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What are my chances?

ThePhoGuyThePhoGuy 8 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
I am an 8th-grade boy from Vietnam applying for 9th grade. I'm aiming for top boarding schools (i.e. Andover, Exeter, Deerfield, Lawrenceville, Peddie, Choate, Hotchkiss, Middlesex, Milton, SPS, etc.)
The grades in my school are on a scale of 10. I've yet to find the full transcript, but here's what I remember from last year:
English: 10
Science: 10
Vietnamese LA: around 8.5
Math: about 9.5
P.E, Art, and Music are pass/fail, which I passed.
Average: 9.0 (Idk how it converts to GPA, so help me out please.)
I've been in my school's Gifted Math program for 2 years and will definitely join this year. I've published short stories which have been on youth magazines. My community service mostly includes serving dinner for cancer patients at hospitals during the summer and teaching English for free to small kids with my own club every weekend since I started school. Last summer, I spent every other weekend with my mom going on trips to exotic places. I'll say I'm quite good at navigating a new neighborhood, even for only a few hours or days, and I'm really quick to adjust to a new environment, if that helps my case at all.
I haven't taken an official SSAT, but my mock test scores are Q 685, R 760, V 645, adding up to 2090. I didn't get a percentile score, so please guesstimate one if you can. I'm planning to take a real SSAT this October; any tips?
Apart from English and Vietnamese (my native language), I can speak conversational German as well (I'll be sure to keep learning though). I'm learning French and Spanish and thinking about picking up Mandarin and Japanese. I'm interested to see how they and other languages are connected to one another, hence I'm into etymology and linguistics.
I play soccer, basketball, tennis, and badminton, but just for fun. I'm a tad more serious for swimming (I know 3 of the 4 common strokes, but just couldn't get the hang of the backstroke for some reason >:( ), but I'm definitely not getting medals anytime soon.
I play intermediate piano and basic guitar and drums. I'm really into music theory, which I use to compose my own pieces. I'm focusing on classical and marching music right now (I already have a super-short piece up, it's here: https://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/6a4fdf0e22b8bbe3ca0fd3ab014c1fd5dc0dcf4c . Tell me what you think!), but I'm going to expand to jazz, blues, and possibly rock in the near future.
I'm also amassing a database of the old Vietnamese Nôm alphabet, for one of my goals as an adult is to recover the Nôm and petition to make it an accepted witing system nationwide, on par with the Latin-based alphabet we already have.
Which of the schools I mentioned above would I stand the best chance of getting into? What do I need to work on? And do tell me about some equally excellent schools that I haven't heard of. Thank you for reading through my post, and have a great day! :)
13 replies
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Replies to: What are my chances?

  • ThePhoGuyThePhoGuy 8 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hey... Anyone?
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1351 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I would expand your set of schools. Also, the schools to which you are applying will understand your 1-10 grading system. If you are lucky, they may even have had other students from your school in previous years. Your EC's seems excellent and well varied. Your SSAT scores are very low for those schools. The English portion is understandable given you are not a native speaker but the math portion should be even more solid. Remember they want to ensure that you excel. Do you have someone at your current school who knows about US boarding schools? If not, I'd work on getting your scores up and writing good essays.
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  • ThePhoGuyThePhoGuy 8 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @Happytimes2001 I agree, those SSAT scores are horribly low for these schools, and I'm trying to improve them. What do you suggest I do?
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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 41 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited August 23
    @ThePhoGuy You have an interesting background for the application but, yes, SSATs are HUGE for these schools. I personally recommend buying the SSAT.org study materials. I found them a better value than the independent guides. My own son had to prep for the Mathematics portion. We also used the SSAT.org materials with a Math tutor (the English side was fine for him) once a week for six sessions or so. It made a big difference to tackle the high school level concepts he had not studied.

    All of the schools you mention are essentially 15-20% acceptance rates WITH 90%+ SSAT scores. Expanding your reach is also a good idea. Your resume (outside SSAT scores) would be interesting to many, many schools.
    edited August 23
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  • ThePhoGuyThePhoGuy 8 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @PrepDad2018 Thanks! I'll definitely check them out. I also found myself weak on Math, so yeah, why not give it a try? :)
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 364 replies25 threadsRegistered User Member
    For verbal, look up SSAT vocab quizlet online or purchase an SAT (yes, the actual SAT) power vocab book. I went through the latter and got an 800 on verbal.
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  • ThePhoGuyThePhoGuy 8 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @squ1rrel Thanks, I'll check them out. I've also heard of the ACT; what do you think of it? Does it have its own vocab set? I appreciate your answer(s).
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 364 replies25 threadsRegistered User Member
    @ThePhoGuy ACT is for college admissions; you don't need to worry about it for HS admissions. ACT doesn't have verbal, and neither does SAT. SAT Power Vocab is useful for the Reading/Writing.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1351 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'd suggest you work on the SSAT and look at other schools. There are a lot of great schools out there.
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  • ThePhoGuyThePhoGuy 8 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Sorry for the late reply, but thanks for the suggestions, everyone!
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  • Ih8testsIh8tests 4 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Two things I would recommend working on (since you asked "What do I need to work on?"):

    1) Definitely, you need to improve your SSAT scores.

    If you can afford the online program on ssat.org, master that! There's a lot available for the ~$70. It's a bit more affordable than a tutor. If you can afford a good tutor, do that as well. Quizlet was already recommended, but I've created some lists in the past here: https://quizlet.com/class/1118029/ - there are plenty more under the id "sanli." In terms of math, there are plenty of resources. If you get desperate, I can list some if you provide what you've already used.

    2) Your organization skills (in communicating)

    People have very little time in life. Your original post was a large description just mashed together. Look at this https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/prep-school-chances/2049434-phillips-exeter-phillips-andover-st-pauls-what-are-my-chances.html and you'll potentially see why she was accepted beyond her incredible background. You need to communicate efficiently with every opportunity you have -- even though there are many here who are casually reading these posts, we're more compelled to sift through the clear and interesting thoughts and questions. It's natural.

    I like your background and I would agree with most of what's said thus far. However, if you want to get into the "top top" programs, I would continue climbing higher and exploring more regardless of your acceptances or denials to all these. A post I wrote on Quora about how to get into Harvard shows you some examples of what to do. Search "How do I get into Harvard as an undergrad? quora" and my answer set will be most likely the 2nd one that starts off with: "#1 Become the valedictorian of Stanford’s Online High School..."
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  • ThePhoGuyThePhoGuy 8 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @Ih8tests Thanks! I'll look into your resources and posts, for sure. And wow, her exams, ECs, everything is insanely amazing! If that's last year, imagine this year's applicant pool... *sigh*
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  • Ih8testsIh8tests 4 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Good luck regardless!
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