Another 'What are my chances?' Thread (UK Student)

<p>Hi, I'm from the UK (Year 12) and wanted to know my REALISTIC chances of getting into a place like Yale... I haven't really done much SAT practice or anything so I can't really feel I can compare things like SAT scores...</p>

<p>I got 10 A*s and 1 A at GCSE with 1/4 of my Modules being at 100% (A being in Music)
This was the 2nd highest in my year of around 130.
I am currently taking AS Levels in English Literature, Maths, Further Maths, History and Geography</p>

<p>Academic / School Extras:
I have been elected School Councillor in Year 9 and Year 11.
I am co-run the Creative Writing Club at my school.
I have been selected to participate in the UKMT Team Maths Challenge each year.
I attend additional Maths classes on a Monday Lunchtime delving into undergraduate level stuff.
I won the 1st Achievement Award for my year two years running.
I won the School Poet Laureate Award, after having pieces of my work published both nationally and regionally.</p>

I am member of a Senior Choir and a Chamber Choir, exploring both modern and classical music and have performed in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall because of this.
I am an active member of my local theatre group, taking title roles in Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella.
I have recorded tracks for charity albums at Parr Street Studios, Liverpool.
I have organised / performed in a number of local concerts / gigs. (I am a singer/songwriter who plays guitar / piano)
I have undertaken a Young Leaders Course.
I have completed the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
I am one of the Worship Leaders at my church.
I play the Oboe in the School Orchestra and am working towards my Grade 8 Exam</p>

<p>I can't really think what else to write... PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE be honest!!!!!!!!!
Is there anything you'd recommend in order for me to improve my chances...</p>


<p>Congrats on your great A level results! Being 2nd in your class is also good.
A couple of questions to ask...Have you taken the most rigorous course load possible? If not, try to adjust, although I realize you are in year 12 and will have trouble making adjustments to your schedule now.
How significant ARE your awards? This is something that you need to ask yourself.</p>

<p>Also, I would be careful with things such as 'I haven't really done much SAT practice or anything so I can't really feel I can compare things like SAT scores...' I am assuming you are British and are English mother-tongue. Are you sure you are exempt by universities from SATs and SAT subject tests? I always thought that only non-native English speakers were exempt. It is not quite the case that all Americans do SAT practice and that colleges will keep in mind 'oh he isn't American, he will have lower SATs.' I would think that they would expect you to put in the extra work and study a little yourself; most Americans do this as SAT prep is, for most, prohibitively expensive. (I.e. at my school in Madrid, for 4 hours prep once a week for a month, one pays the equivalent of roughly 1200 GBP.)</p>

<p>Also, I can see you have a lot of interests. Writing, mathematics, and music. But can you write a really brilliant essay showing your passion for a single one of them? While Yale likes students with a wide range of interests, they also like people who sort of throw themselves at a passion of their's.</p>

<p>You have an advantage because you enjoy writing. A great essay is what makes an application stands out (all admissions officers will say this,) so put a lot of time into what you write!</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>EDIT: Sorry, I just realized from another thread that you are not in your final year of high school. That changes things!!!
Definitely take your SATs seriously. Don't give yourself any slack because you're international - you should be at the same level as American applicants.
(By the way, I just noticed that you play the <em>oboe.</em> Great! That's a very challenging and rare instrument and it stands out a lot more than guitar and piano. I would say that high qualifications in oboe ability is a very cool attribute.)
Try to reach the top of your school. I realize this is like 'easier said than done', but really this makes a big difference. It may mean half a grade higher in one class, but #1 looks way stronger than #2.
My point still stands that you should take the most rigorous course load possible. Picture that many admissions officers, when evaluating applications, actually have a separate section for evaluating rigor of curriculum. If you score low in this, it puts all your other academic success in question.
Also, I know I said this before, but really cultivate your passion. Maybe consider making an account on and looking closely at what sort of things you'll need to be sending in (not just at Yale, but also for other schools you're interested in) so you can be thinking throughout the year what opportunities you should take.</p>

I have now started looking at some SAT papers and they don't seem too bad...
And thanks, I will try and reach the top in my school <em>hopefully</em> :P
I'm definitely taking a ridiculous course load... 5 ASs in Maths, Further Maths, English Literature, History and Geography... if it's not, it certainly feels fairly ridiculous!
I can imagine being able to write about my achievements well, I mean after all I am 'meant' to have a way with words...
Thanks so much for your advice...
One last thing you said 'How significant ARE your awards?'
Is school / regional all right or do I need to go all out and go national?
Thanks again again...</p>