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I'm an American student thinking of applying to British schools

ZXC12345ZXC12345 11 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hi, I'm currently studying in the US and I'm thinking of applying to a few British schools on top of my common application schools. I am thinking of applying to UCL and either Oxford or Cambridge. I'm not sure whether I have a better chance at Oxford or Cambridge because Oxford requires 3 AP's while Cambridge requires 5AP's. I'm applying to majors related to psychology, here are my stats:

SAT (out of 1600): 1540
SAT Physics (taking it again in Sept.): 700
SAT Math (taking it again in August): 760
AP scores-
Got 4's on: Physics 1, Physics 2, Chemistry, Computer science, Seminar, Music Theory
Got 5's on: Psychology, Research, Chinese
Courses I'm taking my senior year: AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Physics C: Electricity, AP Calculus ab, AP Spanish lang., AP English lang., AP Gov, AP Econ, AP Stats
Leadership positions: President of National Social Science Honors Society, Vice-President of English Honors Society, Direct Relief club founder & co-president, NSHSS Ambassador
I've also won a few awards in speech competitions and track events (league and invitational).

I've started my application through UCAS, however, it is very complicated to fill in academic information due to the differences. So should I go through all the trouble to apply to these prestigious schools? Do I have somewhat of a good chance to get into one of them? I'm just worried because I've heard the British Universities are heavily academic-based and because I'm applying to be a psych major so I'm not sure if my AP scores are relevant to the admissions officers (since there really is only psychology that is truly related to psychology).
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Replies to: I'm an American student thinking of applying to British schools

  • ZXC12345ZXC12345 11 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I also carried out two of my own experiments with the help of an advisor.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6595 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You need to do a deeper dive into the details of each course- they are very different. Read carefully, as you won't have many choices in the beginning. They aren't 'majors' in the sense that you are used to: you are applying to study a subject. Your whole application is about why this is a good course for you, and that means understanding what the course is.

    Most students applying for psych don't have a psych A level and the courses that the universities ask for are at least one of math/bio/chem/physics. Your 4's in those subjects won't help for Oxbridge. Also, Oxford has the TSA exam- check that out.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41785 replies450 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Your 4s make Oxbridge pretty much a non starter.
    Look into UEdinburgh, Durham, York, Bath, Queen's Belfast?
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1526 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The lack of Calc BC may also be a problem for courses requiring A level maths.
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  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 1118 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes, Calc BC would be more useful than AB, and your existing 4s are problematic for Oxbridge.
    Have you looked at St Andrew's?
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41785 replies450 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 13
    Even St Andrews will frown at 4s I think.
    The proper entry level to look at would be ~ ABB.
    edited August 13
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  • ZXC12345ZXC12345 11 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Would it matter to the colleges if I get fives on the AP's I'm taking this year?
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  • ZXC12345ZXC12345 11 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Also, would they take into consideration my high school GPA?
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1526 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It will matter if you get a conditional offer, because they will ask for 5s. It will also matter that your reference predicts that you will get 5s in the APs that you are taking this year. But the 4s will count against you and are likely to lead to you being rejected by top UK schools such as Oxbridge and UCL.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6595 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ....& except for StA's they won't be interested in your GPA.
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  • ZXC12345ZXC12345 11 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Would it still matter if I'm applying for the Psychology, philosophy, and linguistics course at Oxford?
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  • ZXC12345ZXC12345 11 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I feel so too that's why I'm kind of worried. But I took most of the APs in 9th and 10th grade and most of them is STEM-related because many of the APs that I want to take (and are more relevant) are only available to seniors.
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  • ZXC12345ZXC12345 11 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Do you think I can make up for my 4 in physics and chemistry by getting a high score on the subject test?
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41785 replies450 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Basically you're aiming for 800 since the material tested on the subject test is similar to what
    The 4s will make Oxford etc impossible. APs are so basic compared to what they look for that they expect an easy 5.
    If your recommender states you can get a 5 in 3 relevant APs then you may have a shot at universities such as UEdinburgh or Durham.
    I mentioned a couple possibilities already, look them up.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6595 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Take a look at the TSA and the MLAT tests (both are required for PPL @ Oxford). In general dual subject courses are harder to get into, b/c both departments have to accept you.

    Have you really looked at the course content for these programs?
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  • llamamama1714llamamama1714 13 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I’m wondering why folks are saying the OP will have trouble with U Ed and St Andrews, when they seem to be well above qualifications for both schools. Is psychology particularly competitive?
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  • ZXC12345ZXC12345 11 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I got 5 on AP Psychology, AP Research, and AP Chinese up until now. I think I'll get a few more 5's this year since I'm taking courses that I'm actually interested in.
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  • CU123CU123 3543 replies65 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Honestly you might reconsider studying in the UK where all those 4s will hurt your application. In the US they won't even be looked at.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 3719 replies47 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 14
    I doubt AP research is counted , is it even a credit in the USA?
    Personally I think some other schools could be in play. Look at other Russell group schools that are not as out of range as Oxbridge/UCL (would you apply to HYPMS?). Location is going to be something to consider though. English schools are going to be nervous of the effect of Brexit, Scotland maybe less so. There just may be more spaces than in previous years that need filling.
    edited August 14
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6595 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The AP requirement is not just a matter of ticking a box: it is preparation for the course you are applying to study. Having a 4 in something related to the subject you are applying to study is a red flag to Oxbridge. You may not see physics or chemistry as related to psych, but the UK unis obviously do, as pretty much all of them mention wanting at least one of math/bio/chem/physics . Psych in the UK is more science (v. social science)-oriented (and more research and data analysis focused) than you might be thinking.
    I think I'll get a few more 5's this year since I'm taking courses that I'm actually interested in.

    This! so, aside from psych you are "actually interested in"... spanish, english, gov, econ and/or stats? In which case, why are you applying to study psych in the UK?

    @llamamama1714, I think people are trying to point the OP *towards* places like Edi and Durham (@MYOS1634) and StA's (me, noting that it the UK school most likely to be impressed by a high GPA).
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