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Applying into top colleges


Hi! I am thinking of applying in early action in universities like - Cornell (Early decision), University of Texas, University of Illinois Urbana champs, and maybe a UC. I wanted to ask I have an excellent co-curricular profile as I have 2 International competitions, I am the STEM Club Incharge in my school, did an internship in a firm which relates to my course, in my school Annual day lead cast, Best Photographer in district level competition and 4 MOOC'S - Machine learning, Electronics, CS Fundamentals and learning app development. I have a good academic profile with strong grades in my subjects. I couldn't take the SAT and right now in my country SAT is not happening in my area due to the coronavirus pandemic, Can you please help and suggest me should I have more extra-curricular? and what should I do with my SAT because in colleges I am applying they have a test-optional policy please suggest me what should I do next


2 answers

answered on

Good questions @vasu017!

Looking at the information you provided your EC profile seems fairly solid right now. You have varied ECs but they are still able to show that you are interested in STEM. Add in leadership positions, awards, and an internship related to your intended major (I'm assuming you want to do something STEM related) all of this will look strong on your profile. If you're applying to schools this fall I'm not sure there will be a significant benefit to adding another EC unless it's something where you can have a leadership position or make an impact quickly. If there's something you find interesting, like a club or a new hobby, I think it makes sense to pursue it but because you'll only have been doing it for a few months at most by the time you apply it won't hold as much weight as your other ECs.

The SAT part of your question is a very common one these days and on many students' minds. If you decide not to take the SAT there is much more weight put onto your GPA, academic rigor, ECs, etc. You mentioned you have a good academic profile with strong grades so it sounds like you would be OK if you didn't take the SAT. If you're able to find an SAT date in the coming months it still might make sense for you to take the test and see what you score. If it's not the best then you can just not send the scores in. However, if you do take the SAT and score well it would probably benefit you to send in your score. Submitting a strong SAT score at a test-optional school, coupled with a strong academic profile, can give you a nice boost in your chances. You won't be at a disadvantage if you aren't able to find a test date (seriously, try not to stress about this!) your profile is just going to be looked at differently and certain aspects (like your grades) will be given more weight. Given the information you've provided I believe you'll be fine not submitting an SAT score so it comes down to personal preference/comfort level of taking the test and how you want your profile to be looked at. Happy to answer any follow-up questions you might have!

Thanks for your reply!! I wanted to ask one last thing that how do universities convert IB grades to GPA, do they just look at the course grade and the rigor of the course?
So assuming a 4.0 (Weighted) scale a IB class is typically A=5.0 B=4.0 C=3.0 etc. The IB exams are completely different and have no impact on gpa. Colleges from what I know look at the grade and rigor and if submitted the exam but the exam has near no impact on the application I compare it to a .01 gpa boost.
Hope this helps and comment if you need clarification.
thanks I think I am very much clear with my doubt about IB and GPA thanks!! also could you tell me how good is it if I have all 6 and 7 in my 5 subjects and one subject with a 5, like do colleges also have an average ib score?
So IB exams are used near exclusively for college credit. So google university name IB credit then scroll down find your subject and see if your score is the same or higher as the one listed then you get credit. For example at School X in subject Y they accept 5s and above, I got a 4 no credit for me. But if I have a 5 I get credit. Hope this clears it up for you.
answered on[edited]

So your ECs seem to be fine if you don't take the SAT its not a big deal especially if your country doesn't offer it. Id focus on your essays and the prompts are already release (go to the drop down menu and click essays that's a phenomenal resourse) also id ask for rec letters ASAP. Comment if you need rec letter advice.

Hope this helps and please comment if you need clarification

Edit: grammar

Thanks a lot, for your advice. Can you give rec letter advice? and I am confused with coursework on this site, it tells me I need more coursework but I am already doing a proper IB diploma
So for the IB they count each class individually and as you get a diploma if I remember correctly you have 5ish IB classes a year so you should have 20ish AP/IB classes (guessing) but your rigor should be much higher
So for rec letters a upper limit of 4 is generally the consensus but you should get your HS counselor and a teacher preferably in major area. Then get one in the opposite humanities/STEM. Then you can ask a coach and or boss. Don’t ask parents or people you don’t have a professional relationship with. Does this clear it up
We have 6 classes and for the rigor, I think it is higher because I got high-level Physics, Chemistry, Maths, and Standard level Economics, English, and Lang B. So, on collegevine chancing profile how many classes should I put it?
How many IB classes do you per year? In this case 6 and you have 4 years of high school so you have 24 AP/IB classes. Hope this helps!
Thanks a lot, I am doing IB for 2 years of high school and for previous two I did IGCSE where I did 8 subjects
What little I know of IGCSE is it is comparable to AP just being British based. So I’m pretty sure for the algorithm it would count as 20 AP/IB classes
Thanks a lot for your help!!
also keep in mind the calculator was made for the american curriculum but since you’re an intl student the admissions officer will be familiar with your grade system and you don’t need to convert it so dont worry about it for now