14 days ago
Admissions Advice

No appropriate AP courses available.

Hello, I'm a Korean student who is currently studying in an American school in Cambodia. I have a near perfect GPA (3.9 out of 4.0) and various regional/national awards. I'm currently a junior and I've generally contributed to the advancement of my school by creating and leading clubs. I'm also a president of the Cambodian chapter of an international non-profit organization. However, I'm currently unable to take accredited AP courses because my school doesn't offer any type of AP/IB classes. As you probably know, Cambodia is a developing country with insufficient educational opportunities. There are less than 5 schools/colleges in the whole country with available AP courses and it's hard for me to take opportunities in those schools due to financial pressure and insufficient time. (My school finishes at 5 p.m.) Anyhow. I really want to be admitted to one of Top 20 universities in America. Will my admission be disadventageous due to lack of AP scores even if I have sifficidnt reasons to demonstrate why I don't have them ? If that's the case, than what are some practical actions I can take?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
13 days ago

Hi @Veritas! Looks like you're very keen about getting into Harvard!

You could try self-studying for AP exams and then giving the exams at nearby test centers. If that is not possible, don't worry too much about not taking AP classes because you didn't have the opportunity to do so. Just demonstrate your ability to handle rigorous coursework by taking the highest level courses available at your school. Admissions officers will take into consideration the context of your application.

You can make up for the absence of APs through extracurriculars, test scores, and essays. If possible, try to take the SAT and/or ACT. This will give the admissions officers another criterion to compare your application with other applications. Additionally, writing impactful essays will strengthen your application.

Hope this helps!

13 days ago

Here's some things that are important to consider:

1. You can take additional AP Courses offered outside of your school's curriculum. This shows great initiatives to colleges and is a route I suggest you take. (They will waive fees for the test if you financial situation does not permit it)

2. Colleges can see what courses are available to you in your school environment: they just want to see you pushing yourself, and they will know from the school report that no AP/IB or dual-enrolled courses are available to you.

3. Worrying about getting into a top 20 school won't do you any good just yet. Focus on your academics and continuing to excel and you'll be great. At the end of the day, it's hard to know why those schools select one candidate over another.


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