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Weird Academic Record: Chances at Elite Schools


Replies to: Weird Academic Record: Chances at Elite Schools

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 41,100 Super Moderator
    edited November 2018
    I'll just make another thread with the exact same stats but I will just say I scored a1450 on my SATs.
    You can say that you "hope" to score a 1450, but starting a thread stating that you scored a 1450 would violate ToS since users cannot misrepresent themselves.And starting any new thread now would also be against the rules if the thread is a repeat of the info provided here.

    As suggested, if you don't like a user's advice, feel free to ignore. But please don't argue every response because you on't like the answer.
  • svlab112svlab112 Registered User Posts: 477 Member
    Few thoughts.
    1. You’ll need to report (on your application) all classes taken including the pass/no pass or any failed classes courses. You don’t get to pick and choose.

    2. Try looking at the results threads from last year for your target schools. You’ll quickly see it’s impossible to “chance”. So many outstanding students get rejected.

    3. CS and Engineering is very competitive at many schools. The “average” stats won’t reflect this. For example. UC Berkeley has an over all acceptance rate of about 12% while EECS has about 7-6%.

    4. Try taking a practice SAT exam using test like conditions. One sitting, timed.

    5. The Oregon schools you have listed are less competitive. My kids who had top grades & test scores did get in and rejected at schools with <10% acceptance rates.

    6. Cal State and SDSU are also Californian state schools. You will get zero financial assistance and may run into the same a-g issues as UCs.
  • GoBears2023GoBears2023 Forum Champion Summer Programs Posts: 558 Forum Champion
    Supposing you got a 1400-1500 SAT score, everything you predicted will stay the same. HOWEVER, it would be in your favor if the score was 1500+ in order to be more competitive.
  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,120 Senior Member
    When you apply at the beginning of your senior year, your application will only show 9th-11th grades. So you'll have whatever 9th grade consists of in the opinion of whoever creates the transcript covering that grade - maybe all three years, maybe only the last one - with pass fail grades. You'll have 10th grade with your online school transcript showing all As in non-demanding classes. You'll have 11th grade, which appears to be starting off with more demanding classes and good grades. But you won't have anything but planned classes for 12th, and schools aren't going to just assume you'll pull all As in demanding classes and give you credit for that; they're going to judge you on the three completed years that are available to them.
  • FakeName1332FakeName1332 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member

    I didn't argue with every response.. if any at all. I completely understand that rule and will follow it. I was simply attempting to point out the weirdness of the situation-- I gave full numbers but wouldn't get a response because the number I gave wasn't a direct reference to my test. "If I didn't first say that I haven't taken the test, the responses would be flowing in with direct comments."


    2. Oh okay. My mistake. What is the point of "what are my chance" then? Just wondering, it's not a rhetorical question.

    3. That's great to know, thank you.

    4. Sounds good, I'll try that out when I have the time!

    6. Oh really? I'll check into that. I might have to rule out the entire state of California then.



    Y"our background has numerous red flags. Inconsistent academics, aspirational test scores , fairly pedestrian extracurriculars, unrealistic target schools, a history of emotional issues that has led to fluctuations in both results and rigor, ambiguity around financial need and an inflated sense of entitlement as evidenced by the following;"

    That is why I am here, to figure out the red flags and get a better target school. The inconsistent academics isn't really true, I have only one poor grade and ever since then I've been doing solid. Ambiguity around financial need is definitely a tough one and I apologize for that. Emotional issues isn't exactly how I would describe my past either, but that's a reasonable comment considering the information I gave. The sense of entitlement is an understandable opinion... Looking back on the thread, I poorly misjudged the community. This was more like a job interview than a conversation with someone I know, which I wasn't prepared for. I stand by the "no offense, I don't really think anything you said was credible" comment; without any information given, he suggested I look towards community college applications. I was asking for more information on it so I could judge it better. Not all advice is good advice, and I didn't really think what he said was credible, hence why I asked for some clarification. As for the comment "that's pretty dumb," I think I represented myself poorly. I just meant that it is kind of odd that people must know real-life accurate numbers rather than a number I provided to estimate. I could simply say that is what I got on my SATs and have no problem, that is why I find it kind of dumb. Probably not the best adjective to use, but I honestly didn't expect such a formal community such as this one-- my mistake. I'll work on my social awareness, although it is incredibly hard to do in an online setting where one or two comments can be completely misinterpreted. Where I am from, we use "dumb" in every third sentence... it's a bad habit that I have to break to become more professional.

    As for your standards, I believe I have been maintaining all of those (except maybe the SAT). I understand your point of view, I definitely look like a pompous ass in the eyes of most people here; that was a poor miscalculation on my part. A friend of mine recently got accepted into Harvard and he is exactly the person you are describing, I apologize for coming off like this. I feel as if I've been kind in every other wording of every other sentence, so I am surprised at the amount of backlash, but regardless I understand why you guys think of me like this.

    I appreciate your comments on the depression and future concerns. I definitely haven't really thought of it like this, so I will be careful when proceeding in the future.

    If you wouldn't mind, I'd love to hear some suggestions for extracurriculars! I don't really know what's a good or bad EC and how many to have; I just kind of do stuff that seems interesting to me and try my best at it.

    I do appreciate the reality check, even though some information was based on my inaccurate descriptions.

    Thank you.

  • FakeName1332FakeName1332 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member

    That's really good information. Thank you!!


    Great point. I'm kind of a wildcard applicant.. which definitely hurts my chances. I think what I have gathered is a great SAT score for me is really damn important. Considering the online environment, the lack of tough courses in grade 9/10, and the unknown element of my classroom performance.

    Thank you both!
  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,120 Senior Member
    The reason people need actual test scores (or even an estimate grounded in at least one practice test) is that your grades, such as they are, provide no useful information. A 4.0 in on-level classes and a 1000 SAT versus a 4.0 in on-level classes and a 1500 SAT really is the difference between a kid who is likely to be more successful at community college and a kid who could reasonably reach for a highly selective school. And right now you are a kid with a 4.0 in on-level classes and absolutely no idea which of those test scores is more likely, assuming it's entirely reasonable to reach for a highly selective school and bristling at the suggestion of community college.

    So go download a practice SAT, read the little packet that explains how the test works, take a timed practice test, and come back with the result.
  • FakeName1332FakeName1332 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member

    Will do!

    I don't think I was clear when I talked about why I posted this.. so I'll try to clear it up for anyone who might not understand.

    I wanted to know what my chances are if I have an x score on the SAT because I wanted to know what would happen if I performed poorly on it. It's a state of mind thing; something that reassures me I will be fine. When I take the SAT, it'd be awesome to know a target score and what schools I will be applying to if I don't do well. It would kind of relieve the pressure!

    The uncertainty has been killing me. Coming into this with no help or knowledge is really tough because I learn potentially life-changing information with every comment. Without my original posts on this forum, I likely would be looking at a local community college, now I am looking at elite schools across North America.
  • BKSquaredBKSquared Registered User Posts: 1,089 Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    Unless you have a strong hook like URM, first gen, the top schools will require a 1400/1450 SAT to be competitive at all, assuming a high GPA with rigorous course load. For the very top schools, that score is probably closer to 1500. As numerous other posters have suggested, take a practice SAT under strict time conditions to see what score you will likely obtain, and from there you can begin to form your list of safety, match and reach schools, with the understanding that the very top schools will be reaches for virtually every applicant, including ones with perfect GPA's, rigorous course load and perfect to near perfect test scores.
  • FakeName1332FakeName1332 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. This is a really basic question but what classifies as first gen? My dad didn't go to college and my mom went to a small Bible school in Canada.

    I totally understand that top schools are reach for every applicant. I just want to get to the point where I am competitive and the rest is in their hands! After all, if they don't select me then I wouldn't be a good fit there anyway!

    I appreciate the specific scores you gave, it's actually really helpful to know information like that.

  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 2,120 Senior Member
    If you do poorly, then, as you said in your original post, you go to college in Canada.
    Without my original posts on this forum, I likely would be looking at a local community college, now I am looking at elite schools across North America.

    All three of the threads you appear to have started named a slew of super reaches in the very first post. No one here put that idea in your head.
  • FakeName1332FakeName1332 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    @allyphoe I don't really understand what you mean, would you mind rephrasing that?

    To clarify, I was talking about how I learned a lot with this forum and I'm thankful for that. For example, my old thread taught me that I essentially need to take AP Physics and 3 years of foreign language to be considered for the schools on my list. Without this information, I would never have a chance at the schools on my list! I'm thankful.

    Also, that isn't quite what I said/meant. I said/meant that if I can't get into a top50-100 school in the US, I will probably go to school in Canada. The question was: if I do mediocre on the SAT, can I still get into these schools; I never said that if I do mediocre on the SATs I will go to school in Canada.
  • yucca10yucca10 Registered User Posts: 976 Member
    Just a few point regarding your ECs:
    National Society of High School Students and National Youth Leadership Forum don't mean anything, they are basically pay-for-play.
    National Honor Society membership is not such a big deal for top schools, let alone being denied from it.
    Learning a new coding language is something every serious CS-oriented high school student does, so this doesn't really distinguish you either.
    Hard to tell about your product and patent without knowing more, but this doesn't look like a definite result you can brag about.
    So no, your ECs will not distinguish you a your reach schools and will definitely not compensate for a poor SAT. I would advise you to concentrate on improving your test-taking skills and probably reorient to Canadian universities. UToronto and some others are really good in CS.
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