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Silverturtle's Guide to SAT and Admissions Success

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Replies to: Silverturtle's Guide to SAT and Admissions Success

  • Jimmy797Jimmy797 810 replies58 threadsRegistered User Member
    Quick question: Are AP's available to internationals? How can I take them?
    I'd literally never heard of them before until I started visiting CC, and my school gives no AP courses and has never mentioned those 2 letters to us. We don't even have separate math courses like calculus and such, it's just "math." And we learn everything from trig to calc to geometry in it.

    Also, I've said this before, but amazing guide and props to silverturtle for taking the time to write it.
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Is it possible to go from 1510 to a 1800+ within 4months on studying? I scored a 1510 because I was rushing through every question. When I took the QAS at home untimed I only missed 2 writing questions! Surprising!!

    It's definitely possible. Many CCers are exceptions to the general statistics about minor score increases. There are quite a few posters who have improved by several hundred points.
    Are AP's available to internationals? How can I take them?

    Yes, they are available for internationals. Talk to your guidance counselor.
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  • LightSourceLightSource 694 replies51 threads- Member
    Silverturtle, have you taken SAT Subject Tests yet?
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^ Yes, I have taken Math Level 2, Chemistry, and Literature. I will be taking Physics and US History in October.
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  • LightSourceLightSource 694 replies51 threads- Member
    ^Would you say Literature is by far the hardest? I'm deciding whether to take it or not.
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^ I did very poorly on it. I attribute this to four things: I did not try when taking it, I had not prepared in any way, old literature is not my strength, and the test is indeed quite difficult. If you are a frequent and engaged reader of older works, however, you could probably pull off a good score with little preparation. (Moreover, as you likely noticed in the guide, the curve is quite brutal.)

    If you are looking for tests that are safe-750+'s if you know the material, I recommend Math Level 2, Chemistry, Physics, or the history tests (plus Biology if you really know the content).
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  • SATnoobSATnoob 131 replies21 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    The Lit test was very very difficult for ME. It was almost like every question on there was a level 5 SAT CR question.
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  • SATnoobSATnoob 131 replies21 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    silverturtle, should i take the SAT in both October and November? I should just prepare for both SAT right now. Colleges will accept november scores for a UC correct?
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You should sign up for both October and November and retake in November if you are unsatistifed with your October score. (Unless you need to take Subject Tests instead.) All colleges that I am aware of accept November scores for RD. Many accept December scores, and some private schools even take January scores.
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  • LightSourceLightSource 694 replies51 threads- Member
    If you are a frequent and engaged reader of older works, however, you could probably pull off a good score with little preparation.
    I have recently started avidly reading classics. I hope this in enough preparation in that regard. I have heard that poems, weak points of mine, show up frequently on Literature, though.
    If you are looking for tests that are safe-750+'s if you know the material, I recommend Math Level 2, Chemistry, Physics, or the history tests
    I plan on taking all of those, but I want to take at least one test where 800 actually means much more than others (99 percentile for Literature).
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  • LightSourceLightSource 694 replies51 threads- Member
    You should sign up for both October and November and retake in November if you are unsatistifed with your October score.
    Can you cancel your registration for November if you do end up doing well in October?
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  • SATnoobSATnoob 131 replies21 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Well, you can "cancel" it by not actually going to the testing center.
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  • mook32mook32 123 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Wow, thank you silverturtle for actually taking the time to do something like this. Now I have two questions for you:

    When you mentioned "- I get that there is no minimum score requirement. But what's a good score?

    It's difficult to answer this quantitatively. But I would say that unhooked (I will elaborate on this term later) applicants with under 2100 or so on the SAT have an extremely low chance of being accepted unless the rest of their applications are very strong (outstandingly so). As your score falls much below that number, your chance very quickly, though asymptotically, approaches zero. Most unhooked acceptees' scores are probably around 2300 or higher. For SAT Subject tests, 750 or higher is a good score (with perhaps the exception of Math Level 2); this varies a bit from test to test, though (see here for percentiles). Below 700 is subpar for top schools.

    (For less competitive schools, looking at the schools' SAT ranges for accepted students can be a good indication of how your scores stack up. For top schools, these ranges should be ignored.)"

    did that apply only to top schools, such as Harvard, Brown, and Yale, or for all schools?

    You also mentioned that one should apply to as many schools, I only plan on applying to four schools. Am I making a foolish decision?
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  • SATnoobSATnoob 131 replies21 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    So November is for Regular Decision and October is for Early Decision right? It's best to take the October SAT then right?
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    So November is for Regular Decision and October is for Early Decision right? It's best to take the October SAT then right?

    November results could work for some early programs, but not most.
    did that apply only to top schools, such as Harvard, Brown, and Yale, or for all schools?

    My comments there refer only to the most selective schools.
    You also mentioned that one should apply to as many schools, I only plan on applying to four schools. Am I making a foolish decision?

    I would have to know more about your situation.
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  • SATnoobSATnoob 131 replies21 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Your chances increase to be accepted into a UC during Early Decisions right?
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  • Jimmy797Jimmy797 810 replies58 threadsRegistered User Member
    Yes, they are available for internationals. Talk to your guidance counselor.
    Already did, she knows nothing. My school is excellent when it comes to local decisions and information. It's horrible when it comes to international (by international I mean every country except mine) goings-on and such, bar the SAT.

    Supplementary questions: 1- Can I still take them despite my having not taken AP courses?
    2- I just finished junior year, so I'm applying to colleges this fall. Do the dates for the tests suit me?
    3- I'm mostly looking into MIT. Would you recommend going through the trouble of taking the tests? I know they're not a requirement. I'll also need to brush up on a couple of things - since we have no AP courses, I'm sure I'm not fully prepared for the test or its types of questions - and I might even be missing a few concepts that I'd need to study. This isn't a problem by any means, of course, as long as it would help my application. Any opinion on that matter?
    Disclaimer: I know practically nothing about AP tests so forgive me if I said something ignorant.
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Can I still take them despite my having not taken AP courses?

    Yes.
    I just finished junior year, so I'm applying to colleges this fall. Do the dates for the tests suit me?

    They can only be taken in May, so you will not be able to send any scores to colleges for admissions purposes.
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Your chances increase to be accepted into a UC during Early Decisions right?

    I am not very familiar with the UC system, but I am not aware of their having ED. Can anyone comment on this?
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  • ripemangoripemango 838 replies119 threadsRegistered User Member
    For SAT Subject tests, 750 or higher is a good score (with perhaps the exception of Math Level 2)
    So what is a good score for Math Level 2?
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