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What GPA and SAT scores are good for University of Manchester?

vincenthan2009vincenthan2009 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
I am a student in the United States and I am intending to major in math and physics. Currently, my SAT score is 1460 (690+770) and my unweighted GPA is 3.94, weighted is 4.39. I want to apply to University of Manchester since it is highly ranked in physics. However I have some questions.

1) If it is that prestigious, why is the offer rate THAT high? (around 70%)
2) What GPA and SAT scores are good for admissions? On its website, it only gives the minimum requirements.

Thank you!

Replies to: What GPA and SAT scores are good for University of Manchester?

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 12,682 Senior Member
    Because you are looking at graduate school rankings. Note that UIUC is highly-ranked in physics as well and it isn't hard to major in physics there.

    As an American, meet the minimum requirements (they likely would require good AP scores in relevant subjects) and you are good.
  • Twoin18Twoin18 Registered User Posts: 1,392 Senior Member
    They say three 4s in relevant APs (which will be Calc BC, physics and one other, preferably another science). But when the UK offer is A*,A*,A or A*,A,A it would be expected that your offer might include 5s in Calc BC and/or physics. And to be frank, you might struggle without that, given the greater depth of preparation offered by math and physics A levels. You are good on SAT and GPA is irrelevant, so where are you up to in terms of APs?
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 12,682 Senior Member
    ^ Very true.

    Getting in is one thing.

    Staying in would be another matter.
  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 Registered User Posts: 1,084 Senior Member
    Those minimums are for any course at Manchester. Note that it states at https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/international/country-specific-information/usa/entry-requirements/#country-profile that "that this is generic information only. Faculties and Schools have different entry requirements and some qualifications may not be acceptable for certain courses, so it is important to check with the School directly before you apply". Given what they ask for from domestic A level applicants, I'd be willing to bet they will want 5 in Calc BC and more than one Physics AP. I think this is a case where you want to e-mail the university direct to get guidance.

    Also offer rates mean little anyway (they are supply and demand even in the US) and less in the UK. British students can only apply to five colleges, so they are less likely to waste an app on a course they are not well qualified for already.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 12,682 Senior Member
    ^ And the UK unis set minimums so applicants know what the minimum requirements are.

    But in any case, it seems that UIUC, UW-Madison, and UMD are also highly-ranked in physics (at least as much as Manchester; UIUC more so than Manchester) and I doubt it would be difficult to get in to major in physics at those schools. Why not consider them?

    Do you like the concentrated nature of UK courses and marks coming down to big exams at the end of the year?
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 6,302 Senior Member
    To amplify @Conformist1688's point about the acceptance rate: there are several key differences between the US & the UK:

    1) in the UK students can only apply to five courses, whether it's the same course at 5 universities (eg, straight physics at Manchester and 4 other universities) or at the same university (eg, physics, physics with astro, physics w/ philosophy, physics w/ study in Europe, and physics w/ theoretical physics, all at Manchester), or a mix and match of course and university.

    2) in the UK you write one "Personal Statement" (PS), which all of the things you apply to read, in which you demonstrate that you know enough about the course to know that it is a good fit for you, and you make your case as to why you are a good candidate for it from an academic perspective. Thus, students typically apply to a narrow range of courses where they have focused their schoolwork and their ECs. Depth more than breadth.

    3) In the UK your teachers "predict" your likely A-level grades; you apply with those grades and if you are offered a place it is "conditional" on achieving those grades when you take your A-levels in June. So, most students only find out if they made their "offer" in August when A level grades come out. UK schools work really hard on the predictions- and they build their reputation for accuracy over time. So, a Physics teacher won't 'predict' an A* for you in physics if s/he has any serious doubt that you will achieve that mark. And if your teacher won't predict that you will achieve the mark, your odds on getting an offer are minuscule, so you don't apply - meaning that pretty much everybody who applied was predicted to achieve the usual offer of 1-2 A*s and 1-2 As- an offer in line with Oxford and Cambridge expectations, btw.

    4) In the UK your school writes your LoR- and before that they have met with you to talk about what course(s) and university/ies you are applying to. You can apply where you want, but schools typically don't encourage students to shoot higher than the marks they are able to achieve. The LoR is an important piece of the application, b/c it speaks to your teacher's assessment of your ability in that subject.

    5). In the UK each course will either make you an 'unconditional' or a 'conditional' offer, or they will reject you. Unconditional offers are mostly students on gap years (who are applying with 'achieved' marks); most students get 'conditional' offers (or rejections). Once your last response has arrived (mid-March), you have 14 days to "Firm" one offer and "Insure" one offer. That's it. Your "Firm" is your 1st choice: if you meet that offer then that is where you will go. But, if you miss your offer, the course you "Insure" is your backup plan. For most students that means there is a big-ish jump between the 2 offers (because you want to be *really* sure that you can meet the Insure offer). It's sort of like committing to go to either a reach or a safety school in the US system. So again, students choose where they apply more thoughtfully and more strategically.

    As for US applicants: the SAT is merely a notional gateway, and the GPA is even less important (most UK universities don't ask for it, and the ones that do have only added it recently b/c US students are so fixated on it). What they will really care about is relevant standardized testing. A 5 in Calc BC is going to be necessary (the 4 listed in the US students section is indicative, but an A* in the Physics section tells you that a 5 is likely essential), along with at least one of the Physics, and a 3rd science. They will be deeply uninterested in your humanities APs.

    Note that the 70% admissions rate is the average for the University. Even with all the limiting factors noted above, last year there were 1700 applicants for 310 physics places (across all 5 specialty areas). That is effectively an 18% acceptance rate, from a group in which the vast majority will have been predicted to meet the typical offer, but remember that there are also students who will get an offer, not get the Alevel results needed to meet it, and lose the place.

    Finally, have you read the course description(s) carefully? In your first 2 years, about 80% of your classes are mandatory, 20% optional - mostly from an approved list; in 3rd year that moves to 60:40. For your classwork assessment is based solely on final exam (labs are assessed based on lab projects). If you compare what you are required to take in 1st year if you enroll in physics or physics w/ philosophy you will see why the selection of what you apply to matters (though there is room for moving between them between 1st & 2nd year if you have chosen the right classes for your options and do well in them).

    Ime, US students who meet the typical offer at most UK unis (excluding Oxbridge, LSE, Imperial, and StAs) tend to get offers (mostly the unis love US$$, and if you can't cut it, no skin off their backs), but for this course I would be a little less sanguine. If you have the APs, and you love the look of the course, by all means go for it.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 12,682 Senior Member
    @collegemom3717, well, looking at LSE's offers and slots, it seems like every English UK besides Oxbridge has a fairly low yield so pretty high acceptance rate. But even if they let you in, you have to hack it, and there's no hiding since if you sign up for the physics course, your choices are to proceed along if you can or drop out/apply to something else and start over again.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 6,302 Senior Member
    Agree on the need to be ready for the material, @PurpleTitan.

    For LSE, I think that they are an outlier in several dimensions, not least the really high % of international students. Their offer rate to US students seems to be more unpredictable than most UK unis.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 12,682 Senior Member
    @collegemom3717, a little off topic, but I should correct myself: LSE acceptance rates still aren't very high but their yield is pretty low too.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 3,421 Senior Member
    If it is that prestigious<<<<<<<<<<

    I just don't think that is a thing, you won't find that kind of mindset in such a UK uni as Manchester.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 12,682 Senior Member
    @Sybylla, I've found plenty of Brits who care about prestige.

    Manchester would be like a UW-Madison, though.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 3,421 Senior Member
    edited April 27
    Sure, but the point is Manchester wouldn't be prestigious like Oxbridge, LSE, Imperial. even UCL. Manchester is like a nice US state school with solid academics, questionable weather, great pubs.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 6,302 Senior Member
    ...and like UW-Madison, it has areas that are more 'prestigious' in certain areas. UW-Madison is actually exceptionally well regarded in Engineering and Materials Sciences; Manchester is particularly well regarded for physics. Note the difference in selectivity for physics at Manchester, vs the university as a whole.
  • elguapo1elguapo1 Registered User Posts: 444 Member
    Manchester undergrad and post grad here. Everything you need to know about admissions has been hightlighted above. Manchester will give you everything you can handle in terms of academics, how well you do depends on how hard you want to study. Manchester is a powerhouse in terms of research and has a storied history, but dont expect to do reasearch as an undergrad, they get the pick of the litter of graduate students. As a city Manchester is very student freindly and much more reasonable cost of living wise, international flights will also go direct into Manchester from certain US cities which is convenient.
  • vincenthan2009vincenthan2009 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Thank you for your reply. In sophomore year, I got 5's on Calculus AB and WHAP. This year, I'm going to take Calculus BC, Lang, apush, physics 1 and 2. I'm confident that I can get 5's on bc and physics. Would this help?
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