im watching this japanese drama/show that's about these 6 kids from a high school that has an average test score of 36/100 aiming to go to the best university in Japan- Tokyo University.
unfortunately (or fortunately, depends on how you think of it), admissions into japanese universities are solely dependent on how you do on the national exam, so hs background, EC's, etc don't matter to them.
so, my inspirational advice is this, if they can make it into Tokyo University (the Harvard of Japan) by passing their entrance exam, i'm sure we all can get high SAT/ACT/SAT II scores with some perseverance that those hs students have, right?
they're drilling themselves hard and take many practice tests and etc. considering our SAT's and other exams aren't as hard as the japanese national entrance exams (trust me, our SAT's just test CR/M/W, their test has classic/modern literature, physics, math, and english questions on it), we can do it too!
(in reality, i'm in the middle of the show, so i don't know if they really make it or not, lol)