I spoke to a Admissions officer today, and she happened to come across my Application interestingly she began speaking about. I never asked her to, just called to get an answer, but she asked for my name, and began going over it with me. Then she said, "you might be thinking right now as we speak that due to your low test scores you have no chance, will in honest truth, when we have students like that, we look deeper into their application, give it more time to see what they have to say about such low scores, and from what I see, you even have a recommendation letter targeting this area". Awkward I know, my SAT was at a 1650, however, I had a reason for such low scores. Harvard does not only look at tests like some say, but they look at your maturity level, and how you handle specific situations like mine. So, as long as you have something described in your essay explaining why you had those scores there is a chance!
Sorry if I construed that incorrectly, I was being sarcastic in a general sense. I don't actually think that'll happen, rather I'm mocking the person with a 2340 SOMEWHERE that is panicking about their scores. Silly rabbit, trix are for kids.
Peazeful, from all the languages you listed and the fact that you made an 800 on the SAT Chinese subject test, I get the impression that you are probably not a native English speaker, are you? As I'm sure you know, the critical reading and writing portions of the SAT are very difficult for students who grow up speaking English. If English is not your first language, it is not at all shocking that you were unable to make a 2000+ on your SAT, because 2/3 of the SAT has to do with having a lot of experience with the English language.
I think that if you turned in a really solid essay along with all of the statistics and extra curricular activities you mentioned, you stand as good a chance as anyone else. It's true that most 1800 applicants wouldn't be considered seriously, but you have an incredible application, and if you are not a native English speaker I would imagine the would be lenient about your test scores.
if you are not a native English speaker I would imagine the would be lenient about your test scores.
That's possible in exceptional cases, but generally, the admissions office does not need to do that because more than enough international students who grew up speaking languages other than English score above 2200 on the SAT.
^Polyglot just happens to be a great example. He's not allowed to toot his own horn, so I will...
I agree that peazeful has a good-looking application. However, one must keep in mind that the SAT is not just a number to maximize to reach a benchmark for admission. Even if an applicant has stellar ECs, an 1800 probably indicates that he or she is unable to handle the rigor of classes at the nation's top universities. Peazeful, even if you get in, you are going to be held responsible for being competitive with a classroom full of SAT 2200+ students and you will have to take tests far harder than the SAT. Is this something you are willing to face just to go to Harvard?
Last edited by felixfelicis; 03-05-2011 at 05:11 PM.
English is not your first language, it is not at all shocking that you were unable to make a 2000+ on your SAT, because 2/3 of the SAT has to do with having a lot of experience with the English language.
Aleader, there are many many students that don't have English as their first language but still score well above 2000 on the SAT.
Also, peazeful, with a SAT below the 25% percentile, an 1800 is certainly going to hurt you. The fact that you are an asian female just makes it worse. So, don't be too surprised if you end up not getting in.
Thanks to all those who replied to this thread, I greatly appreciated it .
Aleader, thanks for your reassurance and such detailed reply, and yes you're 100% correct, I'm not a native English speaker and got to America a couple of years ago. Thank you for your support and your recognition, I sure hope they will consider my application seriously, but even if they don't I have tried my best and showed myself in ways I wanted to show it. Thank you again for your support!
Meteman, my ECs might seem like a laundry list and there are a lot going on. But I have to say for all the ECs I've done and am still doing, I put all my efforts and time into it, definitely not as you said just "laundry list". Excluding my academics, I spend literally 80% of my time on my ECs and in helping my school at auctions, open houses, and anything I can contribute to the community and my surroundings. This is of course one of the reasons why I scored so low on the sat, as I want to have myself dive into the world as to taking sat courses and practices and make myself into a sheet of test scores. When other people are studying the sat over the summer, I chose to go to Harvard for the summer school there, and studied two courses earning 8 college credits. While the last summer I went to Barcelona to study abroad and strengthen my Spanish. Also, as I mention, writing and history/world affairs are my passions, and I have been writing since 2006. I already have a 5 year author contract with my agent and the company and my book is going to be published once I finished it. Moreover, depending on their budget, the book might be made into a film once it is done. I have been traveling a lot engaging in debates and world affairs as well, I actually came back from China and Harvard from a world-wide conference. I see those as recognitions of my dedication to my ECs, and not just a bunch of names without true fulfillment. If the ADC doesn't see my dedications and doesn't think that those what I am truly interested in, then Harvard might not be the place for me. But either way, I appreciate your reply and thank you for giving me your opinion.
@felixfelicis, thank you for your reply and your concerns are absolutely valid. As I mentioned, I have gone to Harvard SSP and one of the reasons why I went was that I wanted to see how I can handle college courses especially at Harvard, I also wanted to experience the college life there to see if that's the place I want to be at. I ended up taking two courses there and my grade for both courses were B's, which is a high passing grade and I was then a sophomore. It might seem like summer school have courses that are easier but in reality those are real college courses and lectures that I will be facing in freshmen year, at least that's what the professors and adc told me at Harvard. So I am assuming if I did well sophomore year, I have confidence to face any challenges that are going to be there when I go to Harvard. Of course, these are no reasons as to why I score so low on my SAT, all I can say it I was willing to sacrifice my scores for the majority of my time to go to my passions and ECs and my school. In any case, thanks for your concern and reply!
The stereotype that many seem to have is that Asians should (and many did) score really high on the SAT and have stellar grades, me on the other hand might be the opposite. If these ECs and stats don't seem to fit the Harvard profile, and that there are more than enough students with 2200+ scores, then maybe I don't stand a chance. But whether or not I stand a chance, these stats of mine and ECs are reflections of who I am and considering I do have high grades in school, it might not be hard to see I'm a anti-test person. But the SAT might just be something that I definitely didn't put enough time in, and if that's what it takes for me to reach my time now, then I can just say I don't regret it. I wish I had a higher score, but if that means to sacrifice anything I have now, then I don't need the higher score. Hopefully Harvard is going to see that that's who I am, and if they consider it carefully and still think I don't fit the profile, then I'm ok with not getting in. I'm sure out of the 10+ top schools I applied to, one will recognize me without obsessing over my low scores. Hopefully that's the case, and thank you to everyone who replied to this thread, you guys gave great thoughts!
The people on this board have made some very good points. It's likely that I'm wrong and that Harvard will not consider the fact that English is not your first language. I would hope that I am right, but none of us are Harvard admissions officers, and none of us can say what will happen. It's admirable that you have given this your best shot, and I wish you the very best of luck. You seem like a very driven and intelligent person, so I'm sure you will succeed wherever you end up, Harvard or elsewhere. Best of luck.
Oh, and also, I just have to say, for someone who is not a native English speaker, a 600 is very nice indeed on an English Literature test. My friend who ONLY speaks English only managed a 630 on Lit on her first try. =)