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Solid SAT Subject Tests but not good SAT 1 what are the chances?

sidshah9sidshah9 46 replies7 threads Junior Member
edited November 2014 in Harvard University
So here's my stat : Math1 : 750 Chem: 780 Physics :800
But the worst part is, my SAT 1 is 1940. Math:760 Writing:620 and CR:560( :( )

So what are my chances for Harvard? I applied REA
edited November 2014
16 replies
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Replies to: Solid SAT Subject Tests but not good SAT 1 what are the chances?

  • gibbygibby 10541 replies249 threads Senior Member
    Honestly: Unless you are a high ranked recruited athlete, extremely low (sorry).

    Here's why: High math/physics scores, but low writing/reading scores indicate that English is not your first language. Your scores show you would have difficulty with the reading and writing load on Harvard's campus. That's the first thing Admissions is going to notice and it's going to make them question everything else in your file. Although Harvard doesn't require the TOEFL, you might want to consider taking it to prove your English proficiency.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 42310 replies8428 threads Super Moderator
    For REA, I would say 0%. The question will be whether you are deferred or flat-out rejected.

    Your subject test scores are quite good; your CR+W scores are not. Unfortunately, I do not believe one will offset the other. If you are not able to retake the SAT and/or take the ACT in time for RD consideration (and even if you are), hope you have some safeties lined up. Good luck.
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  • sidshah9sidshah9 46 replies7 threads Junior Member
    yea I am taking the TOEFL and they do say that Subject tests cover up for your low SAT scores.
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  • sidshah9sidshah9 46 replies7 threads Junior Member
    and I am international, applying from India
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  • gibbygibby 10541 replies249 threads Senior Member
    and they do say that Subject tests cover up for your low SAT scores.

    ^^I'm not aware of Harvard saying that. What William Fitzsimmons has said is somewhat different
    We have found that the best predictors at Harvard are Advanced Placement tests and International Baccalaureate Exams, closely followed by the College Board subject tests. High school grades are next in predictive power, followed by the SAT and ACT. The writing tests of the SAT and ACT have predictive power similar to the subject tests.

    However, given that your Writing and Critical Reading scores are probably below that of most of recruited football or basketball players at Harvard, your SAT Subject Test scores WILL NOT "cover up" for your SAT scores.
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  • sidshah9sidshah9 46 replies7 threads Junior Member
    "Students whose first language is not English and those less familiar with standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT can often demonstrate their academic progress more effectively by also submitting Subject Tests. International students generally benefit from submitting Subject Tests and should take them if possible as they are unlikely to be admitted on the basis of SAT or ACT alone." as quoted on Harvard's website
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  • gibbygibby 10541 replies249 threads Senior Member
    Okay, but this too is from Harvard's website: https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/application-process/international-applicants
    A strong knowledge of English is essential for successful study at Harvard, including the ability to understand and express thoughts quickly and clearly. Although you are not required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or other proficiency exams, you may submit your scores if you have done so.
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  • Falcon1Falcon1 1919 replies31 threads Senior Member
    If they do "cover up" low SAT scores, I imagine that they would want to see something like a very high SAT Lit or AP English score to offset a low CR score. All your high scores are in math and science only. @gibby and @skieurope have given you sound advice. If you are serious about studying at a top college in the US, you should retake the SAT I and show that you have the reading and writing skills to succeed. Best of luck to you!
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  • sidshah9sidshah9 46 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I'm trying the ACT in December
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  • Falcon1Falcon1 1919 replies31 threads Senior Member
    I'm afraid that just getting a high TOEFL score won't be enough. All the US applicants are fluent in English (at least they should be!), but that doesn't mean they have the requisite reading comprehension and writing skills. That is what the SAT I (however flawed) attempts to measure. As an international, you will given a little slack, but not much. Especially, coming from India where English is pervasive.
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  • sidshah9sidshah9 46 replies7 threads Junior Member
    How about a good ACT score? and I have already taken the SAT twice. I also have uploaded The First Certificate in English I received from Cambridge University.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 42310 replies8428 threads Super Moderator
    International students generally benefit from submitting Subject Tests and should take them if possible as they are unlikely to be admitted on the basis of SAT or ACT alone." as quoted on Harvard's website
    The challenge, as @Falcon1 correctly pointed out, is your subject tests are all in math/science. Even if you are a potential STEM major, if admitted to Harvard, you will still have to take gen ed courses outside of STEM, one of which is Expository Writing 20. Harvard admissions wants all its accepted applicants to be able to succeed in Harvard courses. Your test results, however, do not indicate that you are prepped to succeed in a Harvard humanities class.
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  • gibbygibby 10541 replies249 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    ^^ @aranshghs: Unless your AP scores also appear on your transcript, colleges have no way of knowing your scores.

    FWIW: In most cases, an AP test is the culmination of an AP class, and Admissions Officers know that. If an AP class appears on your transcript, but you don't self-report the AP test, an Admissions Officer might think:

    (A) The student didn't have the money to take the test
    (B) The student didn't care enough to take the test
    (C) the student didn't do well on the test -- as in they scored a 1 or 2

    While the first excuse is certainly valid and acceptable -- and one look at a student's zip code might rule-in or rule-out that option -- the latter two excuses do not bode well for a student in the applications process. So, if you've taken an AP test and scored a 3/4/5, I always advise student's to self-report the scores.
    edited November 2014
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  • sidshah9sidshah9 46 replies7 threads Junior Member
    How about the First Certificate in English ?
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  • gibbygibby 10541 replies249 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2014
    ^^ All students at Harvard, regardless of major, must complete 9 General Education courses (including Expository Writing) that require STRONG reading and writing skills . Why don't you test yourself: http://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/strategies-essay-writing

    Read each of the links nested in the above link and ask yourself, "If admitted, will I be able to do the reading and writing work that Harvard requires? Will I be able to read 200 to 300 pages a week for one course and understand the material? Will I be able to write a 10-page English paper in several days? Will my lack of English proficiency drag my grades down from an "A' to a 'C'?"
    edited November 2014
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  • GhosttGhostt 1648 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Harvard has plenty of Indian (and other international) applicants with your profile and 2300+ SAT scores (and, for that matter, better subject scores). Sorry, but you're not getting in.
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