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What Does It Take to Get Into a UK University as an American

chiqiridescentchiqiridescent Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
edited December 2012 in United Kingdom
I am an upcoming senior and I wanted to apply to a UK University, probably Manchester and York and I was wondering if anyone out there knows anything about applying.
Things like:
Competitiveness among US applicants
acceptance rate of US applicants
average scores of Americans admitted into Manchester/York

Do you think I could get in with:
SAT:1920 R:630 M:680 W:610
ACT:31 E:28 M:34 R:32 S:30
SAT Subject Tests - Math 2: 730 Chemistry: 760
AP Euro:4 APUSH:4 AP Lang & Comp:4 AP Calculus BC:4 AB Subscore:5 AP Chemistry:5
GPA- Weighted:4.28 Un-weighted:3.80

And I heard that they really don't care about sports/community service/extra curriculars.
Is that true?
Post edited by chiqiridescent on

Replies to: What Does It Take to Get Into a UK University as an American

  • ElijahPhillipElijahPhillip Registered User Posts: 32 New Member
    Yeah, it's true, they don't really care about ec's. I think you have a pretty good chance. You should check their websites for entry requirements. What do you want to go in? You know you can't really change your "major". AP exams and or SAT subject tests are what they really care about, and that you've tested in what you want to go in. For example, a biology "major" would have took AP or subject tests in of course biology and math and maybe some other sciences. With your stats you should be able to get a conditional, which means that they'll accept you but you have to pass maybe like two more exams before being completely accepted. Or you could get an unconditional, which means you've been accepted with no other needed requirements.
  • chiqiridescentchiqiridescent Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Oh completely forgot that, I want to major in Chemistry. I am taking AP Environmental Science so that I have another AP Science score just in case. And I have checked Manchester's entry requirements. They seem pretty vague, just talking about gpa and ap scores.
  • qwertyuiop1993qwertyuiop1993 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member

    It is true that universities in the UK focus greatly on academics. In your personal statement a few lines about interests that relate to your chosen degree course is normally advised though.

    Remember in the UK you apply to study a specific degree rather than to the university as a whole and you stick to this subject with very little focus on anything else (no flexible major/minor system - if you do study two subjects equally that would be because it's a dual honours degree established by the university, not because the student chose upon arriving to do maths and government)

    As such, requirements sometimes vary depending on what course you choose. You seem to have surpassed the kind of standard both universities would typically be looking for though.

    Manchester's offers are normally around the BBB-A*AA mark for A levels (our AP equivalent). A levels are 2 year courses so I think they cover more than the AP but UK universities seem to be quite lenient on internationals so 444 to 555 (in relevant subjects) seems to be what they take as roughly equivalent. Manchester's website doesn't say specifically what grades are needed though - just that each international application will be judged on an individual basis...

    I'd say it's definitely worth applying though! (I would definitely pick up another science subject though)
  • totallyawesometotallyawesome Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    Clarification on the ECs.

    UK unis don't care about a long list of leadership positions in clubs and community service that you did just to build up a list.

    They DO care about relevant work experience (have you interned/shadowed in a clinic or research facility?), what you do outside of class that is relevant (do you enjoy working on puzzles? reading up on the latest scientific discoveries? subscribing to peer-reviewed journals?), and what makes you passionate about your subject (the puzzling? becoming a doctor/researcher? learning how things work?).

    All that said, US applicants often have an easier go of it, because we have to pay international fees and the unis need money right now.

    If you need any help with the process, PM me! I'm here to help.


    *Oxford Class of 2015*
  • cupcakecupcake Registered User Posts: 1,703 Senior Member
    totallyawesome - if you are about to enroll at Oxford in 2012, you are in the Oxford class of 2012. In the UK it's the year you matriculate which is important (given that not all courses are the same length. Undergraduate courses can last anything from 3-6 years I think).
  • totallyawesometotallyawesome Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    cupcake - thanks, that makes sense! I assumed it was done the same way as the US system, and that since I am doing a three-year degree as opposed to the typical US four-year, I would go from being class of 2016 to class of 2015. But since the courses are all different lengths, I can see why doing it by matriculation year makes more sense.

    So basically, I'm class of 2012...again? lol
  • TheRealKEVPTheRealKEVP - Posts: 986 Member
    The phrase "Class of [year]" is an American one. It is not a term I have personally heard or seen used in British English. And I don't think anybody ever says "I am Oxford Class of [year]". Students and Graduates seem, in my experience, to identify more with their particular college at Oxford (or Cambridge) than with the university as a whole. And the British don't make a big deal about what particular year they entered or received their degree.

    I think a British student would simply say "Next year I am going to start reading [subject, what we would call a "major"] at [specific Oxbridge college]".

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • LaylahLaylah Registered User Posts: 450 Member
    I agree, KEVP. As an example, if you look at copies of the Oxford alumni magazine you will see they refer to former students as "John Smith, Magdalen '07", where 2007 is the year of matriculation.

    I'd also say that graduation (i.e. the ceremony) is much more of a big deal in the US than the UK. I actually 'graduated' the year after I was awarded my undergrad degree because I didn't have time to attend the ceremony before that. I completed my MA nearly two years ago now and still haven't 'graduated'!
  • chiqiridescentchiqiridescent Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    So I've sent in my application with updated SAT score of 2100!
    E: 630 M: 770 W: 700
    How are my chances looking now?
  • TheRealKEVPTheRealKEVP - Posts: 986 Member
    Looks good. Where are you applying? What subject?

    I think they may put more emphasis on your AP test scores. Do I understand correctly that you have two "5"s and a handful of "4"s? That's good enough I think to get you in to just about any British university other than the most selective (Not quite good enough for Oxford and Cambridge).

    If you are applying for Chemistry at Manchester, I think your chances are EXCELLENT!
  • chiqiridescentchiqiridescent Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I want to study Chemistry.
    My 5 choices are:
    University of St. Andrews
    University of Manchester
    University of Sussex
    University of Liverpool
    Nottingham Trent University
  • TheRealKEVPTheRealKEVP - Posts: 986 Member
    This sounds realistic to me. You have chosen the subject you want to "read" (what we Yanks call "major in") and are applying to schools that I am pretty sure that you can get into with two AP scores of "5" together with a group of "4"s. And one of your "5"s is in Chemistry, which is the subject you want to read.

    What you need to do know is think about your personal statement (or did that already go as part of your application?) and interviews. Remember, they are looking for someone who is extremely interested and committed to Chemistry, and will study the subject devotedly for three years. So don't talk about everything you do or are interested in that is in no way related to Chemistry, focus on Chemistry. (If they ask you in the interview, it might be okay to talk briefly about outside interests, but they don't want someone who is going to be distracted from the study of Chemistry).

    Best of luck. I think you have a really good chance.

  • cupcakecupcake Registered User Posts: 1,703 Senior Member
    I think it's unlikely you will be interviewed by any of those unis. Big places like those just don't have the time or staff except for very competitive subjects like medicine. Chemistry is one of the least competitive subjects possible! You will definitely get into Trent because it is lower ranked than the others. But probably you will get into all of them because they need your money and more chemistry students.
  • barnes99barnes99 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Remember: British universities only "care" about APs related to your area of study. As the admission tutor told my daughter (who is now in her second year at Kings Cambridge), "we really don't understand why how a student applying read Slavonic Languages did in maths is of any relevance".
This discussion has been closed.