Curious International Student

<p>Heya people. Just need your help to evaluate my stats if it's not too much. I'm an international applying to Carleton College and here are my stats:</p>

<p>SAT: 1300 (630V, 670M)
SAT II: To be taken on Dec 2004
TOEFL: 640 (paper-based)
GPA: 2.8
Rank: Top 10% of about 240</p>

<p>Other info:
- Asst. Head Prefect
- President of English Language Society
- President of Cyber Club
- Chief Editor of School Magazine
- LaSallian Youth Leaders Convention 2003 - Participant
- Participant in National Physics Olympiad
- Lots more minor ones (secretary, treasurer, etc. of various clubs, participant in various state and regional events) but I'm not listing them in the app because I don't want to be seen as padding.</p>

- Parliamentary Debate - State Runners-up
- Regional Elocution Competition Semifinalist
- SPM (Malaysian equivalent of GCSE O-levels) Excellence Award - 8As & 1B
- School Academic Excellence Award (Thrice)
- Commonwealth Essay Competition - Commendation (Twice)</p>

- Part time clerk at Teachers' Union
- Powerpoint Show creator</p>

<p>Essays - I'm not sure if my writing's good or not, since I'm not in a position to judge. Do contact me if you want to read and comment on them!</p>

<p>Teacher recs - I've been promised superb ones</p>

<p>I'm also applying to Grinnell and Trinity C, and I'm lookin at maybe Cornell too.
I know my weak point would be my GPA, but any comments on other aspects would also be appreciated. Also, my school is in a small town with limited opportunities for research and stuff. Any idea how I should explain this to the admissions folks?</p>

<p>Just out of curiosity too, what would my chances be at the ivies? And what other reaches/matches/safeties would you guys recommend? </p>

<p>Thanks for any comments/replies! Don't hesitate to be brutally honest if you feel like it...</p>

<p>How can you be top 10% with 2.8??</p>

<p>"How can you be top 10% with 2.8??"</p>

<p>Sorry, guess I forgot to explain that. I'm currently studying for my STPMs (Malaysian version of A-levels) and I can tell you it's very hard. In fact, the top guy in my class just managed a 3.2 (out of 4.0), so a 2.8 puts me firmly in the top 15% of my class of about 60 people. </p>

<p>But my counselor reckons that my STPM rank doesn't really reflect my real standing, since most of the 240 students from my SPM (Malaysian version of O-levels) class quit school after their SPMs and a number of students came in from other schools to fill the 60 or so available places in the STPM class. My counselor therefore thought I should be compared with my SPM class (the old guys) since I've been with them for five years instead of the students in my STPM class (the new guys). So that's where the top 10% came from.</p>

<p>I hope my explanation isn't too confusing or something...if it doesn't make sense please tell me.</p>

<p>But anyway, do you guys think what my counselor's doing is ok?</p>

<p>I am thinking that although it may be a hard curriculum 2.8 may leave a bad impression. Also, your SAT scores are a bit behind. I cannot really judge, but I think considering your special circumstances you stand a good, but not so great shot at Carleton.</p>

<p>bump please</p>


<p>heyhey, i totally understand. Which part of Malaysia are you from? I'm from Penang. Anyway, you really shouldn't put ur GPA cause itz sounds pretty bad. And aren't u taking SAT2's? It does increase ur chances, especially since u come across as a physic whiz and all...? Are you retaking SAT1? I don't think colleges will look at the verbal section so much, considering the 1st language here is not English. But the math scores probably come across as more important....</p>

<p>Thanks spkelly. I'm from Taiping, and the distance to Penang is one of the reasons I don't think I'll be taking the SATs again. That and the fact that it's pretty expensive for me and my family. I'll be taking the SAT IIs this December though.</p>

<p>Regarding the application, I thought the GPA slot had to be filled in? (unlike rank where its ok to leave it empty if your school doesn't rank)</p>

<p>You in Form 6 too, spkelly?</p>


<p>Nope, actually i'm not in Form 6. Long story.haha...Erm, The GPA slot does not have to be filled in b'cause we dun have GPA in form 5 right? How do u count it anyway? Like say an A1 = A+ or what? I'm not too sure. But i'm leaving evrything blank, except the High school Top - %. . Cause even my counselor doesn't know how to fill this stuff in . So she kinda just wrote for me reccomendation letter, and attached it to the high school report. Plus just photostated and certified my whole report card since form 1..i guess that's it.I might be wrong though....ahhahcomplicated right?</p>

<p>Guess that's what happens when we have a completely different system. </p>

<p>Mind typing your stats here, spkelly? I just wanna see how other M'sian applicants compare to me. And is there any way I can contact you? Perhaps we can exchange info on admissions, critique each others' essays, etc.</p>

<p>juz sent me a mail or something. or maybe msn ....ya? My stats?</p>

<p>Sat 1 : 760 (M), 550(V)-retaking in Nov
SAT 2 : juz took on Oct :US his, Math 2c , writing.</p>

<p>A whole bunch of ECs like Basketball captain, Chess captain, swimming school team (all state level), prefect, treasurer of board of librarians, sales director in YE , and a whole bunch of other thingz...</p>

<p>Letz talk more thru msn or something ya?</p>

<p>Tried to send you a message or email you, but the admins said you didn't want to receive any email or messages...</p>

<p>Hello USSDEFIANT. Like you, I followed an international system. In my case, the British system. My average was 70% which by American standards is a C-. But It does not work that way. In the Engoish system, a 70% is a B+/A-. You cannot translate your grades from your system to the American system in a linear fashion. I hope your school knows better.</p>

<p>Thanks Alexandre. Well the thing is, my counselor knows nothing about the American system (that's what he told me) and assumes that scores and GPA are the same everywhere. You went through this before right, Alexandre? What did you do? Should I just follow spkelly's advice and ignore the GPA part? Or should I put that in and assume that the admissions folks know about the difference between the systems?</p>

<p>I would not assume anything. I would make sure that the universities you apply to understand the meaning of your grades and I would make sure that your school does NOT translate your grades into a GPA. I would have them describe the meaning of your grades by saying that you are a top 10% student and as such a A or A- student, but no GPAs. But your school should report your grades exactly as they are in your own Malay system and the universities in the US will make their own translation. That would be my suggestion.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Yeap. U really shouldn't put in the GPA slot. Especially since our grading system is totally different. Anyway, i'll try changing my e-mail status...:)</p>


<p>You should really post this in the international forum... Anyway, are you applying for financial aid? If so... you pretty much have a very small chance in Carleton. If not, it's pretty cool. You really need to bump up those SATs a little if you are applying to the ivies.</p>

<p>Don't put your GPA. Just send in a certified copy of your SPM and STPM results. Or your forecast results if you haven't sat for your STPM yet.</p>

<p>Hey, upandover. I think I've talked to you over email before, right?</p>

<p>Anyway yeah, I'll be needing lotsa aid. I won't be shy in admitting that my parents can only afford about $2000 to $2500, so the rest will have to come from finaid. But is Carleton really that stingy on aid? Of all the LACs I'm looking at, Carleton seems to be my favorite (small classes, strong sciences, great student spirit, etc.) so it would be quite a disappointment for me if I'm rejected because of aid.</p>

<p>yup carleton is very stingy in aid.</p>