Hello! I'm currently a 10th grader, and UC Berkeley had always been my dream school since 1st grade! I've been working on getting closer to my dream. I haven't taken the SAT text yet nor the PSAT test. However, I enjoy school activities and have been to different types of community services.
If you want to get into a school like UC Berkeley, then you need to take the SAT or ACT every year you can. Your GPA is good, but you want to continue to make it better to have the best shot at being accepted. Participate in any ECs you are interested in, even if they aren't necessarily in your particular field. Continue to do community service and activities, and you will set yourself up for the best possible chance of acceptance. Good luck, hope this helps!
Yes, it's certainly possible. One thing that is of paramount importance to 9th, 10th, and 11th graders reading these posts is to know that GPA is only 1 of many criteria that is considered by top colleges during their "holistic" review of all the other pieces of the admissions puzzle. In the academic category, it's important to have great grades but nearly important are things like your course rigor and evidence of intellectual curiosity. Taking dual enrollment courses, online college courses, and doing your own self-learning and research can enhance your academic narrative
You want to make sure you fulfill all the A-G HS course requirements before you apply to UC Berkeley at a minimum. And in areas like Math, Science, and Language where an extra 1 year is recommended, I would try to do an extra 2 years to stand out. For instance, if you are in Spanish or Chinese III already, then take Level IV and the AP level as well. If you are taking Bio and Chem, try to take AP Physics or AP Chem as well. If you are taking math up to Pre-Calc because they only require 3 years, it's best to take AP Calc and AP Statistics as well. The more rigorous the core classes you have, the better. And that will make you more competitive at a place like UC Berkeley.
Keep in mind UC Berkely recalculates your UC GPA based on 10th and 11th-grade classes so you really want to get your As in 10th and 11th grade, your 9th grade GPA will not really count for very much.
When you take your APs, make sure you perform at the highest level compared to the other students in your school because they compare and contrast you to other kids in your school district that are also applying.
UC Berkeley and other UC no longer use the SAT, ACT, or SAT II subject tests or the essay portion either so, it's important to have excellent grades and AP test scores.
I'm copying this from UC Berkeley about their holistic review because it's important you understand your personal character, your leadership, community service, and talents play into whether you will get admitted as well.
We review students using a Holistic Review process. This means that we not only look at academic factors, but also non-academic factors. Using a broad concept of merit, readers employ the following criteria which carry no pre-assigned weights:
The applicant’s full record of achievement in college preparatory work in high school, including the number and rigor of courses taken and grades earned in those courses.
Personal qualities of the applicant, including leadership ability, character, motivation, insight, tenacity, initiative, originality, intellectual independence, responsibility, maturity, and demonstrated concern for others and for the community are considered.
Likely contributions to the intellectual and cultural vitality of the campus. In addition to a broad range of intellectual interests and achievements, admission readers seek diversity in personal background and experience.
Achievement in academic enrichment programs, including but not limited to those sponsored by the University of California. This criterion is measured by time and depth of participation, by the academic progress made by the applicant during that participation, and by the intellectual rigor of the particular program.
Other evidence of achievement. This criterion recognizes exemplary, sustained achievement in any field of intellectual or creative endeavor; accomplishments in extracurricular activities such as the performing arts or athletics; leadership in school or community organizations; employment; and volunteer service.
Race, ethnicity, gender, and religion are excluded from the criteria.
All achievements, both academic and nonacademic, are considered in the context of the opportunities an applicant has had, and the reader’s assessment is based on how fully the applicant has taken advantage of those opportunities. For an applicant who has faced any hardships or unusual circumstances, readers consider the maturity, determination and insight with which the applicant has responded to and/or overcome them. Readers also consider other contextual factors that bear directly upon the applicant’s achievement, including linguistic background, parental education level, and other indicators of support available in the home.
The review recognizes a wide range of talent and creativity that is not necessarily reflected in traditional measures of academic achievement but which, in the judgment of the reader, is a positive indicator of the student’s ability to succeed at Berkeley and beyond.
It's a lot to take in but you just have to recognize that you have to be multi-facted and be more than your GPA and Test Scores, you have to be an impressive human being.
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