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Hi, I'm a US Student looking to apply to Cambridge in the admissions cycle of 23-24 (current senior in HS considering a gap year). I was wondering if someone could give me a brief overview of the process for a US student - particularly the Natural Science course - and what it takes to be admitted from the US. I've reviewed the admissions page extensively but I'm unfamiliar with a lot about the UK process and it's difficult to try and line everything up for myself as an American applicant. I can offer any specific info about my grades/APs/ACTs if it will help to clarify.

Thanks in advance for your time
Original post by Parzi145
Hi, I'm a US Student looking to apply to Cambridge in the admissions cycle of 23-24 (current senior in HS considering a gap year). I was wondering if someone could give me a brief overview of the process for a US student - particularly the Natural Science course - and what it takes to be admitted from the US. I've reviewed the admissions page extensively but I'm unfamiliar with a lot about the UK process and it's difficult to try and line everything up for myself as an American applicant. I can offer any specific info about my grades/APs/ACTs if it will help to clarify.

Thanks in advance for your time

Have you read their International Undergraduate Guide 2023, here? It contains a lot of useful information to get you started. I realise that you say you have "reviewed the admissions page extensively", but given that you're also asking for a "brief overview of the process" I assume that you may not have come across this document. If you have any specific questions once you've read it, the fire away.

See this page (and then select United States of America from the drop-down list) for some vague clues about the relevant entry requirements for US students. They recommend that you contact the Cambridge college to which you intend to apply for specifics (as they may vary between colleges), but give the following general guidance:

"Typically, suitable evidence of preparation for entry would comprise a minimum of five Advanced Placement (AP) Scores at grade 5, normally taken within two years of matriculation and with particular focus on APs that are taken in subjects related to the course applied for. In addition, high passing marks on your school qualification (eg the relevant US High School Diploma) and a high score on the SAT (I) Reasoning Test or ACT, are expected. Applicants taking these tests are required to disclose all tests taken and scores achieved (including retakes). Failure to disclose any scores may disadvantage your application, and Cambridge Colleges reserve the right to contact ACT, College Board or your school to confirm your results."
Reply 2
Original post by DataVenia
Have you read their International Undergraduate Guide 2023, here? It contains a lot of useful information to get you started. I realise that you say you have "reviewed the admissions page extensively", but given that you're also asking for a "brief overview of the process" I assume that you may not have come across this document. If you have any specific questions once you've read it, the fire away.

See this page (and then select United States of America from the drop-down list) for some vague clues about the relevant entry requirements for US students. They recommend that you contact the Cambridge college to which you intend to apply for specifics (as they may vary between colleges), but give the following general guidance:

"Typically, suitable evidence of preparation for entry would comprise a minimum of five Advanced Placement (AP) Scores at grade 5, normally taken within two years of matriculation and with particular focus on APs that are taken in subjects related to the course applied for. In addition, high passing marks on your school qualification (eg the relevant US High School Diploma) and a high score on the SAT (I) Reasoning Test or ACT, are expected. Applicants taking these tests are required to disclose all tests taken and scores achieved (including retakes). Failure to disclose any scores may disadvantage your application, and Cambridge Colleges reserve the right to contact ACT, College Board or your school to confirm your results."

Hi, thank you for getting back to me. What I meant was that the requirements for most of the courses are aligned for the UK and I was wondering what an overview of applying from the US would require. Basically, what sort of ACT score and how many/what subjects of APs would be best? In terms of ACTs I have a 35 Superscore with a 36 on English, 35 on Math, 35 on Reading, and 34 on Math across 2 tests (though I emailed them and it seems like they're not sure of what a superscore is). I also don't know if the 34 subscore on science would hurt me

Additionally, I know Cambridge only takes 5s but the page also mentions that the scores must be achieved within 2 years (or that its preferred). I am a senior and I took AP Biology in 9th grade and got a 5, AP Chem in 10th grade and got a 5, and I'm planning to take the BC Calculus, AP Physics I, and AP Environmental science tests this May - which obviously I'll need all 5s on. Would they accept those scores? Also, I know that it asks for a minimum of 5 5s but I've been told that you absolutely need more to be competitive from the US. I have only one other 5 in AP US history but I don't see that it would help as on the admissions page it mentions that the AP tests must be relevant to the course applied for.

I'm also curious how much the GPA would matter for my application? I have a 3.90/4 unweighted right now and I'm not sure how much they look at individual classes. I'm also unsure how much the reference matters because at the moment I doubt I could have a very strong one from my school teachers but if I could supplement it with research mentors - one of which I worked was from the UK - I feel that it would be a much stronger application.

I know there's a lot more to getting an interview and being accepted but at the moment I'm just trying the best way to fulfill all the basic criteria so that I'll stand a chance!

Thanks in advance

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