2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Do I have a lower chance of getting into college without taking standarized tests as an international student?

I'm an international student (Mexico) and where I live it's nearly imposible to take standarized tests, we also don't have ap classes or any other USA methods, I know colleges have said they are optional, but really will it affect my chances of getting in?

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@ErickLi152 years ago

I’m also from Mexico, and yes, most of the high schools don’t have AP, and there are some test centers, but if you aren’t good at taking tests, then it might be a bit hard, and I don’t really it will affect you negatively, they’ll just pay more attention to other parts of your application.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Lalaend2 years ago

Thank you

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Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Hi @Lalaend

The simple and honest answer is that each college has its own criteria for evaluating International students. Most will judge you based on other Mexican students applying from your region in Mexico. If no one from your region/city/county has standardized test scores or APs, then you have nothing to worry about at this time.

Some colleges might have a quota or target of how many students they wish to accept from Mexico so they may be looking at all the applicants from all the Mexican states. And then you might be disadvantaged if for example that most students in Mexico City who are applying to the same sorts of colleges have test scores and APs.

There is nothing you can really do to change the facts about your lack of test scores. I would focus on the things in the common app you can control like the quality of your essays, supplemental essays, and short answers. Make sure you get the very best recommendations as well. And continue to get the best grades in the most challenging classes.

If you are a 10th or 11th grader, I would highly recommend that you curate some very impressive extracurricular activities.

Good luck.

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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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