How Correct is this A for Admissions Book?

<p>I just read through this book and I know it is about 6 or 7 years outdated but it makes getting accepted into Ivy League schools seem a little less daunting, compared to what I have heard on CC. So I have some basic questions about the book and its validity.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Whats the deal with this Academic Index thing, is it still for real or what? I hope it is real because at least on that I would be a 9.</p></li>
<li><p>Is it just me or (for those who have read it) does she in general seem to make the process seem slightly easier than what CC on the whole makes admission to an Ivy Level school.</p></li>
<li><p>Can any of this book be trusted since it is about 6 to 7 years outdated, because in this book she seems to think that high 600 to low 700 SAT subject scores are acceptable and decent, from CC I have learned that as close to 800 is best?</p></li>
</ol>

<p>I have not read the book; however, financial aid policies at several Ivy League schools have changed drastically in the last three or so years, and that alone surely is impacting who applies to those schools.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>I think the AI is still used, especially for athletes, but if you're an 8/9 that doesn't mean you have a great shot anymore. 2010 is very different from 1998 and it's gotten surprising tougher.</p></li>
<li><p>I think she focused too much on the AI and it's relevance. It's more complex on CC because we focus on EC's since our grades are generally high. She claims that if you're grades/scores are at the 8/9 level, then you should have a terrific shot. That's not the case.</p></li>
<li><p>Obviously the closer you are to 800, the better. That being said, people on CC who tell you that you need a 800 are delusional. I think the general consensus is that 700+ is good enough. </p></li>
</ol>

<p>I think you thought the process was simpler in the book because it basically says "If you're an AI 9, relax and just apply, you're in." In 05/06, people on here said that a URM with a perfect score was a "relax and just apply, you're in" situation. Both were wrong then and are definitely wrong now. The process is a lot tougher, but there are also more schools that provide a wonderful education, so you have more options.</p>

<p>
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I think the general consensus is that 700+ is good enough.

[/quote]

The general consensus is not always right. While grades/scores are not a 100% guarantee, I do believe reading that studies have shown that there is an exponential increase in admissions as the score approaches the 800 mark. That being said, ECs are what will differentiate you from the general high scoring, high gpa crowd.</p>

<p>Thongs have changed more in the last 7 years than at any other point in history in terms of getting into an ivy/peer.</p>

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[quote]
I do believe reading that studies have shown that there is an exponential increase in admissions as the score approaches the 800 mark.

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</p>

<p>I'm not sure if I remember correctly, but I thought there was only one source stating something of that kind and there have been multiple debates on here on whether that study was reliable.</p>

<p>
[quote]
She claims that if you're grades/scores are at the 8/9 level, then you should have a terrific shot. That's not the case.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Huh? With Val/Sa's being over 40% of the class? With 800's being accepted at FIVE times the rate as sub'700's...?</p>

<p>Testing</a> Statistics</p>

<p>OP: I think Michelle's work still resonates, only the numbers have changed over time. If I recall she clearly states that unhooked applicants should aim for above median test scores, which is now ~2250. Of course, higher is always better.</p>

<p>Brown has similar numbers to Dartmouth, and they parse their data even more finely, with 750 breakpoint. While B is clearly not D, I have to believe that the numbers are not all that dissimilar: the higher the scores, the higher % admissions. (Of course, we're missing the corresponding gpa.)</p>

<p><a href="http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Admission/gettoknowus/factsandfigures.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Admission/gettoknowus/factsandfigures.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>You might find this excerpt from my guide to be relevant:</p>

<p>
[quote]
- Is it true that there isn't much of a difference once I reach a certain score?</p>

<p>There are two schools of thought on this issue. There are some who hold that there is a threshold score (2100 and 2250 are often thrown around as that number) beyond which score increases do not affect admissions decisions. The other school (to which I belong) believes that higher scores causally correlate with higher chances across the entire score range. Yet consider this College Confidential post from MIT admissions officer Chris Peterson:</p>

<p>
[quote]
There is no difference, for our process, between someone with a 750 and an 800 on the Math SAT II. Literally no difference. Once your standardized scores are sufficient to predict success at MIT - to show that you are academically qualified for MIT - they have reached the limit of usefulness, and we move on to other things.

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</p>

<p>Is this true, though? I don't think so, at least with respect to every top college except MIT. Why? Two reasons: one, because, logically, SAT scores positively correlate with ability across the entire score range; and two, because all the data support the idea that scores causally correlate with admissions chances across the entire score range. Here is a sampling of some of that data (all of these can be found the schools' Web sites):</p>

<p>[ul][<em>]At Stanford, applicants with 800 on the Critical Reading section of the SAT are 64% more likely to be admitted than applicants with 700-790.
[</em>]At Stanford, applicants with 800 on the Writing section are 58% more likely to be admitted than those with 700-790.<br>
[<em>]At Princeton, applicants with 2300-2400 on the SAT are 130% more likely to be admitted than applicants with 2100-2290.
[</em>]At Dartmouth, applicants with 800 on the Critical Reading section of the SAT are 122% more likely to be admitted than applicants with 700-790.
[<em>]At Dartmouth, applicants with 800 on the Math section of the SAT are 68% more likely to be admitted than applicants with 700-790.
[</em>]At Dartmouth, applicants with 800 on the Writing section of the SAT are 118% more likely to be admitted than applicants with 700-790.
[<em>]At Brown, applicants with 800 on the Critical Reading section of the SAT are 39% more likely to be admitted than applicants with 750-790.
[</em>]At Brown, applicants with 800 on the Math section of the SAT are 28% more likely to be admitted than applicants with 750-790.
[<em>]At Brown, applicants with 800 on the Writing section of the SAT are 46% more likely to be admitted than applicants with 750-790.
[</em>]At Brown, applicants with 36 on the ACT are 119% more likely to be admitted than applicants with 33-35 and 273% more likely to be admitted than applicants with 29-32.[/ul]
There is no merely correlational explanation for these data; it is illogical that higher scorers’ applications tend to be so much stronger otherwise that the correlation is fully explained away by these confounding variables. Consider, moreover, the results of an [url=<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/651345-race-college-admissions-faq-discussion-3-a-49.html#post1062655144%5Danalysis%5B/url"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/651345-race-college-admissions-faq-discussion-3-a-49.html#post1062655144]analysis[/url&lt;/a&gt;] that I conducted just over a year ago of the Yale SCEA 2013 results thread on CC:</p>

<p>Total sample size: 148</p>

<p>Asian sample size: 58
Average SAT score for an Asian acceptee (17 were accepted): 2347</p>

<p>White sample size: 52
Average SAT score for a White acceptee (16 were accepted): 2353</p>

<p>The acceptance rate over various ranges for Whites and Asians: </p>

<p>2310-2400: 47% (29/62)
2210-2300: 10% (3/30)
600-2200: 0% (0/16)</p>

<p>It is, however, important to note that I have no way of confirming the claims of those in the original results thread, nor should we immediately dismiss the issues of self-selection among the posters and the less-than-ideal sample size. Nonetheless, the results are compelling; there is no reason to believe that low-scoring acceptees would be more reluctant to post than low-scoring rejectees. </p>

<p>In totality, these data strongly suggest that the difference threshold facilitated by the metric (i.e., 10 points) dictates the difference threshold for discrimination among scores at the admissions end. At the very least, if there is a threshold for consideration, it is very high.

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</p>

<p>
[quote]
Thongs have changed more in the last 7 years than at any other point in history in terms of getting into an ivy/peer.

[/quote]

It's true. Red is all the rage now, while it was black with lace in 1998. :)</p>

<p>^ Good one. :)</p>

<p>there is an updated edition of the book 2008 or 2009</p>

<p>yeah i have an updated/revised version. I think now in 2010 there is just significantly more grade inflation and score inflation which makes admissions seem easier in the perspective of this book. And its true, she pretty much states that after you hit the magic "AI" number of 8 and 9 that you are pretty much in as long as the rest of your application doesn't suck.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The general consensus is not always right. While grades/scores are not a 100% guarantee, I do believe reading that studies have shown that there is an exponential increase in admissions as the score approaches the 800 mark. That being said, ECs are what will differentiate you from the general high scoring, high gpa crowd.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>And what study is this?</p>

<p>
[quote]

Huh? With Val/Sa's being over 40% of the class? With 800's being accepted at FIVE times the rate as sub'700's...?</p>

<p>Testing Statistics</p>

<p>OP: I think Michelle's work still resonates, only the numbers have changed over time. If I recall she clearly states that unhooked applicants should aim for above median test scores, which is now ~2250. Of course, higher is always better.</p>

<p>Brown has similar numbers to Dartmouth, and they parse their data even more finely, with 750 breakpoint. While B is clearly not D, I have to believe that the numbers are not all that dissimilar: the higher the scores, the higher % admissions. (Of course, we're missing the corresponding gpa.)</p>

<p><a href="http://www.brown.edu/Administration/...ndfigures.html%5B/url%5D%5B/quote%5D"&gt;http://www.brown.edu/Administration/...ndfigures.html

[/quote]
</a></p>

<p>Now you're just citing specific statistics. The A is for Admissions book suggests that if you're an AI 8/9 and everything else is decent you're basically guaranteed admission. This is clearly not the case. 38.6% of people with 800 CR got accepted, which means 61.4% of people with 800 CR got rejected. If you have a high AI than you have a good shot - not a terrific, basically guaranteed shot.</p>

<p>I understand the point that the higher the better, and I agree with that, but if a kid has a 770 I wouldn't suggest him to retake the SAT so he can get to 800. Having 30 extra points is not going to double his chances, and making a conclusion like that is plain wrong.</p>

<p>Silverturtle, I think that part of your guide is useless. What is the point of even listing those statistics? At Dartmouth, applicants with an 800 on CR are 122% more likely to be accepted than those with a 700-790. All that does is mislead people into think that if they hit 800 then they're golden. </p>

<p>That was the same propaganda with 2300+ URMs in the past and 2200+ URMs/Legacies even before then. Eventually it kept getting more competitive and those people were incredibly confused about their rejections.</p>

<p>The closer to 800, the better. There's nothing else to take out of these things.</p>

<p>
[quote]
What is the point of even listing those statistics?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>To support this claim:</p>

<p>
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The closer to 800, the better.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>
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Having 30 extra points is not going to double his chances, and making a conclusion like that is plain wrong.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Exactly. So don't make that conclusion. (No one here has even inferred it.) As I noted previously, looking at test scores only misses grades. I have no doubt that many 800's also have more A's than the students in their HS with 700's.</p>

<p>But don't forget, Michelle's academic stars (8's/9's) are RARE. Not any old Val will do. It requires a Val from a competitive, large HS, with great ECs.. For example, I can assure you that the Val from Thomas Jefferson would be as close to a sure thing as is possible at Dartmouth (as well as HYPM). </p>

<p>fwiw: the Admissions director at Harvard says the same thing. The first xx admits are real easy -- they jump off the page, i..e, 9's. (Ditto, the first xx denies -- they are so fare below the numbers that they have no chance.) The real admissions work is for those ~90% of applicants that are not superstars.</p>

<p>btw: why don't you send Michelle an e-mail and ask her? She usually responds to short questions quickly.</p>

<p>Touche bluebayou and silverturtle. I think we're all arguing for the same thing here, but just in a different way. I misinterpreted part of your statements.</p>

<p>I will say this though. When you look at statistics about 800 vs. 790 and below, people often think that an 800 is a golden key or something. After all, it's hard to argue against statistics. That's why I oppose using those measures because the value of the statement "the close to 800, the better" loses weight once you get really close. 700+ is good, 750+ is great, 770+ is even better, but as you go up, it's not like your chances are going up tremendously. It's just a little better.</p>

<p>Anomaly:</p>

<p>I have always argued/posted on cc, that once a student is above 750, they can be done for tests, bcos an incremental increase won't matter. But still, higher is better than lower. 800 is better than 750 (but not by much), and 750 is better than 700 (probably by more than the 750-800 break since the mean test scores of the top 10 is ~750, and it is always better to be mean+). </p>

<p>Of course, Engineering types might want to go for the 800 on Math 2 if for no other reason than many other applicants have that high score on that test due to the generous 'curve.' Heck, even my Lit son scored a 750 on M2.</p>

<p>Certainly, I don't claim that the gains once one is 750+ are make-or-break in any significant number of cases. However, objectively increasing one's chance in this somewhat unpredictable process by any amount is often attractive.</p>

<p>I'm with you bluebayou. Although A is for Admission was one of my favorite books when I was going through my college apps, rather entertaining and the subject still interests me.</p>

<p>When you take the SAT the first time you're liable to perform bellow where you ought to be because you may be unfamiliar with the test. But you will plateau out, if you're still increasing your score after your second retake, or after your third, I'd wager you're a rare case. I think that after a certain threshold (which likely changes with each passing year,t I guess I'd peg it at about ~1550/1600) your SAT score is not disqualifying you from any college at all.</p>

<p>In reference to the 800 vs 750+ claim, that data of increased admission rates really doesn't prove anything. I mean, it's the whole association does not prove causation thing from statistics. What is 800 kids just tend to have other things better in their applications? Maybe 800=lots of practice=dedication=strong ec's or something like that?</p>