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Discus: What Are My Chances?: November 2003 Archive: Canadian Student
By Evman150 (Evman150) on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 03:48 am: Edit

OK - I don't know much about American University, so I was wondering if you people here could help me out. Here are my stats...

1420 SAT (750M/670V)

5.0 GPA (out of five, which basically means I have gotten over 86% in every class I've taken in the last two years.)

92% average - Grade 11
94% average - Grade 12 (thus far)

Top 3% of my class (estimation)

Honours with distinction - grade 9-11.

We don't take SATs up here. It is very rare for Canadians to write them. I was one of only three kids out of 300 to write them this year. I have not taken any SAT IIs, and don't plan on taking any. AP classes are not offered up here, except english, which is useless to me anyway.

Anyways, this leads me to my question - what US universities/colleges could I get into with these stats? In other words, what sort of "echelon" of college could I get into?


By Tout (Tout) on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 11:58 am: Edit

Umm... Evman, I think you do not quite understand the idea of a GPA. True, in Canada >80% is an A, but it's not the same in the US. I posted a percentage to GPA conversion for Canadian students in another discussion, I'll post it here:

These are approximate, because schools convert percentage to grades differently. They are accurate give or take 1%

A+:>97, GPA=4
A: 93-96, GPA=4
A-:90-92, GPA=3.7

B+:87-89, GPA=3.3
B: 83-86, GPA=3
B-:80-82, GPA=2.7

What you do is you take all your GPA numbers and average them. This has an interesting result, because a student with 95, 95, 95, and 95 will have a better GPA than a student with 100, 100, 100, 90.

So since you only said that you have only gotten over 86% for every class you have taken, then it is quite improbably for you to have a 5.0 GPA, unless of course you mean that you have gotten above 93% for every class. You should ask your guidance counsellor to evaluate your GPA, since different schools have slightly different ways of doing it.

About what you said about Canadians not taking SAT's, I strongly disagree. You probably live in a small town or something, because when I wrote it in October, the examination centre was packed! I would say Canada has the most students writing SAT's out of any country besides theh US.

Anyway, if you don't plan on taking SAT II's, you have practically closed the door on all the Ivy League schools, MIT, Caltech, etc. You did not list much in the way of academic distinctions or extra curricular leadership, so it will be hard for you to get into any of the prestigious colleges.

I was looking around the web before, and I forgot which college it was (perhaps MIT...), but they only accepted 20 international applicants from Canada last year. So that means you have to pretty much be outstanding on a regional, provincial or national level whether in academics or leadership to get in. I would suggest you tell the people on this board a little more about the other sides of yourself.

Other than that, there is nothing much I can say. I am not familiar with which colleges do not require SAT II's, but others might be able to help. If you are seriously considering college in the US though, I cannot understand why you are not planning to take them. You should.

By Evman150 (Evman150) on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 02:57 pm: Edit

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.

As for the GPA, our province has a different system from the US (obviously). It might be different from other provinces as well. I don't know. You get 5 points for over 86, 4 for over 73, 3 for over 67, 2 for over 60 and 1 for over 50. Wierd system, I know. But that's how it is. As for your conversion system. That would put me at a 3.825 this year and a 3.7 overall last year.

As for other stuff, I don't really have any other stuff. I'm an athlete. I play baseball at a high level. I play in the highest level (league) of youth baseball in Canada. I've been to prestigious tournaments, and have been captain of my team. I've also played on the senior basketball team for two years and have been in the concert band for four years. Perhaps my diversified interests mean I have good recommendations and all that. But I don't do any volunteering, and I'm not really a leader at my school or in my community.

As for the SATs, yes, my test center was full too. But 50 kids is still not a lot. Especially for a city the size of Victoria (350,000). And only three out of 300 from my grad class at school.

By Jennyzsong (Jennyzsong) on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 03:04 pm: Edit

Evman, I have similar stats (1430 SATI, 720, 800, 790 SATII, 94 overall and 98 this year) and live in Ottawa. I'm applying to Columbia, Stanford, Northwestern, Cornell, UPenn, and Berkeley. They are all reaches.

You're going to have to get cracking if you want to apply to ANY schools though. You'll probably have to take the SATII's on standby in two weeks, otherwise it severely cuts down your chances of any good school. You have good enough stats to apply to the lower ivies, but you won't be able to without the SATII's.

Some schools have deadlines coming up really quickly (Berkeley and Stanford next week) so your teacher recs, essays, and guidance recs will have to be finished ASAP!

By Evman150 (Evman150) on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 03:26 pm: Edit

How many SAT IIs do you have to write? How many can you write in one day?

Plus, I would probably take the math and physics ones, since that's what I'm going to be doing after HS, what is the level of the questions on the SATII? Take the math one, what sort of stuff is covered in it? Maybe I should take this to the other board...

By Jennyzsong (Jennyzsong) on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 03:41 pm: Edit

Usually colleges want Writing and two others; some require Writing, math, and another one. If you want to take something math related it's best if you take Math IIC.

Just to let you know, the SATII tests are based on AP courses, so you might have some difficulty. I haven't taken the Physics (I took French) but the MathIIC was not easy. It has a little bit of all the maths... these are some of the harder topics:

polar coordinates

i hadn't taken algeo or finite or data management, and only like one quarter of my calculus course. I found myself VERY VERY lost at some points. There was much panicking and cramming.

I did get a perfect score though :)

I would suggest getting the books right away and studying every night AS MUCH as possible

By Compewter (Compewter) on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 04:11 pm: Edit

Tout that conversion is completely off. You are taking the American conversion and applying to the Canadian. A person I know from the U.S came here with a 4.0 and is now getting an 84. The fact is that getting a 95 in the states is as easy as getting an 85 here. Your conversion, may apply to only Private schools, because private schools here have tremendously inflated grades (some of them). But who wants to go to a private, when our public schools are just as good (Aside from some)?

I was talking to the Ivy league university reps, and they said it is true that they'll consider 80 something as an A, however, they don't want you to convert it. They want to look at your grades and compare to the other Canadian applicants. Eg. If you're getting in the 80's, your competition may be in the 90's.

By Evman150 (Evman150) on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 08:18 pm: Edit

That may be true.

I have heard school is a lot harder up here as well. Much higher standards. Better quality schools overall.

By Enlightenment (Enlightenment) on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 09:55 pm: Edit

When you calculate your GPA, which grades do you take your marks from? Grade 10/11, or Grade 11/12? Or do the universities specify which grades?

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