Is It Better To Apply To St. Andrew's Through UCAS Or The CommonApp?

I am an upcoming senior applying to the University of St. Andrews. However, I do not know if it would be more beneficial to apply through the CommonApp or UCAS, since the CommonApp would let me list out my extracurriculars. What would you guys say would be the better option?

Also, when it comes to admissions requirements to St. Andrew’s, do they look heavily on grades from all three years? Or do they mostly care about junior and senior year grades? If you have AP subject tests with scores of 4+, would that satisfy the admissions requirements if I did not take many honors or AP classes? On their website, it says that AP tests could be sufficient to meet admissions requirements, but I am confused as to whether or not AP tests could make up for a lack of a rigorous course-load, or lower grades in particular subjects.

Here is the site with the admit requirements:

UK schools aren’t interested in your ECs, just your test scores, GPA and why you want to study and how well prepared you are to study the course you are applying to read.

If you’re interested in applying to multiple UK unis UCAS allows you to apply to up to 5 for £35 (IIRC). However, if you’re already using the CommonApp to apply to a bunch of US schools and just St. Andrews there’s no reason to use 2 separate application platforms.

As far as your AP and GPA questions, I’m not sure. When you say AP subject tests do you mean SAT subject tests? Or did you skip the AP classes and self study for the AP tests?

My D applied to St. Andrews without any AP scores because her school tossed APs a number of years ago. So she sent her GPA and ACT. As far as grades, they’ll be the most interested in the grades in the subject you are applying to study (read). But they’ll look at your overall academic picture because they want to know you can handle the academics. Even more than US schools, UK schools want to know you will graduate in the proper timeframe of 3 or 4 years. They’re not interested in a 6 year graduation rate.

Heh. That’s virtually impossible under their system anyway. They may allow a year outside the degree program to work/intern in industry, study abroad, or for intercalated study (that last option seems only possible for med students, however) but inside their degree program, it’s up or out. You either did enough to progress to the next year of the degree program or you didn’t and are kicked out.

Or you have to apply and start over if you want to change your area of study. Definitely little to no flexibility.


I hear Oxbridge (especially Cambridge) offers some flexibility. And there’s some flexibility built in to the Scottish system (oftentimes, it’s possible to take the few classes required in the first year for a couple of different courses of study, allowing you a choice).

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