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pokerface
05-08-2011, 05:07 PM
Its the first time that I consider studying at the States after some deliberation.
Hence, I hope any of you here would be able to answer my queries:

1. I saw the US uni websites mentioned something about Early Decision and Regular Decisions under Deadlines. May I know what's the difference?

2. My intended majors/degree would be related to either Business/Economics or International Relations. Apart from UMich, discounting Harvard and Yale, which top uni are particularly strong in these fields?

3. Which universities (eg. UMich and the likes?) do not require the SAT subject test scores for international students? Because I'm thinking of just fully concentrating on the Reasoning test so that I would not get overstretched.

4. Which are the top league universities that are usually need-blind in financial aid?

5. I read somewhere here that if I stay at a premium location (such as somewhere near bukit timah which I do), I don't stand a shot of getting financial aid. How true is this?

6. What is the recommended scores for SAT Reasoning and Subject test (say, social science/hist and Math) for gaining entry into places like UMich, UCB, Stanford, UPenn and NYU?

7. If I take my SATs in June, how long would the results be valid for in application?

Thanks :)

teddynuts
05-08-2011, 05:48 PM
1. I saw the US uni websites mentioned something about Early Decision and Regular Decisions under Deadlines. May I know what's the difference?

There are 4 types of application available. Early Action, Early Action (Restrictive), Early Decision, Regular Decision

Early Action: Apply by 1st November. You can apply to multiple EAs from schools, and you will get the admissions reply by mid-late December. Generally for stronger applicants to top choice schools.

Early Action (Restrictive): Apply by 1st Nov. ONLY CAN APPLY TO ONE SCHOOL for early action. Can apply to unlimited Regular Decisions.

Early Decision: Apply by 1st Nov. This shows that you really really want to join this school, that once this school accepts you, you CONFIRM must enroll in the school. You can apply to Regular Decision, but ONCE you are accepted by the ED school, you must enroll to that school. No questions asked.

Regular Decision: Apply by late Dec-early Jan. Can apply to unlimited schools.

2. My intended majors/degree would be related to either Business/Economics or International Relations. Apart from UMich, discounting Harvard and Yale, which top uni are particularly strong in these fields?

Are you a guy? UMich does not allow for deferment I think. but I am not sure about this. You need to email the Admissions Office to confirm. Btw, in US, you don't choose your course/major/degree until your second year (at the earliest). So for Business/Econs, the top include Harvard (ok discounted xD) University of Pennslyvannia Wharton Business School and if you are interested in technology business, MIT Sloan Business is for you. For econs, Stanford is also good, but Stanford/MIT are equally competitive as Yale

3. Which universities (eg. UMich and the likes?) do not require the SAT subject test scores for international students? Because I'm thinking of just fully concentrating on the Reasoning test so that I would not get overstretched.

UMich and the top schools, including those for business/econs require SAT Reasoning test and preferably 2 subject tests. You are competing against hundreds of thousands for that one thousand over spots. What school are you in? SAT subject test is really more palatable than Reasoning becos u can MUG for it hard and get perfect score. Advice is to do the Subject Test, unless your SAT Reasoning is 2300-2400k, you have uber strong CCA, your teachers love you and you write wonderful personal statements.

4. Which are the top league universities that are usually need-blind in financial aid?

Harvard, Yale, Cornell, MIT are those I know. Those that aren't are Caltech, Stanford (sorry i am a tech/comp sci guy so I only know thesefew xD)



5. I read somewhere here that if I stay at a premium location (such as somewhere near bukit timah which I do), I don't stand a shot of getting financial aid. How true is this?

I can only say for MIT becos I have been to MIT and talked to their admissions assistant director. They look primarily at your family combined income and if you have any dependents (i.e. how many siblings, how old they are, any aged family members, etc.) From there, they will judge your financial capabilities and offer you an amount. No, they dont see location. I mean how do you expect US pple to know Singapore's prime locations where property are most expensive? :P

6. What is the recommended scores for SAT Reasoning and Subject test (say, social science/hist and Math) for gaining entry into places like UMich, UCB, Stanford, UPenn and NYU?

Based on the US websites, there are no such thing as recommended scores because they claim to review it holistically. Personally, SAT scores are but one part of your application, and MANY of these colleges know that your potential lies wayyy beyond a 25 minute essay and these tests. However, they want to see your true academic potential and you still should not do too badly for these. I did pretty average on the SAT reasoning and just finished my subj test yesterday. I say for SAT reasoning, a score above 2200 would be alright while for Subject Test, for me, I would not settle for anything less than perfect. This is cos you dont have to get all questions to get the full 800. For the tests to take, Mathematics Level 2 is a must no matter what course you take. Choose another subject(s) that you are studying in school...you probably can do better in SAT Chem if you are studying Chemistry rather than US History :D



Thanks :)[/QUOTE]

Hope your questions have been answered! :D

teddynuts
05-08-2011, 05:50 PM
Haha missed out your last question xD SAT tests take about 3 weeks to score. Last year I did my SAT reasoning in June and received it slightly later LOL at 4 weeks. :D So by early July you will know and when you know, simultaneously, your scores will be sent to colleges. Note that you cant take Reasoning and Subject tests on same day, and subject test you can take minimum one (duh!) and max 3 per test day

pokerface
05-08-2011, 06:02 PM
Haha missed out your last question xD SAT tests take about 3 weeks to score. Last year I did my SAT reasoning in June and received it slightly later LOL at 4 weeks. :D So by early July you will know and when you know, simultaneously, your scores will be sent to colleges. Note that you cant take Reasoning and Subject tests on same day, and subject test you can take minimum one (duh!) and max 3 per test day

Thanks man!

As to my last question, what I meant was, how many months/years can my SAT Reasoning and subject test scores be carried forward for applications? Or do they require the latest ones even though I might have done better in my previous attempt?

teddynuts
05-08-2011, 06:08 PM
Thanks man!

As to my last question, what I meant was, how many months/years can my SAT Reasoning and subject test scores be carried forward for applications? Or do they require the latest ones even though I might have done better in my previous attempt?

Oh haha i see :) That I think is for 5 years I think..but i think 3 years is a safe range.

You can retake as many as 3 times a year I think and for some colleges, you can choose which scores to send in; i.e. your best scores. However, some colleges, especially the competitive ones want you to send in all so its advisable to try your best for all attempts :) In general, (i took this off the Brightsparks magazine), Singaporeans dont improve their SAT reasoning scores significantly upon multiple tries. The only exception is when you improve your vocab, then your score will improve quite well.

PivotTable
05-08-2011, 07:51 PM
2. My intended majors/degree would be related to either Business/Economics or International Relations. Apart from UMich, discounting Harvard and Yale, which top uni are particularly strong in these fields?

For international relations, I'll definitely recommend georgetown.
Being located in Washington DC is a big plus if you are majoring in IR, the same way being located near wall street is for finance majors, and being located near silicon valley is for tech majors.

myguy
05-09-2011, 12:02 PM
The main difference between Early and Regular decision is that for Early decision, you are telling the school that they are your top choice and you will attend if admitted. Typically, this doubles your chances of getting in. However, for top schools like ivies with a 7-8% acceptance rate, doubling it to 14-16% still means that you are battling huge odds unless you have a truly exceptional application. However, if you choose a school with say a 20-30% acceptance rate then you double it to 40-60%, that's a good advantage. However, since you can only apply to 1 school ED, you give up your one shot at attending a difficult-to-get-in school. Note that UCB has a much earlier regular decision deadline than the rest.

Tufts has the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Quite a few Singaporeans in Tufts.

For FA, it varies by college, but for financial aid application, international students are often expected to fill in a CSS profile

https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/index.jsp

In it, your parents are required to declare their assets. They will ask about your parent's home - when it was purchased, purchase price, current market value. Whether they own a business, its value. How much they get in dividends, rental income etc. Assets in other countries etc.

So, if you live in a $5m Bukit Timah home, which your parents bought for $1m, and you declare it, its quite unlikely that you will get financial aid. If you lie, they may have ways of checking out where you live.

I would say that the typical Singaporean applicant that got into Stanford or Penn this year had 2300+ SAT and perfect (or near) 800 scores on all subject tests and something unusual such as national/intl awards/top student leaders etc. Judging from college confidential, many applicants with 2300+ SAT also failed to get in so a high SAT is a necessary but not sufficient condition to get into the top schools.

Top schools officially discourage students taking the SAT more than 3 times in total. Their best applicants would take it once and have a good to perfect score.

Introverted.
05-09-2011, 02:23 PM
from what i know, for UMich it's not a requirement to present SAT subject tests, the UCs also do not require SAT subject tests for those applying for fall 2012 intake onwards. but obviously they recommend it. i do know a friend who got in to UMich engineering with B and Cs for his A levels and no subject tests though. although his reasoning test score was quite high(~2300)

sorry to hijack thread, but can i apply for a schools ED and at the same time apply for EA at other schools?

myguy
05-09-2011, 05:16 PM
sorry to hijack thread, but can i apply for a schools ED and at the same time apply for EA at other schools?

Sure EA is not binding. You can apply to as many EA schools as you like, but only one ED.

pokerface
05-10-2011, 12:44 AM
Thanks guys! Thus far, you all have been pretty comprehensive in your response which I truly appreciate :)

Oh, and some more queries here:

1. From my understanding, if I were to apply for ED, I can only apply for 1 uni right? Whereas for RD or EA, I can apply to unlimited schools?

2. When it comes to selecting universities whom I wish to send my test scores to, do I do it after I receive my SAT scores or I can do it even before my test commences? Because I realised that most universities and some LACs require charges for that.

3. Some uni and colleges such as Williams College specified that test scores are to be sent by mail. Does it mean I have to really send my supporting documents of my results by mail? (this question may seem dumb but I need double assurance for its the first time I am dealing with applying to US varsities)

4. And if I have paid for sending my test scores to selected uni/colleges, is it an one-time payment to be made or I gotta pay every time I took an SAT test?

5. Just realised that certain universities like Columbia Uni has a spring intake(May-June). Is CU the only top-tier uni with such intake?

6. Is an US uni education really deemed as better in quality and standard by our local employers (both private and public sectors) as compared to say, the Aussie one? Is there any difference then in their perception between the top-notch uni (eg. Ivy Leagues + second-tier ones like UMich and NYU) and the LACs?


7. Among all the Ivy Leagues, second-tier uni and LACs, which schools do require SAT subject test? Do UPenn, Stanford, Columbia Uni and Williams College especially require them?

8. Is it possible to register for the SAT Reasoning and the SAT Subject tests on the same day?


9. How many times are the SAT I and SAT Subject tests available for registration per year? And which month?

I know that these questions may have already been answered before. But, for the benefit of everyone else who is going nuts over the complexity of choosing an US education, I thought these questions would be necessary. HENCE, I really, once again, appreciate those who can answer these queries too (:

Run
05-10-2011, 07:55 AM
Thanks guys! Thus far, you all have been pretty comprehensive in your response which I truly appreciate :)

Oh, and some more queries here:

1. From my understanding, if I were to apply for ED, I can only apply for 1 uni right? Whereas for RD or EA, I can apply to unlimited schools?

2. When it comes to selecting universities whom I wish to send my test scores to, do I do it after I receive my SAT scores or I can do it even before my test commences? Because I realised that most universities and some LACs require charges for that.

3. Some uni and colleges such as Williams College specified that test scores are to be sent by mail. Does it mean I have to really send my supporting documents of my results by mail? (this question may seem dumb but I need double assurance for its the first time I am dealing with applying to US varsities)

4. And if I have paid for sending my test scores to selected uni/colleges, is it an one-time payment to be made or I gotta pay every time I took an SAT test?

5. Just realised that certain universities like Columbia Uni has a spring intake(May-June). Is CU the only top-tier uni with such intake?

6. Is an US uni education really deemed as better in quality and standard by our local employers (both private and public sectors) as compared to say, the Aussie one? Is there any difference then in their perception between the top-notch uni (eg. Ivy Leagues + second-tier ones like UMich and NYU) and the LACs?


7. Among all the Ivy Leagues, second-tier uni and LACs, which schools do require SAT subject test? Do UPenn, Stanford, Columbia Uni and Williams College especially require them?

8. Is it possible to register for the SAT Reasoning and the SAT Subject tests on the same day?


9. How many times are the SAT I and SAT Subject tests available for registration per year? And which month?

I know that these questions may have already been answered before. But, for the benefit of everyone else who is going nuts over the complexity of choosing an US education, I thought these questions would be necessary. HENCE, I really, once again, appreciate those who can answer these queries too (:

1. Yes, that's correct. Certain JCs place a limit on the number of schools you can apply to though, and it's pretty costly to apply to US colleges.

2. You can do it before.

3. I'm pretty sure you send it to them through College Board.

4. You have to pay every time you take the SAT.

5. I don't think so, depends how you define "top-tier".

7. I think you have to take the subject tests for your application to be competitive at those schools, whether they require it or not. I know Stanford does not require it (it strongly recommends it), but everyone I know who got in took the subject tests. If you've taken the A levels or IB they should be too difficult, especially for Math and the sciences.

8. No.

9. There's a calendar somewhere on collegeboard. I think there's one sitting per month except for a few months.

pokerface
05-10-2011, 09:08 AM
1. I saw the US uni websites mentioned something about Early Decision and Regular Decisions under Deadlines. May I know what's the difference?

There are 4 types of application available. Early Action, Early Action (Restrictive), Early Decision, Regular Decision

Early Action: Apply by 1st November. You can apply to multiple EAs from schools, and you will get the admissions reply by mid-late December. Generally for stronger applicants to top choice schools.

Early Action (Restrictive): Apply by 1st Nov. ONLY CAN APPLY TO ONE SCHOOL for early action. Can apply to unlimited Regular Decisions.

Early Decision: Apply by 1st Nov. This shows that you really really want to join this school, that once this school accepts you, you CONFIRM must enroll in the school. You can apply to Regular Decision, but ONCE you are accepted by the ED school, you must enroll to that school. No questions asked.

Regular Decision: Apply by late Dec-early Jan. Can apply to unlimited schools.

2. My intended majors/degree would be related to either Business/Economics or International Relations. Apart from UMich, discounting Harvard and Yale, which top uni are particularly strong in these fields?

Are you a guy? UMich does not allow for deferment I think. but I am not sure about this. You need to email the Admissions Office to confirm. Btw, in US, you don't choose your course/major/degree until your second year (at the earliest). So for Business/Econs, the top include Harvard (ok discounted xD) University of Pennslyvannia Wharton Business School and if you are interested in technology business, MIT Sloan Business is for you. For econs, Stanford is also good, but Stanford/MIT are equally competitive as Yale

3. Which universities (eg. UMich and the likes?) do not require the SAT subject test scores for international students? Because I'm thinking of just fully concentrating on the Reasoning test so that I would not get overstretched.

UMich and the top schools, including those for business/econs require SAT Reasoning test and preferably 2 subject tests. You are competing against hundreds of thousands for that one thousand over spots. What school are you in? SAT subject test is really more palatable than Reasoning becos u can MUG for it hard and get perfect score. Advice is to do the Subject Test, unless your SAT Reasoning is 2300-2400k, you have uber strong CCA, your teachers love you and you write wonderful personal statements.

4. Which are the top league universities that are usually need-blind in financial aid?

Harvard, Yale, Cornell, MIT are those I know. Those that aren't are Caltech, Stanford (sorry i am a tech/comp sci guy so I only know thesefew xD)



5. I read somewhere here that if I stay at a premium location (such as somewhere near bukit timah which I do), I don't stand a shot of getting financial aid. How true is this?

I can only say for MIT becos I have been to MIT and talked to their admissions assistant director. They look primarily at your family combined income and if you have any dependents (i.e. how many siblings, how old they are, any aged family members, etc.) From there, they will judge your financial capabilities and offer you an amount. No, they dont see location. I mean how do you expect US pple to know Singapore's prime locations where property are most expensive? :P

6. What is the recommended scores for SAT Reasoning and Subject test (say, social science/hist and Math) for gaining entry into places like UMich, UCB, Stanford, UPenn and NYU?

Based on the US websites, there are no such thing as recommended scores because they claim to review it holistically. Personally, SAT scores are but one part of your application, and MANY of these colleges know that your potential lies wayyy beyond a 25 minute essay and these tests. However, they want to see your true academic potential and you still should not do too badly for these. I did pretty average on the SAT reasoning and just finished my subj test yesterday. I say for SAT reasoning, a score above 2200 would be alright while for Subject Test, for me, I would not settle for anything less than perfect. This is cos you dont have to get all questions to get the full 800. For the tests to take, Mathematics Level 2 is a must no matter what course you take. Choose another subject(s) that you are studying in school...you probably can do better in SAT Chem if you are studying Chemistry rather than US History :D



Thanks :)

As for the underlined part, why is it that Math level 2 is a must-take no matter what course I intend to apply to?

Does that mean if I take Math level 1, I will be at an disadvantage? Because I took only H1 Math in JC :/

teddynuts
05-11-2011, 06:48 AM
Most schools (top ones) that want subject tests require you to take Lvl 2 if you want to do Math. Math I is much easier than II, and naturally these schools know that many can score perfect on I but not many on II. Even if you take H1 math, I encourage you to study early for Math II. Still can do it. It really tests a lot of O level stuff...just a bit of extra stuff from A lvls. So dont forget ur O level stuff :)

myguy
05-11-2011, 04:03 PM
^^
While the subject material is less for Math Level 1, it is well known that it is easier to get 800 on Level 2 than Level 1. The curve on Math 2 is not as severe as Math 1. A single mistake in Level 1 will deny an 800 score, while you can make a few mistakes in Level 2 and still get 800. That is why Math 2 is generally recommended for most Singapore students.

http://www.sparknotes.com/testprep/books/sat2/math2c/chapter2section4.rhtml