Help!

<p>I've always wanted to get into UPenn, it's an amazing school and I've been hearing stories about it from my dad (who was a Wharton undergrad and grad) all my life. I take a rigorous course load in an international school, challenge myself academically as best as I can, but when I took the SAT in November '09 my score was a 1760 (580 CR, 640 W, 540 M). I tried it again in May and got even lower (PS - I studied A LOT during these months in between the tests meaning I was extremely nervous and that affected my results).</p>

<p>I got my Subject Test results 2 days ago - 720 in Spanish and 570 in Lit. Considering I want to be an English major, my Literature score was terrible. I really don't know what to do since I have always wanted to apply ED. My GPA is 92/100, I'm a columnist for the school magazine, captain of the cheerleading team, worked intensely in a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, got chosen into a top leadership position for my senior year (Peer Group Connection), and started my own tutoring classes, or Writing Help for 8th graders in my school among other activities. I also got accepted to Creative Writing summer courses in Columbia in 2008 and in Yale in 2009.</p>

<p>I have a great idea for my common app essay, which reflects entirely who I am. And my passion for UPenn is pretty obvious, and I'm sure it will reflect in my "Why Penn" essay. I'm not so worried about that, although I really don't know what to write for my page 217 essay.</p>

<p>However, what really hurts my application here are my SAT scores. I am scheduled to take subject tests again in November, and the SAT I in October. I already talked to the admissions rep at Penn and she said those dates are still valid and I can still apply ED.</p>

<p>What should I do? I really need help!!
Thanks a lot!</p>

<p>Everything else looks good, what book are you using to study? Use the blue book.</p>

<p>It seems that the SATs are the only road block you face, but it's a big one.</p>

<p>The keys to overcoming nerves are preparation and familiarity with the test (or beta blockers). I can only speak for myself, but a helpful way to study is to set aside maybe 4-6 weeks (or even 8 if you need it) of time before the test where you do 2-3 hours per day (4 or 5 days per week) and use several different companies' materials. (Take at least one full-length test every week and review it the next day for your wrong AND right answers.) Have someone (e.g., parent, friend) proctor your tests and study with you if you have problems policing yourself (as I did).</p>

<p>I can't speak for the classes, but I would consider taking one if you have the money to burn and will take it seriously/do the work. It will give you time with the material and provide a framework to guide your preparation. (I just took a Kaplan LSAT class, and it wasn't fabulous, but it was well worth it to spend so much time with the test/content as well as have someone to police my progress.)</p>

<p>I found the blue books too easy and Barron's too hard, which is why the latter was the "medicine ball," so to speak, and the blue books a starting point. I didn't take their class, but the Kaplan books were very helpful for me and were a middle ground of difficulty between the blue books and Barron's.</p>

<p>Regarding SAT IIs, I'm really not sure about the best way to prepare. I would probably use a similar method where you use a variety of materials.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot guys! But do you think I should give up my plans to apply ED and go for RD? Or just give up UPenn as a whole?</p>

<p>Given my scores don't improve I mean.</p>

<p>I got like a 172 on my PSATs, a 1890 the first time I took the SATs and a 2070 the second time I took the SATs. I got into Penn last year ED. Try the ACT? You need like a 30/31 on it. Good luck!! Don't stress.</p>

<p>Had the same problem with the SAT, only scored 1980, tried the ACT and scored 34 on my second run.</p>

<p>Try the ACT. Just get the official book (which has real practice tests) and maybe a princeton review prep book. I think there is one in both September and October, so if you opted to take the ACT, you would still be able to take SAT subject tests in October. However, you technically do not even need subject tests if you take the ACT w/ writing.
I personally was more oriented towards the SAT, but most people I know seem to be the opposite in that they have an easier time with the ACT. But the only way to know is to try both!</p>

<p>im gonna give you some solid advice. when people put a lot of pressure on themselves and they get nervous, no matter how smart they are and how much they study they do poorly. i strongly advise that along with your practicing for the test take some time to do things that relax you, especially before the test. having a clear and calm head is one of the most important things. dont pressure yourself, because it doesnt help. in the end its just a test. if you go in on that test day confident and calm, good things will happen (along with a good amount of prep of course)</p>