<p>Hi, I'm new at this, but I recently began to seriously think about my options in the US (I'm studying in England). I've seen some of the feedback other people have got and now looking at the amount of work that is involved with US application I want to know if I have a worthwhile chance. </p>

<p>So here's my profile.</p>

<p>GCSE: 6a* 4a + (a in Advanced maths FSMQ)
AS: 3a 2b (Mat, Fmat, Phys, His, Lit)
A: 4a predicted
SAT1: 1540 (780Mat, 760Ver)
SAT2: This weekend
sorry no rank + what is GPA </p>

Young Enterprise(reg finals)
Physics competition(National Finals)
CTY (called NAGTY over here) and all the related stuff
Debating captain
CCF(military stuff)
(there is some more, but nothing that important)</p>

<p>I want to major in Math and Philosphy,</p>

<p>The reason I ask for your advice is because some of my relatives in the US have told me that it is v.difficult to get into harvard and Yale(where I am applying) and I dont want to go through the pain of applying and everything if I dont have a realistic chance.</p>

<p>Thanks loads</p>

<p>I'm not familiar with GCSE, AS, or A test, but your SAT's look really good. Your extrac curriculars are also good. You definetely stand a chance at both Harvard or Yale, but if i were you I'd apply to a few other schools just in case. Penn, Brown, Columbia are all good and Ivy League. </p>

<p>You GPA is a number out of 4.0. It's calculated by turnining your marks into a number on a 0 to 4 scale. For example, 90 to 100% = A = 4.0, 80 to 90% = B = 3.0, etc. Also, letter grades like A - or B + get different numbers (I think A - is 3.67. Let me know if you need help calculating your GPA. But definetly do apply!!</p>

<p>Good grades I say, pity you got Bs at AS, that tarnishes the rep a little, but your "dossier" is nonetheless impressive (make sure to ask your school to release your predicted grades).</p>

<p>If you have a good report and can write "personal essays" well, you have a strong chance for Yale and Harvard (try Stanford too, it's the Harvard of the West). </p>

<p>Be warned however, that admission is often a crapshoot; once they mak sure you are qualified, which you are, they try to assemble a diverse class and that could man anything. But I wouldn't be surprised if you did or did not get accepted (applying to several will probably increase your chances)</p>

<p>By the way; I believe your GPA would be a 4.0, because the average number of A-levels in the UK is 3, and the rest is a bonus. Maybe a 3.5, but don't worry because yor school won't quote it. It will give your rank or top tenth, which is crucial</p>

<p>how seriously do most coleges take the essays. I mean we have a Personal statement here, but thats mainly bragging spsce, unis just use it for information not admission and is there anywhere which gives guidance on how to write these essays. What should I be trying to say to colleges? In the UK all unis are looking for is intelligence, but is it not the same there. I mean, I know they want smart people but what else would they use to asses suitability. And how Important are these SAT exams really, my cousin seems to hve spent months revising for them, but colleges Ive spokent too suggest that its really low on their list. On the subject tests, maths is easy, but the other stuff is bizzare, I've never covered anything which the writing paper is asking me to do. Since our education system doent really lend itself to some of the SAT2's would colleges discount some of the scores, like those for writing, because of the unfamiliarity. Sorry to keep coming back with questions like this, but I've realised my writing score is probably not going to be in the 700's and will probably stick out.</p>

<p>The essay is quite important. This gives the personal reading your application a chance to hear from you. Its your chance to get their attention, because everyone's grades, SAT's, EC are similar. There are tons of books about writing essays, and even if you do a google search for college essay writing, you'll get lots of info. You should read some essays already written by students to get an idea. You can talk about anything you want, such as a person that influenced you, a meaningful experience, a cause that is important to you. You should make sure that the essay describes who you are. For example, I wrote mine about doing drama, being nervous at first, and then really enjoying it and ending up doing drama for years. Anotehr essay was about my interest in the brain, and how it relates to my interest in neurobiology. Another was about a long-time friend who died of cancer and how that inspired me. It's really your choice. Write about what matter to you. Let me know your ideas, and I can try to help you from there.</p>

<p>The SAT's are quite important, but not the most important. I'd say grades are the most important, with SAT's, EC's and the essay being tied for second. If you have high grades, and so-so SAT's it not that bad. But if your SAT's are high but your grades are low, that's not good.</p>

<p>The Unis that have replied to my application here in the UK told me the personal statement is not that important, because they expect most people to sell themselves like there is no tomorow. They sort of just want a rough guide of what interests you in their course, and if interviews are given they often set the scene for what is asked.</p>

<p>American Unis however, want to see what sort of person you are and whether you would be unique enough for their acceptance list. Impressing them is not what matters, instead you sort of have to make them feel like they have met you. So for example describing how proud you are of your gold olympic medal will not hold too well! :) </p>

<p>I strongly recommend you buy or borrow "On Writing the College Admissions Essay". It is very clever and helpful, and i am guessing it will help you change to more personal essays than argumentative ones (as expected at Lit/Hist A2).</p>