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JaanJaan Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
edited October 2007 in Harvard University
G'day all!

I'm in Ontario/Canada right now, and I need to start thinking about University. I'm going to apply in about a year but I will start studying soon to take the SATs.

Been in grade 11 two months now, I'm 15, 16 in march.

School-wise I have always had highest grades overall (95% average for the last 3 years). I have been a pianist for 11 years and basketball for 4. I'm trilingual (fluently). As a hobby I produce electronic music (mainly electro-house-trance).

I feel I am 'well rounded'.

University wise I think I would enjoy a top institution in the States, Canada bores me!

What do you guys think?
Is it good to start studying for my SATs now?

Post edited by Jaan on

Replies to: I am CANADIAN!

  • AileyAiley Registered User Posts: 698 Member
    actually, to avoid being swamped, spacing out your SAT Is and SAT IIs is a good idea, so taking the SAT I early to middle of your jr year if you can get it out of the way by doing well is a good plan (both my daughters took their SAT I for the first and last time Oct of their jr year, and found it a huge relief to have that marathon test out of the way so they could focus on APs, remaining SAT IIs, etc)

    don't forget you need 2-3 SAT IIs, depending on where you apply.
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    It's a good idea to start exploring when to take the SATs and SAT-IIs (I believe that they have been renamed Subject tests). While most US colleges do not require SAT-IIs, some of the most selective ones do; some require 2, a few require 3. Some require that they be distributed among different fields, others require 3 of your choice.

    The best time to take SAT-IIs is when you have completed the relevant course, so it is best to take them toward the end of the year, such as May or June. But you also need to make sure that your course covers what the SAT-II exam covers. So look up SAT-II books for the subjects in which you want to take SAT-II exams. Most likely, you will want to take a SAT-II Math. If you are headed toward a math/science major, your best bet is to take the Math Level 2 exam, provided that you've taken Pre-calculus.

    Most colleges now accept the ACT instead of the SAT; so consider which you would prefer taking, as they are administered at different times. In order not to crowd your calendar with too many exams at the same time, consider taking the SAT (or ACT) a month or so before the SAT-IIs (You can take up to 3 SAT-IIs in one session, but it is recommended that you take only 2 at one time owing to fatigue). Also, if you are taking APs and/or IB exams, factor that into your schedule. Taking the AP exam in a subject is usually good preparation for the SAT-II except for math (SAT-II does not have Calculus) or Physics C (which only covers Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism). So you could take some of the SAT-IIs in May and some in June, saving yourself some redundant preparation.
    This schedule would allow you to retake some of the exams in the fall if you wanted to improve your scores. Otherwise, you'd be done at the end of your junior year and could concentrate on the rest of your applications in the fall.
  • JaanJaan Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    Wow - thanks for the helpful replies!

    Keep in mind that I am in a public school, so course selection is limited, especially in sciences! Therefore I will be only relying on SAT study guides.

    For the SAT I, I will use Barron's and the official one.
    I still am undecided on which SAT IIs.

    I have also had only half a year of grade 9 and half a year of grade 10, as I was in Australia for last year. So I will complete high school in 3 years, plus the education system in Canada/Australia/US is WAY different. Should this hamper my performance? Or is it all about studying/knowledge.
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    The best way to find out is to check the curriculum covered by the SAT tests.
  • AileyAiley Registered User Posts: 698 Member
    I recommend using the curriculum guide as the master checklist, but any curriculum guide is so high level and general, it's hard to figure out to what depth to go to on those topics. Physics B is a good way to prep for SAT II Physics (using the Physics B prep books, and also the SAT II physics prep books). For Math, as marite says, the AP books aren't helpful, but just your textbooks upto Precalc/Trig will do the job, and then use the Math IIC prep books to get a feel for the test questions and do practice tests.
    btw, for SAT I, the better books than Barrons are Princeton Review and Kaplan. For the SAT II and APs, I found Barron's a disappointment across the board - PR and K were way better there as well.
  • chrisiskeychrisiskey Registered User Posts: 186 Junior Member
    I'm from a poor public high school outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia and am now a sophomore at Harvard. The only advanced courses my high school had were in mathematics. We had very limited offerings in science, i.e. only regular-level chemistry, biology, and physics in grades 11 and 12, plus basic science, ocean science, and geology. No IB. No AP.

    I still managed to score a 2380 on the SATI, and to get scores of 800 in chemistry, French, writing, and math level 2.

    Anything is possible. Never feel discouraged because of your high school's limitations. These tests are an opportunity to show what you're capable of, not to reflect whatever limits your high school might have.
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