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Need to do well in AP classes or similar for good chances at top 100 schools

sattutsattut 1012 replies82 threads Senior Member
I have helped a number of students get high SAT scores and so on, but I have found that will only go so far without the right transcript. I am a tutor not an admissions adviser, so am not an expert on this.

However, I recently worked with a student who got 1350 combined SATs and a 710 on the math level II exam. Her parents had her do a lot of SAT prep, which paid off. However, she had a 3.7 unwaited and only a few AP classes. She didn't do that well in AP classes and or have high scores on AP exams. She got into several top 200 schools, and was waitlisted at 2 top 100 schools.

I worked with another student. Initially, I helped him improve from C to A in honors Algebra II. Then we did a lot of math SAT prep and eventually he got 780. I think he had 670 verbal. He was in all AP classes, or mostly the hardest available, but he told me he had really bad grades. Again, he didn't get into top 100 schools.

So generally, my experience indicates that you need to do well in AP or similar classes to have a chance at top 100 schools. For top 30 schools, you generally need almost all As in almost all AP classes, with high scores on AP exams and SAT subject tests. I know ECs and so on are important, and there are lot of intangibles, as well as money and connections, involved in Ivy and such admissions.

However, my experience is that, unless you have big hooks like recruited athlete, to have a shot at good colleges, you need a good high school record in hard classes. It is hard make up for the lack of that with SAT scores, ECs, etc.
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