it's entirely a false problem in that if the budget is reached, you won't get in. But it's not a big problem at all. A school being need-aware shouldn't put you off of applying. I was admitted to a need-aware school this year and received a very generous aid package, so their status doesn't mean that they won't give aid, just that they can't for everyone.
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pet973
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(Original post by ry7xsfa)
I don't know if I would say it's entirely a false problem in that if the budget is reached, you won't get in. But it's not a big problem at all. A school being need-aware shouldn't put you off of applying. I was admitted to a need-aware school this year and received a very generous aid package, so their status doesn't mean that they won't give aid, just that they can't for everyone.
True, but all the -very very few- need-blind schools have hard caps (generally between 7-10%) on the number of International students they admit, so you could easily get stuck in the same situation, just on a different limit. In general, it's a very small number of borderline candidates that might get caught up by the budget limits (which obviously have some flexibility), most often if they want you, then it's not an issue.
I simply don't understand while many people automatically apply only to need-blind schools, discarding need-aware as if they would not meet their scholarship needs.
Well done on getting accepted, btw- how are you getting on with the Visa, if u need one?
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ry7xsfa
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(Original post by pet973)
True, but all the -very very few- need-blind schools have hard caps (generally between 7-10%) on the number of International students they admit, so you could easily get stuck in the same situation, just on a different limit. In general, it's a very small number of borderline candidates that might get caught up by the budget limits (which obviously have some flexibility), most often if they want you, then it's not an issue.
I simply don't understand while many people automatically apply only to need-blind schools, discarding need-aware as if they would not meet their scholarship needs.
Well done on getting accepted, btw- how are you getting on with the Visa, if u need one?
That's true. It isn't worth avoiding need-aware schools just because they're need-aware. If they want you, they'll make sure you can get there.

Thanks. I've filled in all the necessary forms but atm there are no interview appointments available in London because of COVID-19 and the travel ban.
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pet973
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(Original post by ry7xsfa)
That's true. It isn't worth avoiding need-aware schools just because they're need-aware. If they want you, they'll make sure you can get there.

Thanks. I've filled in all the necessary forms but atm there are no interview appointments available in London because of COVID-19 and the travel ban.
Same here looks like I’ll have to decide soon between taking either a semester or the full year gap...
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ry7xsfa
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(Original post by pet973)
Same here looks like I’ll have to decide soon between taking either a semester or the full year gap...
I'm sure your college will have something in place for if you can't get the visa because of this. It's just a matter of preference with online learning I guess.
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~David~
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Apologies for lateness and possibly being off topic, but is the CollegeBoard.org site broken for anyone else when they try to register for a SAT? The page is mostly blank and nothing is clickable... It might be that I did not put my school when making an account? (It was not on the list)
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ry7xsfa
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(Original post by ~David~)
Apologies for lateness and possibly being off topic, but is the CollegeBoard.org site broken for anyone else when they try to register for a SAT? The page is mostly blank and nothing is clickable... It might be that I did not put my school when making an account? (It was not on the list)
Seems to be working okay for me
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