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UK high school student doing subject tests

veloVegveloVeg 1 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2 New Member
I'm a US citizen but born in the UK and in the UK education system, just entering the final year of high school. I'm going to be applying for Computer Science at both UK and US universities.

Currently I'm a couple of weeks away from taking the October SAT subject tests, but I'm struggling with the content.

A substantial amount of the content for the Physics SAT subject test hasn't been covered yet in my 'A level' course, and won't be for some more months. It's similar for Math, as I'm confident with Level 1 questions but Level 2 SAT math contains topics that I haven't covered at school (but will do this coming year). I'm aware that colleges 'recommend' (require) SAT subject tests, so is my only option to teach myself everything?

For some context, here's my academic stats:
(I don't know how to convert my grades into a US GPA)

ACT:
34
Writing 10

GCSE:
Math 8 (out of 9)
English Language 9
English Literature 9
Physics A*
Engineering A*
Mandarin A*
Chemistry A
Biology A
History A

A level predicted grades:
Physics A*
Computer science A*
Maths A
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Replies to: UK high school student doing subject tests

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6357 replies48 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,405 Senior Member
    Those are some pretty impressive A-level predictions :-)

    Not all colleges require subject tests and most that do only need 2 (most is 3, such as Georgetown). You can find lists online as to what colleges do/don't require subject tests (or check specific uni websites, of course).

    My suggestion is that you take Math 1 & English (do some revision for that- there are online sources), which will give you your two. Don't worry about not having the Physics one- even if you are applying as a prospective physics or comp sci major, or applying to a direct-admit CS program. Your predicted A levels (+ A* in physics at GCSE) will speak volumes to the level of university that I expect you will be looking at. Your GC will be talking about your Math/Science aptitude anyway.
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  • elguapo1elguapo1 441 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 444 Member
    Why not apply with just your A levels? Your super GCSE's and ACT attest to your calibre.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6357 replies48 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,405 Senior Member
    I missed that you have the ACT- some places will take that in lieu of subject tests.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3353 replies33 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,386 Senior Member
    What US universities are you applying to?
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  • veloVegveloVeg 1 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2 New Member
    edited September 2018
    @collegemom3717 Thank you, but wouldn't the English be difficult to do after over a year of not studying at school? I hadn't considered doing English because I dropped it for A levels.

    @ViokiSoCal I've been looking at pretty competitive schools (almost all in California due to family):

    USC, UCBerkely, UCLA, Stanford, Georgia Tech, Calpoly -- my top choices

    I've read that it's virtually impossible to get into them without the subject tests though.

    @elguapo1 Would my GCSEs and A levels be enough? I'm worried that it would cut me off from initial screening if I didn't have the SATs-- I called admissions at UCLA yesterday and they said they required the subject tests including Math 2 for engineering/science majors (even though the website says otherwise... :-/).

    Thanks everyone for the quick replies, I really appreciate it.
    edited September 2018
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  • elguapo1elguapo1 441 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 444 Member
    Your scores are so good that they will definitely get their attention, whether that translates to an offer I am not sure, particularly since you are applying to some very competitive schools. Best thing to do is call/ email admissions. Have you considered Canadian schools? Waterloo, Toronto and UBC are excellent for computer science and admissions are more along UK lines. Best of luck to you.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3353 replies33 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,386 Senior Member
    edited September 2018
    I'm having a hard time reconciling that a student in the final year of Math A levels would not kill it on the Math 2. We are told over and over here how much harder UK math A levels are than US Calc AB or BC, but my kids were ready for Math 2 after freshman/sophomore year? (after pre-calc honors)

    Cal Poly does not consider subject test scores.
    edited September 2018
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