US International Applicant to UK Schools Advice

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USstudent124
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Hello,

I am a rising senior looking to study history in the UK. I was planning on applying to top unis in the UK (especially cause my family lives there), but I just got my AP scores back today and need some advice. I'll put my stats below.

GPA: 4.87 weighted & 4.0 unweighted

AP: Human Geography (5); United States History (5); English Language & Composition (4); Art History (4).

SAT: have not taken yet due to COVID (but normally score around 1520 on practice tests)

SAT Subject Tests: scheduled to take world history in December and US History in October

I also have some experience with history out of the classroom, which I think sets me apart from other applicants. I won a prestigious history research paper award, secured a research internship at the New-York Historical Society, and was accepted into the National Academy of American History and Civics at the Gilder Lehrman Institute.

Overall, I'm not really sure where I should apply because of my AP scores. I have two 4s, which puts be in a sticky situation. The school's I'm thinking of applying to are UCL, Manchester, St. Andrews, Oxford, and LSE. Should I change anything. Any advice? I'm taking APs next year, so maybe they'll give me a conditional offer? Idk tho because I think the two 4s will disadvantage me, especially at Oxford. Thanks in advance.
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mnot
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(Original post by USstudent124)
Hello,

I am a rising senior looking to study history in the UK. I was planning on applying to top unis in the UK (especially cause my family lives there), but I just got my AP scores back today and need some advice. I'll put my stats below.

GPA: 4.87 weighted & 4.0 unweighted

AP: Human Geography (5); United States History (5); English Language & Composition (4); Art History (4).

SAT: have not taken yet due to COVID (but normally score around 1520 on practice tests)

SAT Subject Tests: scheduled to take world history in December and US History in October

I also have some experience with history out of the classroom, which I think sets me apart from other applicants. I won a prestigious history research paper award, secured a research internship at the New-York Historical Society, and was accepted into the National Academy of American History and Civics at the Gilder Lehrman Institute.

Overall, I'm not really sure where I should apply because of my AP scores. I have two 4s, which puts be in a sticky situation. The school's I'm thinking of applying to are UCL, Manchester, St. Andrews, Oxford, and LSE. Should I change anything. Any advice? I'm taking APs next year, so maybe they'll give me a conditional offer? Idk tho because I think the two 4s will disadvantage me, especially at Oxford. Thanks in advance.
You will need to go on every universities websites & look at international applications. This will then tell you the minimum academic standards they will consider.
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mike23mike
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(Original post by USstudent124)
Hello,

I am a rising senior looking to study history in the UK. I was planning on applying to top unis in the UK (especially cause my family lives there), but I just got my AP scores back today and need some advice. I'll put my stats below.

GPA: 4.87 weighted & 4.0 unweighted

AP: Human Geography (5); United States History (5); English Language & Composition (4); Art History (4).

SAT: have not taken yet due to COVID (but normally score around 1520 on practice tests)

SAT Subject Tests: scheduled to take world history in December and US History in October

I also have some experience with history out of the classroom, which I think sets me apart from other applicants. I won a prestigious history research paper award, secured a research internship at the New-York Historical Society, and was accepted into the National Academy of American History and Civics at the Gilder Lehrman Institute.

Overall, I'm not really sure where I should apply because of my AP scores. I have two 4s, which puts be in a sticky situation. The school's I'm thinking of applying to are UCL, Manchester, St. Andrews, Oxford, and LSE. Should I change anything. Any advice? I'm taking APs next year, so maybe they'll give me a conditional offer? Idk tho because I think the two 4s will disadvantage me, especially at Oxford. Thanks in advance.
I had a look at LSE and they are seeking AAB at A level which translates to 3AP at grade5 and 2APs at grade 4. You seem to have taken 4 APs; 2 at grade 5 and 2 at grade 4. Honestly, you should call the unis directly but my guess is that you don't have the grades for most of the unis you listed. Sorry.
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USstudent124
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(Original post by mike23mike)
I had a look at LSE and they are seeking AAB at A level which translates to 3AP at grade5 and 2APs at grade 4. You seem to have taken 4 APs; 2 at grade 5 and 2 at grade 4. Honestly, you should call the unis directly but my guess is that you don't have the grades for most of the unis you listed. Sorry.
I’m taking more exams next year.... which they will consider. If I need 3 APs at grade 5 and 2 APs at grade 4 then I need one more 5 next year.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by USstudent124)
I’m taking more exams next year.... which they will consider. If I need 3 APs at grade 5 and 2 APs at grade 4 then I need one more 5 next year.
As is I'd say Oxford is probably a no-go, the others maybe. Oxford I believe expect 5 APs at grade 5, so if you want to apply there I'd probably suggest you plan to take a couple AP classes next year if you can...I might be inclined to recommend taking one in European and/or World History if you can in particular as well, since that is the majority of what a history degree in the UK will cover (unless it's a specific course like UCLs History & Politics of the Americas).

Bear in mind that the academic side of the application, as far as Oxford (or Cambridge) is concerned is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for admission. That is, you need to meet the minimum academic requirements, and those cannot in general be ameliorated by additional extracurricular (or "supercurricular") work (at least before you are made an offer), however just meeting those requirements does not guarantee you an offer (or potentially even an interview).
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
As is I'd say Oxford is probably a no-go, the others maybe. Oxford I believe expect 5 APs at grade 5, so if you want to apply there I'd probably suggest you plan to take a couple AP classes next year if you can...I might be inclined to recommend taking one in European and/or World History if you can in particular as well, since that is the majority of what a history degree in the UK will cover (unless it's a specific course like UCLs History & Politics of the Americas).

Bear in mind that the academic side of the application, as far as Oxford (or Cambridge) is concerned is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for admission. That is, you need to meet the minimum academic requirements, and those cannot in general be ameliorated by additional extracurricular (or "supercurricular") work (at least before you are made an offer), however just meeting those requirements does not guarantee you an offer (or potentially even an interview).
IIRC, Oxford only require three APs at 5, plus a SAT of 1470.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by RogerOxon)
IIRC, Oxford only require three APs at 5, plus a SAT of 1470.
Oh you may be right...I recall one of Cambridge and Oxford require 5 APs, it might've been Cambridge then!

OP would still need at least one more AP at grade 5 though
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aajigml
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(Original post by USstudent124)
Hello,

I am a rising senior looking to study history in the UK. I was planning on applying to top unis in the UK (especially cause my family lives there), but I just got my AP scores back today and need some advice. I'll put my stats below.

GPA: 4.87 weighted & 4.0 unweighted

AP: Human Geography (5); United States History (5); English Language & Composition (4); Art History (4).

SAT: have not taken yet due to COVID (but normally score around 1520 on practice tests)

SAT Subject Tests: scheduled to take world history in December and US History in October

I also have some experience with history out of the classroom, which I think sets me apart from other applicants. I won a prestigious history research paper award, secured a research internship at the New-York Historical Society, and was accepted into the National Academy of American History and Civics at the Gilder Lehrman Institute.

Overall, I'm not really sure where I should apply because of my AP scores. I have two 4s, which puts be in a sticky situation. The school's I'm thinking of applying to are UCL, Manchester, St. Andrews, Oxford, and LSE. Should I change anything. Any advice? I'm taking APs next year, so maybe they'll give me a conditional offer? Idk tho because I think the two 4s will disadvantage me, especially at Oxford. Thanks in advance.
Hello, I'm also an international student and I applied to UK unis with AP and SAT scores so I hope I can help!
Out of the unis you have listed I have applied to UCL and have been accepted there with a condition of 55544 (no SAT score required). I had 2 5s before application, and I stated that I will take 4 more AP exams this year, so those were considered as 'pending' scores. I asked several admissions offices last year, and they all said that predicted/pending scores are considered equally, so don't worry if you don't have them yet! Most UK students get offered based on their predicted A-Level scores as well. And you're right, it's likely you will receive a conditional offer if you have not met the requirements before application.
In the case of Oxford, I don't think your 2 4s will be a disadvantage, rather the numbers of 5s matter more, I believe. How many APs are you planning to take next year? If you want to increase your chances, I suggest that you focus on getting a few more 5s! (Even if 3 5s are the minimum, I have heard that most students that get accepted have at least 5 5s. No proof here! Just what I've heard!)
As for other unis, I think it's probably enough to meet the minimum. Each school and subject have different requirements; England mostly requires at least 3 APs (5 for UCL) and Scotland requires SAT + 2 APs (which you've already achieved). If you go into the international student admissions page (USA) of each uni, you can see the exact required scores. And if you have more questions, you can always e-mail the admissions office!
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RackAhBohm
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Hi, I’m so glad to see this thread as I’ve found myself in the same situation.

I am an American looking to apply to UK universities this year to read Japanese (just Oxford and Edinburgh) but I’m not sure if my AP situation as of yesterday will put me at a disadvantage.

I have grade 5 in World History, American History, American Government, Calculus BC, and Japanese, but grade 4 in European History, English Language, Microeconomics, and Biology. For Oxford, my five 5s exceed the requirement of three, but would the four 4s put me at a disadvantage? I also plan to take the SAT subject tests for Korean and Chinese this November, which I am fairly confident I can receive 700 on (have been studying both languages for 3 years), as well as four AP tests next year. I have 1480 on the SAT, but plan to retake it in the fall.
Last edited by RackAhBohm; 3 weeks ago
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USstudent124
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(Original post by aajigml)
Hello, I'm also an international student and I applied to UK unis with AP and SAT scores so I hope I can help!
Out of the unis you have listed I have applied to UCL and have been accepted there with a condition of 55544 (no SAT score required). I had 2 5s before application, and I stated that I will take 4 more AP exams this year, so those were considered as 'pending' scores. I asked several admissions offices last year, and they all said that predicted/pending scores are considered equally, so don't worry if you don't have them yet! Most UK students get offered based on their predicted A-Level scores as well. And you're right, it's likely you will receive a conditional offer if you have not met the requirements before application.
In the case of Oxford, I don't think your 2 4s will be a disadvantage, rather the numbers of 5s matter more, I believe. How many APs are you planning to take next year? If you want to increase your chances, I suggest that you focus on getting a few more 5s! (Even if 3 5s are the minimum, I have heard that most students that get accepted have at least 5 5s. No proof here! Just what I've heard!)
As for other unis, I think it's probably enough to meet the minimum. Each school and subject have different requirements; England mostly requires at least 3 APs (5 for UCL) and Scotland requires SAT + 2 APs (which you've already achieved). If you go into the international student admissions page (USA) of each uni, you can see the exact required scores. And if you have more questions, you can always e-mail the admissions office!
Hi, thank's so much for your reply! I appreciate it. Next year I plan on taking AP European History, AP US Government, AP Environmental Science, AP Statistics, and AP English literature. However, I will only be sitting the Euro, Gov, Enviro, and Stats exams--for literature, I will be taking the dual-enrollment college exam instead. Do you think they will only ask for 5s on relevant exams like Euro and Gov? Thanks!
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Oh you may be right...I recall one of Cambridge and Oxford require 5 APs, it might've been Cambridge then!

OP would still need at least one more AP at grade 5 though
Speculating (I haven't checked), it may be possible to mix APs and SAT subject tests.

EDIT: I checked (here) - you can mix them, so it's at total of three:
- APs at 5
- SAT subject tests at 700+

Plus 1470+ in the SAT (or ACT equivalent).
Last edited by RogerOxon; 4 weeks ago
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by USstudent124)
Hi, thank's so much for your reply! I appreciate it. Next year I plan on taking AP European History, AP US Government, AP Environmental Science, AP Statistics, and AP English literature. However, I will only be sitting the Euro, Gov, Enviro, and Stats exams--for literature, I will be taking the dual-enrollment college exam instead. Do you think they will only ask for 5s on relevant exams like Euro and Gov? Thanks!
You only need to meet Oxford's entry requirements (e.g. three APs at 5 plus a 1470 SAT score), including predicted grades for exams still to be taken. They do not care about your GPA, and don't ask for it, or your High School transcript.

They will place more weight on the History Admissions Test (and any interviews) than your APs and SATs, assuming that you meet the entry requirements. Be aware that Oxford is a "roll of the dice" application - there's a lot of competition, but they do an in-depth assessment at each stage of the process, which many other universities don't. This allows you a chance to shine, beyond your grades.

Other top universities place more importance on qualifications, so you will need to check their entry requirements carefully. Good luck.

They're all going to be quite expensive in terms of fees. London is also a very expensive place to live.
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aajigml
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(Original post by USstudent124)
Hi, thank's so much for your reply! I appreciate it. Next year I plan on taking AP European History, AP US Government, AP Environmental Science, AP Statistics, and AP English literature. However, I will only be sitting the Euro, Gov, Enviro, and Stats exams--for literature, I will be taking the dual-enrollment college exam instead. Do you think they will only ask for 5s on relevant exams like Euro and Gov? Thanks!
You should check the pages for your subject at each uni - I think humanities majors like history require or recommend at least one exam to be essay-based. Though since three of the APs you took are essay-based and one of them received a 5 this probably won't be a matter of concern!
Or they might specify which subjects they want you to get a 5 in - though I think this happens mostly to students applying to STEM subjects, as they need to prove their academic skills in physics and maths. I don't think they'll only ask for 5 on relevant exams, but if they do ask for specific subjects, they'll probably be Euro and Gov, so it would be wise to focus on those Good luck on your exams!
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