Chance Me for top CS and Math Universities in UK and US international student

Demographics
An international student from Turkey
Very competitive private high school(top 1% are accepted to the high school)
in junior year

Intended Major(s)
Joint CS-Math Degree

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 94.5/100
  • Class Rank: No rank in my school
  • SAT Scores: 1340 (first time)
    (I will try to increase this score)

Coursework

  • APs
    Sophomore: AP CS A(4)
    Junior: AP Chem, AP Calc BC, AP Stats, AP Mechanics
    Senior: AP MicroEcon, AP Electromagnetism, AP CS A (retake)

Awards

  1. National Science Fair Finalist( designed a deep learning algorithm for drug design)
  2. Won several “School Champion” medals in international math competitions (Waterloo exams: Galois, Hypathia…) and got 2 certificates for placing in the 80th percentile.
  3. Passed 1. Stage of National CS olympiad( placed at the top 2% of all competitors in Turkey)
  4. Placed 7th in the A final and 1st in the B final in U21 National Bridge Tournament (40 participants and the first 3 got into the National Bridge Team)

Extracurriculars

  1. Math Olympiad
    Competed in international, national, and city-wide competitions. Won the school award for mathematics, won 2 school champion medals and got 2 certificates for placing in the top 80th percentile of all test-takers in 2 different international math olympiads( Hypathia and Galois)

Co-Captain of the Math Olympiad Team: Taught Several classes about advanced math subjects, and attended several regional competitions with the team.

  1. Computer Science
    President of the AI Club: Taught Classes about deep learning, calculus, etc.
    Organized Seminars and projects for science fairs. Won finalist awards for 2 of the projects in a major National Science fair.

DrugNet: Created a multidisciplinary project with a friend. The project had a multi-model complex which we used to find and design possible drug candidates that can effectively inhibit a target protein or an enzyme without being toxic to the human body. Won the finalist award in the National Science Fair.

  1. Bridge
    Competitive Bridge player, School Bridge Team Captain, and Bridge Club President.
    Won several local tournaments and competed at national and city-wide competitions(Placed high in several competitions). Attended numerous national bridge camps. Taught bridge at the school club.

  2. Internship
    Interned at a major software company in Turkey. Worked on mathematical modeling, human-robot interaction, and machine learning projects.

  3. Summer School
    Attended Quantum Physics and Computer Engineering Classes. Got good grades from both classes and was awarded the discretion awards.

Essays/LORs/Other
Personal Statement: I started to write drafts and my school advisor says it is pretty good for the first several drafts (9-8.5/10)

LORs:
Math Teacher: I got a pretty good connection with her. She knows me very well and knows
my capabilities in math (9.5-9/10)

CS Teacher: I got a pretty good connection with her as well. She knows how capable and
determined I am. (9-8/10)

Summer School Professor: I got a decent connection with him. He knows how interested in
math, cs, and physics. He is in the MIT physics department. (8-7.5/10)

Schools
UK:
Oxford
Imperial
UCL
Warwick
Kings College

US:
UC Berkeley
UCLA
UC San Diego
University of Washington
Duke
University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign
Stanford

For the UK you need to wait until you see your current APs- if they are all 5s, that might work (you will still have to report your 4 in CS when you apply). Have you looked at the MAT exam for Oxford?

Guessing you don’t need financial aid? if you do, drop the everything except Duke & Stanford.The UCs, UWa, UIUC, and the UK unis don’t really do aid for non-local students.

If you will only go to the US if you get into a top school, then just applying to those 2 / other reaches is fine. If you are serious about going to school in the US no matter what, start working on identifying much less competitive schools.

3 Likes

For US schools the 1340 SAT score is really going to hurt you. For the top colleges, you really need > 1500 to have a decent chance. I know as an international its hard to study for an exam in a different language vs your native language. The colleges are aware of this, but try your best. They expect the top international students to have similar SAT scores as the top US students.

The first UCs on OP’s list are test blind, the others are test optional, so OP doesn’t necessarily need a higher test score.

For OP…all these US schools are reaches for CS, so add some that are less selective if you are certain you want to study in the US. What is your budget? Do you have an affordable safety in Turkey or elsewhere?

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STEM alum of two of your U.K. schools here, albeit not CS/Maths. Would agree with the first post that unless you get at least three APs at 5, you will get straight up rejected by Oxford/Imperial (and I expect UCL and Warwick). Certainly for Oxford and Imperial three 5s is a hard minimum and a 4 in your chosen subjects is going to be a major red flag. You’ll also need at least 1450-1500+ on the SAT (plus good scores on admission tests) to even have a shot at interview for Oxford/Imperial, and probably for Warwick too given the strengths of its maths/cs depts.

A 1340 might sneak into KCL, but I’m not sure I’d pick it as an international unless you don’t have US options. That said, it’s not uncommon to see KCL UG > Oxbridge/Imperial/UCL MSc.

You can apply without the AP scores yet in the bag, but they need to be convinced you’ll get three fives by the time you enter as an absolute minimum - most AP students at Oxbridge/Imperial have five or more APs, generally all at five. The four in CS is a major red flag and something you really need to retake ASAP, alongside the SAT, to stand a chance. That said, if you do have the stats then the U.K. system (Oxbridge and Imperial excepted) is a bit less random than the US and you should get into UCL/Warwick/KCL.

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